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  1. 1. Social Media ROISuccess StoriesHow 11 companies—like OfficeMax,Nissan, BMC and Microsoft—arelistening, engaging and measuring.CASE STUDY COLLECTION
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION Social media is redefining the way we market to consumers and business prospects. Major brands are increasingly using blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other outlets to reach customers in a deeper, more cost-effective manner than traditional advertising allows. In a recent report1 by Forrester Research Inc., 95 percent of marketers say, despite the economy, they will continue to invest in social media or at least maintain their same level of investment. The one factor that could alter social media’s current growth trajectory is return on investment (ROI). Most marketers haven’t figured out how to measure it yet. Until they do, companies may be reluctant to continue their social media investments. According to the same report, 75 percent of marketers have budgeted less than $100,000 for social media initiatives over the next year, a fraction compared to the amount spent on search engine marketing and online display advertising. One reason cited by analysts is the lack of acceptable measurement standards and proven impact. For social media to become a serious marketing channel—rather than just a cool yet unprofitable experiment—businesses must figure out the measure- ment game. It won’t be easy. According to the results of a small, informal MarketingProfs poll, 70 percent of respondents do not feel their companies are adequately tracking social media in terms of driving tangible results. In another question, 20 percent feel that social media, “isn’t primarily about ROI.” Certainly, response to social media efforts can be difficult to track. Conversations and activity are taking place outside of traditional websites where marketers can easily analyze the millions of electronic footprints. Despite these challenges, a growing band of businesses are buckling down and getting serious about social media measurement. Many are making strong headway in quantifying their initiatives, as this report highlights. Companies are also making strides when it comes to public relations measurement—tradition- ally a black box for marketing professionals. Then there’s social media monitoring: the process of listening and engaging with customers and prospects who are talking about a company’s brand or product within social media circles. Companies are using social media monitoring less for measuring their campaigns than for improving a wide range of initiatives, such as customer service, prospecting and brand-reputation management. And 1 Jeremiah K. Owyang, “Social Media Playtime is Over,” Forrester Research, March 16, 2009.©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 1
  4. 4. INTRODUCTIONMost marketers haven’t unlike social media measurement, social media monitoring has identifiable vendors and best practices.figured out how tomeasure ROI yet. Until This case study collection covers the following categories:they do, companies maybe reluctant to continue Social Media Measurement: What are companies doing to measure and quantify the impact of their social media initiatives, such as those employingtheir social media Twitter and Facebook Connect? These case studies show how companies areinvestments. combining measurement tools and techniques to better understand their invest- ments in social media campaigns. PR Measurement: PR professionals are now more aggressive in measuring their public relations campaigns, which increasingly involve social media elements. These case studies focus on what companies are doing to improve measurement and PR performance, including using technology that translates PR and social media activity into bottom-line results. Social Media Monitoring: This rapidly growing field enables companies to see what customers and prospects are saying within social media about their brands and products. These case studies focus on how companies are using intelligence from social media monitoring to improve customer service, public relations and brand-reputation management. In addition to the case studies, this report also features exclusive poll data, a select list of cutting-edge tools and services, and questions to consider before you start optimizing your social media and PR initiatives.©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 2
  5. 5. EXCLUSIVE MARKETINGPROFS POLL:SOCIAL MEDIA ROI, AN ELUSIVE TARGETOnly 20 percent Forrester Research projects companies will spend $3.1 billion annually on social media by 2014.2 So it isn’t surprising that social media measurement is top ofof participants in a mind among marketers surveyed in a poll by MarketingProfs.3 Nearly 50 percentnew MarketingProfs of respondents say that social media measurement is “Important” to them;poll believe they are another 36 percent say it is “Somewhat Important.”adequately measuring the Determining return on investment, however, appears to be a major challenge.impact of social media More than 70 percent of respondents do not believe their companies are ad-campaigns in terms of equately measuring the impact of social media campaigns in terms of tangibletangible results. results. Only 20 percent think they are. Surprisingly, the biggest hurdle to social media measurement is finding the personnel to do the measurement and analysis work. In a “pick all that apply” question about measurement obstacles, “Dedicated Resources” was chosen by 30 percent of the respondents, followed by “Don’t Know What to Measure” (25 percent) and “Social Media Measurement Isn’t Primarily About ROI” (20 percent). Public relations measurement ranks similarly to social media in terms of priority, with 51 percent calling it, “Important” and another 36 percent considering it “Somewhat Important.” For both social media measurement and PR measurement, many marketers report using their Web analytics packages to quantify results. Other methods of measuring PR response include tracking stories and blog mentions over time. Circulation numbers is the fourth most common answer, poll results show. 2 Shar VanBoskirk, “US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2009 to 2014,” Forrester Research, July 6, 2009. 3 arketingProfs poll data includes responses from 338 participants. MarketingProfs promoted the poll during M a two-week period in June 2009 through a variety of marketing channels, including Twitter, blogs and email newsletters targeting marketing professionals.©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 3
  6. 6. EXCLUSIVE MARKETINGPROFS POLL: SOCIAL MEDIA ROI, AN ELUSIVE TARGET Dedicated resources is also cited as the biggest hurdle to PR measurement, (re- ported by 38 percent), followed by “Don’t Know What to Measure” (27 percent) and “Lack of Measurement Tools” (17 percent). Fifty-eight percent of respondents believe social media monitoring is “Important” to their companies; 31 percent think it is “Somewhat Important.” A good sign for vendors, 78 percent of respondents say they plan to increase social media monitoring over the next six months; 18 percent expect the level of monitoring to remain the same. Not one person thinks his or her company plans to decrease the use of monitoring. In terms of how companies are using social media monitoring, brand-reputation management and prospecting come out on top. The next most common use is identifying brand advocates. The data from this informal poll clearly shows although companies understand the importance of social media and PR measurement, they are not there yet in terms of execution. However, businesses are strongly committed to increasing their use of social media monitoring to better manage their brand reputations and to engage with customers and potential prospects.©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 4
  7. 7. SNAPSHOT: ESSENTIAL TOOLS FOR SOCIAL MEDIAAND PR MEASUREMENT For social media monitoring, there are dozens of tools and services, such as free applications and enterprise-class solutions. The options for social media and PR measurement, on the other hand, are less varied and typically include the standard Web analytics packages. This short list will help you get started. Social Media Measurement • Google Analytics: This free Web analytics service is offered over the Internet. It requires users to paste a few snippets of code in the HTML of their websites. Don’t let its free status fool you, though. Google Analytics is becoming increasingly sophisticated in terms of features and capabilities, and it is easy to use. Plus, it integrates with Google Adwords. Also check out: Yahoo! Web Analytics, which recently acquired Index Tools, a small- business Web analytics vendor. • Omniture: This service has the biggest market share among subscription- based, enterprise-class Web analytics services. Through its SiteCatalystGoogle Analytics service, Omniture has added specialized tracking for Twitter and Facebook. The only drawback is its price. Also check out: Webtrends, an Omniture competitor offering a high-end Web analytics service. Webtrends has recently partnered with Radian6 to provide social media monitoring. Expect a technology integration between the two services later this year. • It serves as both a URL shortener (i.e., a tool that reduces long URLs to a friendlier length) and a measurement tool. Use to get real-time metrics to better understand the clicks on links you post in your Twitter and Facebook accounts. The shortener also provides an array of statistics, such as conversations including that link, referrals and locations. Also check out:, another URL shortener and tracker that comes packaged with HootSuite, a useful Twitter management application. PR Measurement • DIY Dashboard: PR measurement guru Katie Delahaye (KD) Paine offers a Web-based application for communications professionals called the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Dashboard. The tool lets PR pros generate charts and graphs tailored around an organization’s needs. The dashboard focuses on sentiment analysis—positive vs. negative mentions—and enables users to create custom queries, Web charts and analytic snapshots. Users can also make custom electronic clip books. In addition to the dashboard, Paine offers extensive consulting.DIY Web Dashboard • Tealium: Founded last year by three former employees of WebSideStory (a Web analytics pioneer now part of Omniture), Tealium offers a social media©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 5
