Is your boss still skeptical about social media? Are you looking for creative ideas for social media executions? Do you have a sense of what you're looking to achieve? This post is for you.
Last week we talked about how to develop a case study. This week, we review 12 out of 104 case studies that are telling the story of how businesses progressed through solving a problem and delivering results -- with social media.
To summarize, the structure of a marketing case study generally is:
- situation or challenge
- time line or complication
I've been saving posts about businesses small and large for this conversation.
Before we dive in though, I would like to make a strong point -- your business and the context it's in, which includes your competitors, economy, customers, etc., is not the same as any of the ones described here. You should plan your own strategy, build your own audience, connect with your customers, and so on.
There are now plenty of social media case studies out there. And I encourage you to submit yours to me -- this is a pitch I actually want. See the structure and post linked above for a framework on constructing one.
(1.) A Tattoo Hunt of Blog Proportions
You have probably seen the blog posts about The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Now read the case study of the blog hunt linked here.
As a not so aside, the total box office domestic gross March19 to August 19, 2010 was $9.98MM. The indie movie's budget was $13MM. When you look at the worldwide grosses so far, the movie did well.
I just watched it this past weekend, and I must say that although the plot has its very dark moments, the grassroots social media efforts paid off even on me.
I would have not picked up this movie otherwise. I watch no TV and all of the content I consume, with the exception of books, is pretty much online. The goal was to promote the movie to targeted audiences.
Results for the blog hunt, listed among the outreach efforts in the post, are:
- The movie official site launched with a 3.8 million Alexa rank, dropped to 400K in 3 weeks (at 250K in 8 weeks, at 194K in 10 weeks) -- through exposure provided by 11 very diverse blogs.
- During the contest, 500 people completed the contest, reading all 11 blog posts.
(2.) What Are They Smoking?
EPC Cigar, based in Miami, owned and operated by the Perez-Carrillo family, decided to use social media to communicate directly with cigar buyers, retailers, tobacco growers and others with whom it does business.
As the popularity of once-fashionable cigar bars wanes and public smoking bans proliferate, getting to the fans directly was particularly important.
The key performance indicators (KPIs) are leading to results. The 25,000 limited-edition cigars that EPC Cigar has been releasing monthly since December “are selling extremely quickly,” Mr. Perez-Carrillo III said. Sales of $1.5 million are projected this year.
(3.) I'm With Those Boots
Well, the promotion was called, “I’m With The Band,” so close. As Jason Falls describes in this case study about Justin Boots, it gave the company's sweet-spot target audience of 18-to-24-year-old boot lovers exclusive access to the hip, new country music stars whose music they were discovering.
The company exceeded their sales goal for the new product line by 30 percent. They attribute 95 percent of their sales to social media marketing on about half their traditional marketing budget, or $60k.
Pay attention to the numbers of followers in social networks -- that's right, not very high, because very focused on a specific outcome and demographic. The clicks are where they matter 116 percent increase in website traffic over five months and a 213 percent increase on “Find a Retailer”.
The difference: they stuck to a strategy.
(4.) Bring Slow Dancing Back
The get together was stolen and organized by two friends who grabbed the suggestion from a Doritos petition that drove to a site from a TV commercial to collect signature for bringing slow dancing back.
The friends decided to throw the party three weeks after the beginning of the campaign and organized the event by mobilizing friends in social networks. The results:
- 180,000 signatures
- 40 discos changed their song lists to include slow dances
(5.) Will it Fly with this Price Tag?
The answer is yes. At least one $140,000 PiperSport airplane has already been sold online through an Internet link, and many people who discovered the PiperSport through social media are in sales conversations with Piper or its dealers.
The target audience: pilots. How did they reach them? Through a combination of integrated, targeted, and search optimized content on video and social networks.
Forget the tools, think about where your audience may find you, write content that appeals to them, provide useful information and news, and make it easy for the right people to find you -- all in two weeks.
(6.) Whole Content
One company that is impressing many with their social presences is Whole Foods. They get props for curating their own content and that of others on the social Web.
The company maintains over 200 Facebook fan pages, and more than 150 Twitter accounts, feeding fresh content to them.
There is variety in the tone of the posts between pages. Some community managers share fun information while other keep posts strictly focused on business happenings.
They follow their ABCs on Twitter = authority, boundaries, and continuity, and more.
If you need more reasons to see that Whole Foods knows social media, Kyle Lacy gives you 5.
(7.) Being a Social Animal
Antwerp Zoo in Belgium captivated 559,824 people, over 5% of the entire population of Belgium, who followed the story of the Asian elephant gestation for nearly a year.
See the story here.
41,387people opted into text message updates. The Web site received 850,000 visitors. I disagree with one thing they present on their video -- this wasn't a big idea, it was a collection of many small touch points that delivered (pun intended) the engagement and higher visits to the Antwerp Zoo.
Can social media take on broader societal issues? Made by Many did it with Amnesty UK online and a campaign to stop violence against women.
They used a blog post explaining what how people could help as a landing page.
Then integrated social media outreach and outposts, and created content with a calls to action -- one of which was to email their MP.
The slide here represents the results.
Part of the campaign was also a pledge Amnesty created at PledgeBank.com.
(9.) A Walk in the Park
The "Friend Get a Friend" campaign launched on behalf of the California State Parks Foundation (CSPF), which integrated multichannel marketing with social media, helped raise $950,000 for the organization. How did they do it?
First they built an audience, then they gained support via a petition to the California legislature and Governor Schwarzenegger. The Facebook page fan action was integrated with a Web site and email petition and donation campaign to the house list and partner organizations in California.
A segmented direct donation drive was layered with telemarketing. The story was picked by by prominent local and online news outlets.
In late July/August, they launched a social-media-only campaign promoting the Frequent Visitor membership level ($125 to get an annual parks parking pass) on Facebook and Twitter. See more at the link above. One lesson learned in mid-program: use specific link codes and tracking to learn where your donations are coming from.
(10.) The Best Buy is a Social Buy
You're probably already quite familiar with Best Buy's social media activities. The company added people to its Web site, moderates bilingual community forums, uses video extensively to spotlight products and news, as well as customers, employees, and leadership.
They tweet in three languages, collect ideas to put them into action, empower teens to vote for green organizations @15 integrating that with Facebook, and give you the opportunity to make your own Best Buy. The company advocates transparency on its blogs, monitors digital media for opportunities to be of assistance, and share knowledge and builds communities internally.
(11.) Not Jetting Out of a Tight Spot
The recent JetBlue incident with Steven Slater put the airline where many other companies active in social media would be cooling their jets. Not JetBlue.
They are answering virtually every tweet about the issue — even if it is to say that it can’t comment about ongoing investigations and provide links to more information.
The 227 comments to the airline's brief post are either praises for the airline's good service, or suggestions to take advantage of Slater's sudden popularity. An interesting turn of conversation. One you can only organize when your service or product is great in the first place, before an issue happens.
(12.) Hitting the Sweet Spot
Foiled Cupcakes to date has generated 93 percent of its business from social media leads and the company surpassed its initial revenue target numbers by over 600 percent. I met Mari Luangrath at a conference where we both spoke earlier this year.
Read this interview with Beth Harte and find out how she does it. Who doesn't love cupcakes?
And here we are.
Since many of these case studies are about consumer goods or special markets, I'm linking to the other 92 at the GasPedal SlideShare account for BlogWell. These are all case studies from large and midsized companies that are implementing social media.
As I was a member of the Social Media Business Council while working at a Fortune 500 company, you will see my presentation among them.
Bonus case studies from Conversation Agent archives: