Use Search and Social Media to Monitor TV Advertising

It is no secret that we live in a multi-screen world. In fact, according to a Google study, 77 percent of TV viewers use another device at the same time. This usage varies from using search engines and shopping to tweeting and posting on Facebook. Monitoring these behaviors can provide insight into how your TV advertising efforts are performing.

How Search Can Help You Judge Success

Branded search volume can be a great indicator if your TV advertising is effective or not. With purchasing and research behavior shifting more and more toward mobile these days, users responding to commercials pick up their devices and search for more information.

One simple way to monitor brand lift is by looking at Google Trends data. As shown in the example below, the graph showcases a rise in volume for a brand that utilized a controversial advertisement during a major sporting event. This leads to a significant increase in users searching for their brand name on Google.

It’s important to note with this case, the advertising plan mapped out did not provide a long-lasting drive of users to search for the brand. This type of data can tell you the ad may not have been as effective as hoped for. Depending on the industry, brand awareness should stay top of mind in searchers for two to three post TV ads running.


While this large spike is an example of a major brand, the effect of TV advertising can show significant increases in brand searches on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Monitoring this data via tools like Google Trends can provide insight into how much of a lift is driven by TV advertising.

Leveraging Social Media to Understand Brand Lift

Just as users search for more information about brands they come into contact with, they also flock to social media to discuss and share their thoughts on goods and services.

To understand how your advertising changes behavior on social media, benchmarks of metrics such as overall brand mentions, sentiment, frequency rate, and how frequently users are engaging with your brands should be set. These can work as your baseline to determine what lift TV advertising provided for your brand.

While it will be easy to see what the increase of brand mentions will be before, during, and after TV campaigns, sentiment is something that should be closely followed. Understanding what is being said about your brand can help you understand if the creative messaging or timeslots being used are resonating with your audience.

Match Up TV Schedule With Advertising Response

Thankfully, tweets and status updates are time stamped and AdWords and Bing allow you to run reports based on hourly breakdowns. Overlaying the time users interact with your brand across paid search ads and social shares can provide insight into how quickly users are responding to your advertising. Looking at this data over time and comparing various TV time slots can help provide insight into which time slots and even channels (if you test that as a variable) perform best.

Incorporate Search and Social Data With Additional Success Metrics

An increase in search volume and social mentions is not a complete data set. But it is something that can provide you with a quick pulse of how your campaigns are performing. Incorporating this data alongside sales, increases in call volume to call centers, site traffic, and many other metrics can provide a much more concrete determination of success.

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