  8. 8. SNAPSHOT: ESSENTIAL TOOLS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA AND PR MEASUREMENT tracking service that plugs into a standard Web analytics package (including Google and Omniture). Through patent-pending technology, Tealium helps users measure their PR and social media activity in terms of bottom-line results, such as direct Web traffic, online leads and sales. Tealium also can track news stories, blog posts, chat forums, online comments and videos. • Vocus: Users of the popular on-demand PR contact management service can access extensive analytics for the price of an upgrade. Vocus Analytics offers numerous metrics, including share of voice compared to competitors;Tealium Social Media Measurement stories by geography, publication, reporter or blogger; and the ability to fill in sentiment analysis for each press hit. You can also track product and spokespeople mentions, and you can monitor issue response. The promi- nence-scoring module helps users understand the prominence and impact of news coverage. Social Media Monitoring • Visible Technologies: Its TruCast® platform comes in at the higher end of the spectrum of social media monitoring services in both price and functionality. Visible Technologies uses a Web-scraping technology instead of an RSS-based collection method, so it picks up conversations from a broader range of sites and outlets. TruCast is one of the few services to offer “human-sampled” sentiment analysis4 (compared to manual or machine analysis). The TruCast platform also provides advanced customer relation- ship management (CRM) capabilities, which allow users to pinpoint conver- sations and then engage users directly from the application. Also check out:Visible Technologies TNS Cymfony, another high-end solution. TNS Cymfony offers sophisticated reporting and human-sampled sentiment analysis. • Radian6: Radian6 has strong momentum in the marketplace thanks to detailed social media monitoring and an extremely visual and intuitive user interface. Radian6 offers real-time listening analysis, social media metrics, CRM capabilities, team collaboration and workflow, and global language support. Radian6 has set itself apart by striking partnerships with compa- nies such as and Webtrends. Also check out: ScoutLabs, another social media monitoring vendor that offers automated sentiment analysis, buzz tracking and team collaboration. • Techrigy: This popular social media monitoring service scours the social Web—from wikis to social networks—in search of relevant conversations about brands, products and competitors. The company’s SM2 product offers machine-generated sentiment analysis, real-time monitoring and analysis, 4 White Horse Productions Webinar, “Social Media Monitoring Tools,” 2009.©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 6
  9. 9. SNAPSHOT: ESSENTIAL TOOLS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA AND PR MEASUREMENT discussion clustering (grouping similar discussions) and customized re- porting. Note: Techrigy was recently aquired by Alterian. Also check out: BuzzGain, which integrates social media monitoring with media reporting and a media database to target influencers. • Trackur: One of the more affordable social media monitoring solutions, Trackur differentiates itself both on price and also by speaking directly to online reputation management—one of the objectives of monitoring. The solution provides conversation trending, email alerts, custom filters, a nifty AJAX dashboard and the ability to monitor brands, execs, employees and competitors. Also check out: Google News Alerts, a free alert tool thatTrackur Social Media Monitoring Tool leverages the search giant’s crawling technology to pick up relevant news stories and blog posts about your company or products.©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 7
  11. 11. SOCIAL MEDIA MEASUREMENTUnderstand the results of your social media investment. Intuit The maker of TurboTax embarked on a massive social media campaign to build its brand among a new generation of taxpayers. Surveys were a big part of the measurement mix. Company: Based in Mountain View, Calif., Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ: INTU) is a provider of financial management solutions for small and mid-sized businesses, financial institutions, consumers and accounting professionals. The company’s flagship products (QuickBooks, Quicken and TurboTax software) enable small- business management and payroll processing, personal finance, and tax prepara- tion and filing. Challenge: To help build its brand among a younger generation of taxpayers and promote a free online TurboTax service, Intuit created a large social media campaign in early 2009 as a build up to April 15. The “Freeloader Nation” campaign was launched in January and included: • A partnership with MySpace to co-sponsor its Secret Shows initiative, where big acts (e.g., Lilly Allen and Fall Out Boy) rocked small, intimate clubs for invitation-only audiences; • Hiring Tay Zonday (famous online for his “Chocolate Rain” YouTube video) to write a song about the campaign and travel with the Freeloader campaign for the Secret Shows; and, • Creating the SuperStatus contest in which participants responded to a series of questions by updating their status on Facebook, Twitter or For example, one question during the presidential inauguration was, “If you were president, what would you make tax deductible?” One response: “I am a rock goddess, and I declare liposuc- tion should be tax deductible.” Contestants were judged by the creativity of their responses, relevance to the original question, and ability to get the word out on the social networks. The winners received more than $100,000 in cash and prizes, with $25,000 as the grand prize. The huge challenge of this far-reaching campaign for the TurboTax online mar- keting group, led by Seth Greenberg, director of online marketing, was tracking. Solution: TurboTax primarily used Web analytics and survey research to measure the effectiveness of the campaign, plus Radian6, a social media monitoring solution, to help pick up Twitter responses and entries. The goal for Greenberg was to understand the impact a contestant’s participation had on his/her social network. Who did the participant affect? Would the contestant’s friends get©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 9
