Social Media Boosts Search Ad Clicks

NEW YORK A new study found that consumers who engage with brands on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube show significantly higher propensity to search for and then click on those brands’ search ads.
The research by WPP’s GroupM Search, M80 and comScore found that consumers exposed to a brand’s social campaign, anything from watching a YouTube video to friending the brand on Facebook, are 2.8 times more likely to search for a brand and click rates rose 50 percent. The rise is even more significant when a searcher who has seen a social campaign uses a brand’s name in the query: the CTR then increased from 4.5 percent to 11.8 percent.
“We were trying to understand what the interplay is and whether there was a correlation between channels that helps us und how we should engage with social,” said Chris Copeland, CEO of GroupM Search. “Is there a way for us to think of these channels as a collective as opposed to looking at a siloed view of our paid search does this and our social does that?”
The study found that consumer searchers were 2.5 times more likely to click after exposure to a brand’s social marketing.
Several studies have shown the increases in search volume and click rates for consumers exposed to search ads. The GroupM study did not compare the lift from social programs to display or other media, like TV, which have been shown to increase search performance.
The findings, however, put solid figures to the often-held belief that engagement with brand in social media, while not necessarily leading to direct sales, has long-term benefits, Copeland said.
“Part of this was about validating what a lot of people thought was going on,” Copeland said.
While the data shines a positive light on social marketing, it also contains evidence of its limits. The GroupM study found social media users an early-adopter crowd. For instance, they are 1.7 times more likely to use search during product consideration than non-social media users. They also spend three times more time online, according to the study.
The findings, if backed up by others like it, will ignite discussions over budget choices, Copeland said, with some shift coming from other media, even paid search, to pay for the creation of assets needed in social marketing.
“You’ll see dollars come out of working media for social,” he said.
See also: “Social Net Ads — Fewer Clicks, More Engagement”

Publish date: October 6, 2009 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT