Social media is the channel most used by sponsors to activate their sponsorships (98 percent), making it the most popular activation channel for the third year in a row, according to a just released report from the ANA.
The relatively low cost and high engagement rates make social media attractive channels to amplify and activate sponsorships.
The key findings of the Use of Social Media and Advanced Technologies for Sponsors report, featuring research from ESP/IEG, are:
• 85 percent of respondents are using social media to support sponsorship activations, either before, during or after a sponsorship.
• 44 percent use advanced technologies of any type to support a brand’s sponsorship activations.
• The specific social media platforms most used to support a brand’s sponsorship activations were Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
• The most commonly used advanced technologies were 360-degree photography, beacons, virtual reality and RFID.
There are multiple reasons for using social media to support a brand’s sponsorship activations. The top five are:
1. Generate awareness
2. Connect with customers during the event
3. Improve brand perception
4. Connect with consumers before the event
5. Distribute content
To measure the effectiveness of social media’s amplification of a sponsorship, the top choice by far (86 percent) was the amount of social media exposure generated, followed by increased brand awareness (44 percent) and increased awareness of the brand’s sponsorship (41 percent).
“Sponsors and their property partners should ensure that sponsor content is not merely advertising or promotional but adds value to the social media conversation and enhances the experience the user has in that channel,” the report said.
The report also cites a number of case studies, including a Chase case study where the brand used a series of live broadcasts with U.S. Open winner Andy Roddick on Periscope that drew 185,000 unique viewers to a single broadcast and more than 385 hours of Periscope video watched.