  12. 12. SOCIAL MEDIA MEASUREMENTThrough its surveys, involved as well? Greenberg answered these questions by using surveys, which contestants were encouraged to send to friends and followers. To gain a controlTurboTax discovered a group, the company also sent out more than 100,000 surveys to customers not10-percent lift in purchase playing the game. Greenberg’s group used Web analytics to measure activity onintent (over the control websites and videos. It also tracked the number of downloads of the SuperStatusgroup) among those widget, which participants used to get updated contest questions. who directly participated Results: Overall, more than 10,000 people participated in the campaign, includ-in the SuperStatus ing more than 6,000 SuperStatus participants. Through its surveys, TurboTaxcampaign. discovered a 10-percent lift in purchase intent (over the control group) among those who directly participated in the SuperStatus campaign. For friends and followers of the contestants, however, the number was only 2 percent above the control group, Greenberg says. The campaign generated 165 million audience impressions, which drove an esti- mated 100,000 people to As for Zonday’s “Freeloader Nation” video, it generated some 800,000 views on YouTube and different video platforms. And online unit sales for TurboTax products increased by 36 percent during the quarter, compared to the same period last year. In the end, Greenberg was careful to note that while bottom-line results are ex- tremely important, the company gives itself some leeway because it—like many businesses—is still experimenting with the right mix of social media elements. Business Lessons Learned • Understand what your metrics are before you embark on a large-scale campaign. TurboTax was keenly interested in how the campaign would impact friends and followers of contestants. • Use surveys and control groups to understand hard-to-reach metrics, such as intent to buy. • ROI is important, but it’s still early days with social media; don’t be afraid to experiment. “I would say the No. 1 thing [to do when launching a social campaign] is to get the measurement right before you launch. Ask yourself what you want to learn and how [you will measure it]. Don’t do this as you go because this type of campaign is too dy- namic.”—Seth Greenberg, Director of Online Marketing, TurboTax©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 10
  13. 13. SOCIAL MEDIA MEASUREMENT Nissan Canada To introduce its stylish new car to a new generation, the auto manufacturer launched a viral social media campaign to build interest. Gauging success required a wide array of metrics. Company: Based in Toronto, Nissan Canada is part of Nissan Motor Company, a multinational automaker headquartered in Japan. In North America, Nissan’s (NASDAQ: NSANY) operations include: automotive styling, engineering, consum- er and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Challenge: To unveil its all-new cube vehicle in the Canadian auto market, Nissan and its creative partner, Toronto-based Capital C Communications, decided to engage potential customers with a viral social media campaign—in- stead of a traditional large-scale advertising campaign. They came up with the hypercube contest, designed to tap into the country’s young, creative commu- nity and to help spread the word about the new car. In late February, Nissan announced the contest for Canadians to express their social creativity and audition for a chance to drive away with one of 50 brand- new Nissan cubes. Nissan and Capital C Communications had created an online platform or “canvas” so entrants—especially artists, musicians, Web designers, programmers, videographers, dancers and athletes—could show their creativity through images, song and words. Of all the entrants, 500 were chosen for the final audition. The final 500 were encouraged to share their uploaded projects with as many people as possible through Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels. Final winners were announced in late June. Getting people to participate wasn’t difficult. The big challenge was knowing how to chart the success of such a large, viral campaign. Solution: Capital C’s measurement goal was relatively simple: to show engage- ment, awareness and reach. Capital C used numerous measurement tools, such as pre- and post-awareness surveys; social media monitoring; standard Web analytics; and simple usage metrics, such registrations and total votes to ac- complish this goal. The company employed Google Analytics to chart Web traffic highlights, such as site visits, referrals, page views per visitor, time spent on site, and individual and aggregate views of each artist’s canvas. The difficult task was monitoring perceptions and campaign awareness through social media. Capital C decided to launch an awareness survey targeting 1,000©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 11
