Why Online Word-of-Mouth Measures Cannot Predict Brand Outcomes Offline

The rise of social media as a marketing channel, and the research that has supported it, has left open questions as to its impact on actual brand performance. The current authors sought to fill the gap of knowledge on the relationship between social media and real-world conversations and outcomes for brands. Building on a decade's worth of research, they used four key metrics—volume, sentiment, sharing, and influence—to study the potential for correlations between online and offline conversations about brands. There were, in fact, almost no correlations, which suggests the need for marketers to develop separate digital and offline social influence strategies.

Advertising Research Foundation
Brad Fay and Rick Larkin
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