Online and offline consumer conversations are largely separate. That’s the conclusion of a large, recent study from Engagement Labs, which affirms earlier data and analysis by the company, as well as others.
Analysis of conversations about 500 brands. Engagement Labs performed what it describes as “a comprehensive analysis, lining up the week-to-week trends for the online and offline conversation trends” of 500 brands across multiple product categories. The company examined “conversation volume, sentiment, brand sharing (talking about and sharing brand marketing), and influence (connecting with everyday influencers).”
Engagement Labs uses a mix of surveys and online social media monitoring to gauge consumer sentiment and actions. It determined that across these multiple metrics there was not “a meaningful correlation between online and offline discussions for brands.” The top-level takeaways for marketers and brands are the following:
Brands can’t rely on “social media listening” as a proxy for broader consumer sentiment or to evaluate the complete impact of any decision or campaign
Online and offline conversations need to be measured and managed separately
Brands need to clearly understand the differences between these distinct audiences