  14. 14. SOCIAL MEDIA MEASUREMENTNissan’s difficult task was participants at the start of the campaign, at the mid-point (60 days) and at the end. To track hypercube mentions across the social media landscape, Capital Cmonitoring perceptions employed Radian6, a social media monitoring service.and campaign awarenessthrough social media. Results: In terms of reach, engagement and awareness, the hybercube cam-Its agency launched paign was a awareness survey • Between the start of the campaign on February 27 and the close oftargeting 1,000 auditions on May 15, there were more than 330,000 site visits. Moreparticipants at the start than half of the visits were referrals, many from Facebook where contes- tants posted links to their canvases.of the campaign, at the • There were more than 1.5 million canvas views between April 15 andmid-point (60 days) and May the end. • More than 50,000 people registered at the site to vote on the final entries or individual canvases, generating a total of 250,000 votes. • The site averaged nearly six page views per visit; visitors spent an aver- age of more than four minutes on the site. • After the mid-point of the campaign, there was an 87 percent increase in awareness (from the baseline) of the cube and the cube’s manufac- turer (Nissan). • There were more than 8,000 tweets about the hypercube campaign. With an average of 330 followers per tweeter, that is more than 2.6 million impressions. Enthusiasm over the campaign extended beyond the official site to include cu-, an online chat forum set up by and for hybercube contestants (about 200 members). This led to other user-generated tribute sites. Business Lessons Learned • nderstand your measurement strategy before you begin your U campaign. • on’t be afraid to adjust. Capital C added the awareness study and D its social media monitoring just before the campaign began. • ncorporate a variety of metrics tools as there is often no one compre- I hensive solution for social media measurement. “Launching the cube via social media created some measurement challenges for us, but also opportunities. Typically, we’d estimate reach and frequency, but (now) we’re able to track awareness and engagement with our audience based on their online activity.”—Jeff Parent, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Nissan Canada©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 12
  15. 15. SOCIAL MEDIA MEASUREMENT Lollapalooza The organizers of this summer’s alt-rock festival implemented Facebook Connect and other social media sharing tools to get people talking. But would that translate into success? Company: Lollapalooza is an annual alt-rock fest held in Chicago, Ill. in August. It is organized by C3 Presents, an Austin-based production company. C3 creates, books, markets and produces more than 800 shows nationwide, including Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits Music Festival. Challenge: Each year, C3 Presents gets only one shot for marketing its premiere events, such as Lollapalooza. Just as the company must decide which bands to book to generate the most interest and the most sales, it also has to figure out which digital marketing programs to invest in. After last year’s event, the staff at C3 brainstormed about how they could better engage fans on Lollapalooza. com for the 2009 event. C3 decided to implement Facebook Connect, which leverages Facebook’s new APIs, so fans on could talk about which of the more than 100 bands they were planning to see. C3 also beefed up its Facebook fan page, adding updates, blog posts and relevant links. C3 staff integrated sharing features for Twitter and MySpace on its website, and they included an email link and an “Add This” button. “One of our key strategies this year was to talk to people where they are already paying attention,” says Michael Feferman, director of digital marketing for C3. For Twitter, they set up a system where fans could hover over a particular band—for example, the band Tool—and then click to send out a message to followers that read: “I plan to see Tool at Lollapalooza in August!” The challenge with this approach was measuring the impact of the different ways fans could share information about the event. C3 wanted to know whether it would be worth the considerable time and effort to integrate these social media tools for future events. Solution: C3 relied heavily on two measurement tools: Google Analytics and bit. ly. C3 used Google Analytics to measure basic Web traffic data, such as overall site visits and page views per visit. Its “event tracking” capabilities measured how many times people were clicking the “share” icons C3 had implemented (linking to Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc.) and how often users logged into their Facebook accounts via Facebook Connect.©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 13
  16. 16. SOCIAL MEDIA MEASUREMENTC3 used Google Analytics Using Google Analytics, C3 was able to determine usage patterns among visitors who used the social media application on and those whoto measure how many did not. C3 used to measure: 1) the pre-populated Twitter messages andtimes people were clicking corresponding links fans were sending from the website; and 2) the reaction tothe “share” icons C3 had different links and content it would post on its Facebook fan page. In each case,implemented (linking C3 would generate links that pushed traffic back to its website or Facebook, MySpace, Results: Since adding Facebook Connect and other sharing features on AprilTwitter) and how often 21, 2009, traffic to has doubled compared to the previous sixusers logged into their weeks, driven in part by referrals from the and do- mains. C3 estimates that about 70 percent of the direct traffic from those socialFacebook accounts via domains was the result of the sharing applications on its website and messagingFacebook Connect. its fans on those networks. Time spent on the website has grown 20 percent during that time; page views per visit are up 34 percent, Feferman says. Since the launch, the number of fans to the Lollapalooza Facebook page has increased by 14,000 to 34,000 at last count. The number of Twitter followers has also grown to about 6,000 followers, from zero at the beginning of the year. Meanwhile, C3 was able to determine by using that its pre-populated links, mostly on Twitter, were clicked an average of seven times each, which helped account for the increase in site traffic. C3 also used to drive some of its messaging and content strategy, including the frequency of its posts and what types of messages and content to produce. For example, it found that fans reacted most favorably to content that showcased band news and videos. Feferman would not divulge ticket sales information since implementing the new features, but said that overall sales have been “very strong.” Business Lessons Learned • Make it easy for customers and fans to share news and links about your events with their friends. • Consider Facebook Connect as a way to easily integrate your business with the Facebook community. “Our whole goal with these tools was to make it as easy as possible for fans to talk about the lineup, which is really what drives our ticket sales.”—Michael Feferman, Director of Digital Marketing, C3 Presents©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 14
  17. 17. SOCIAL MEDIA MEASUREMENT Dell Outlet The computer manufacturer is widely recognized for being of one of the first companies to monetize Twitter. But how did it get there? In part, through diligent tracking and optimization of its Twitter promotions. Company: Based in Round Rock, Texas, Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) is the No. 1 computer manufacturer in the United States. Dell Outlet sells refurbished and previously owned laptops, desktops, printers and monitors. Challenge: In 2007, when Dell Outlet employees discovered Twitter at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, the seeds of a new marketing channel were planted. Employees thought Twitter could help sell outlet inventory cost effectively. But how could they make the channel as viable and profitable as possible—rather than just a cool social media experiment? The company needed a way to optimize its posts and promotions. Solutions: To begin tracking, Dell used a proprietary software technology to create custom e-commerce tracking URLs. These URLs track clicks and other important sales measurements, including revenue, unit and margin metrics, says Stefanie Nelson, Dell Outlet marketing manager. Through this level of tracking, Dell can tell which brands and products Twitter users are responding to, which discounts work best (bigger is better), and which products generate the best margins or most revenue. For example, one product might generate more unit sales while another will produce higher margins. Nelson now knows exactly which offers (including corresponding coupon codes) to promote to followers to produce the desired financial result for Dell’s quarterly objectives. To reduce the length of Dell’s proprietary tracking URLs, Nelson began experi- menting with URL shorteners and trackers, including and Nelson has used these tools to get real-time click metrics, which have helped her to develop her posting strategy, including what time of day to post. For example, if she wants to reach a U.S.-only audience, she will post in the early afternoon. If she wants to get a bigger overall response, from shoppers in the United States and other countries, she will post in the morning. Results: In late 2008, Dell Outlet made big news when it announced it had earned $1 million directly through Twitter—one of the first examples of a company monetizing the micro-blogging service in a serious way. Then on June 11, 2009, with a whopping 600,000 followers, Dell Outlet announced that it had surpassed $2 million in revenue traceable to Twitter.©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 15
  18. 18. SOCIAL MEDIA MEASUREMENTTwitter is now a serious Nelson notes that Twitter is also driving interest in new products. “We’re seeing people come from @DellOutlet on Twitter into the site, and thenand tangible marketing ultimately deciding to purchase a new system elsewhere on If wechannel, helping to factor those new system purchases that come from @DellOutlet, we’ve actuallymove large inventory eclipsed $3 million in overall sales,” Nelson wrote in a blog post on June 11.bubbles with a few posts, Nelson says Twitter is now a serious and tangible marketing channel, helping to move large inventory bubbles with a few posts.explains Stefanie Nelson,marketing manager forDell Outlet. Business Lessons Learned • Find a way to integrate sales measurement data into your Twitter and social media tracking. • Take advantage of free tools, such as or, to optimize your posts and promotions. “Measuring Twitter depends on your objectives. If you are trying to drive e-commerce sales, you should try to include revenue metrics in your tracking. If your goal is customer service, then you need to have metrics in place for that.”—Stefanie Nelson, Marketing Manager, Dell Outlet (U.S.)©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 16
  19. 19. PR MEASUREMENTImprove your PR performance through metrics. BMC Software To help boost the company’s visibility, the communications team at BMC Software implemented a hybrid PR-sales approach that focuses on performance metrics to generate results. Company: Based in Houston, Texas, BMC Software Inc. (NYSE: BMC) develops software that provides system and service management solutions primarily for large enterprises around the world. Challenge: When Mark Stouse, global communications leader for BMC Software, came to the company three years ago, the company’s visibility was extremely low, limited mostly to trade magazines, financial press and area newspapers. The company’s enterprise products were better-known than the corporation. BMC Software had no metrics for its public relations efforts, and the PR team had relatively little influence among marketing and sales teams. Stouse wanted to dramatically raise the company’s visibility on a national scale to help boost software sales. He needed a way to focus his 65-person communications team, including members of the company’s PR agency, Waggoner Edstrom, on delivering bigger and better results. Solution: Stouse always felt that public relations is more closely related to sales than marketing, so he decided to set up his communications team as a quasi- sales organization complete with pre-determined point quotas. Stouse’s quota system takes into account the size and stature of the publication, the length of the article and the tonality (positive or neutral). For example, a feature story in the Wall Street Journal might be worth 5,000 points—double that amount if the story is positive—while a normal IT trade story might get 500 points. At the start of each quarter, Stouse sits down with marketing, product de- velopment and other groups to understand what’s coming up. Based on that feedback, Stouse will commit anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 points for the quarter. He will then go back and assign point quotas to his staff, anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 per person. Stouse preaches traditional sales productiv- ity to his staff, asking them to focus on the number of stories or reports, the size and placement of those stories, and the velocity with which stories are landed. Stouse uses what he calls “pre-determined gating factors” to make sure his staff is moving the “deals” or stories through the pipeline. For example, if a team member says the likelihood of a story landing has crossed the 80-percent threshold, then “you better have a really good reason if that deal does not materialize,” Stouse says.©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 17
  20. 20. PR MEASUREMENTMark Stouse of BMC Results: BMC’s communications group has met or exceeded its quota in each of the last three quarters that Stouse’s system has officially been in place. DuringSoftware always felt the last fiscal quarter, BMC generated 375 placements around the globe (pow-that public relations is ered in part by a high-profile Cisco partner announcement), 50 executive quotesmore closely related to and 294,000 “points.”sales than marketing, Once relegated to minor trade publications, BMC now enjoys better and moreso he decided to set up regular coverage in both mainstream business press and high-profile technol-his communications ogy publications. “Three years ago, the prospect of our being in the Wall Streetteam as a quasi-sales Journal or other heavyweight publications with a substantial profile was zero,” says Stouse. “Today, we are doing that not only once or twice, but many times.”organization—completewith point quotas. Thanks in part to the increased coverage, BMC’s software sales have continu- ally risen over the last three years. Stouse’s annual communications budget has also grown and is now around $5 million per year. Instead of being the last to be called into the room for an important product launch, Stouse’s team is the first. The sales team has been thrilled with the amount of positive coverage and collateral at its disposal. In a recent interview, BMC CEO Bob Beauchamp told PR Week, “Many of my sales executives consider the PR and analyst relations support they receive to be absolutely indispensible to their success.” Business Lessons Learned • Consider developing a sales-focused PR approach that holds team members accountable for performance. • Develop a point-scale that fits your organizational goals and objectives. • Don’t shy away from traditional PR metrics, such as placements over time, if they still hold value and serve as a benchmark. “If a sales guy runs into a customer and the customer says, ‘I don’t know who BMC is,’ that’s a problem that stalls the sales process. If by our work we ensure that never happens, then we have made a powerful contribution to sales productivity.”—Mark Stouse, Global Communications Leader, BMC Software©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 18
  21. 21. PR MEASUREMENT OfficeMax When the retail giant launched its first large-scale social media campaigns, it maintained the same method of measurement it has always used—audience impressions—but applied it to social media. Company: Based in Naperville, Ill., OfficeMax Incorporated (NYSE: OMX) is a leader in both business-to-business office products solutions and retail office products. The company provides office supplies and paper, in-store print and document services through OfficeMax ImPress™, technology products and solu- tions, and furniture to both consumers and businesses. Challenge: Earlier this year, OfficeMax reached an agreement with internationally renowned organization expert Peter Walsh to sell his home- and business-organi- zation solution (In Place System) in its retail stores. To promote the partnership, OfficeMax decided to try a social media campaign, rather than a traditional mainstream push. Its target was bloggers passionate about good organizational habits. The plan was to create a live webcast around Walsh and show him walk- ing through specially created sets showcasing messy and clean offices. Walsh would then answer email questions live. Before the event, OfficeMax sent out samples of Walsh’s solution. More than 175 bloggers attended the webcast in April 2009. Now how would OfficeMax measure the effectiveness of the event? It typically used impression-based met- rics from traditional print and online media, and the company was eager to carry that over to the social media realm. Another challenge was how to ascertain on an aggregated level whether the posts were positive or negative. Solution: Soon after the event, OfficeMax’s PR team, led by William Bonner, be- gan scouring the Web for blog posts, tweets and other mentions of the webcast. To streamline the process of identifying blog coverage, it relied on Vocus, an on-demand PR management solution, and Google Alerts. Once they identified the coverage, they used a variety of tools, such as Alexa, Quantcast and Vocus, as well as data provided by the bloggers themselves, to come up with audience impression numbers (essentially monthly unique visi- tors). Bonner’s team also manually scanned each post and assigned a positive, neutral or negative score to each one, and then uploaded that information into Vocus to get an aggregated view. Finally the team used to track down all Twitter mentions of the event. They looked at the number of followers of each posted tweet to ascertain the total reach.©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 19
  22. 22. PR MEASUREMENTBill Bonner’s team at Results: The event was a success. It generated more than 100 blog posts (all positive) with a combined reach of 2.6 million impressions, defined as monthlyOfficeMax manually unique visitors. Bloggers also tweeted about the webcast both before, during andscanned each blog post after the showing, which generated more than 1,000 total tweets (a combinedand assigned a positive, reach of 2.3 million impressions). According to Bonner, the webcast was oneneutral or negative of the top topics (based on the hashtag #officemax) on that afternoon. Traditional reporters noticed the blog coverage and wrote another 13score to each one, and stories about the event, generating 1.5 million online impressions. Two bloggersthen uploaded that even produced their own videos about the event and posted them on YouTube.information into Vocus to Bloggers also posted product pictures on Flickr.get an aggregated view. Business Lessons Learned • Use what you know, and keep it simple. OfficeMax took its standard method of measurement (online audience impressions) and applied it to blogs and Twitter. • Set up a hashtag to allow you to more easily measure Twitter conver- sations during a webcast. • Don’t underestimate sentiment analysis—positive, neutral or nega- tive—even if you have to catalog it manually. “The first thing to remember [in measuring a social media cam- paign] is don’t overthink it. Just try it. Think of how you have had to measure in the past. When we have measured in the past, impressions have been pretty standard, so we have tried not to get too carried away now that the media is different.”—Bill Bonner, Senior Director, External Relations, OfficeMax ShareMethods For an upcoming product announcement, ShareMethods enlisted the help of a PR firm to help get the word out. But did its PR investment generate results in terms of traffic and leads? Company: Based in South Orange, N.J., ShareMethods aligns sales and mar- keting through on-demand collaborative document management for small and mid-sized businesses. From anywhere at any time, salespeople, sales partners and marketing can access the most up-to-date sales collateral and customer documents to help them close more deals, faster.©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 20
  23. 23. PR MEASUREMENT Challenge: With the launch of an important new product just months away, ShareMethods enlisted the services of a New York City-based PR firm to help get the word out about the company’s on-demand solutions for document management and sharing. The PR initiative was a significant marketing activity and investment for the company. ShareMethods wanted to know the number of articles and mentions it would receive from the launch as well as how much Web traffic and how many online leads the press activity would ultimately gener- ate. Getting that kind of detail, however, is difficult and something that standard Web analytics solutions do not provide. Solution: In December, the company came across Tealium5, which offers a social media measurement plug-in to standard Web analytics solutions. Through proprietary technology, Tealium can measure the referrals from press articles, blog posts, blog post comments, videos, chat forums and direct links to the client website. ShareMethods plugged Tealium into its existing Google Analytics solution and began measuring press and blog activity surrounding the launch of its newest product, ShareSpaces, an on-demand collaborative document man- agement service that combines social networking capabilities. Results: Following the product announcement, ShareMethods’s PR agency generated coverage in a number of online and print publications, including Destination CRM, KMWorld and CMS Wire, as well as some social media out- lets. Almost immediately, ShareMethods could see the traffic from these sources start to rise significantly. In the four-week period following the public launch: • 22 percent of visits to the company’s website came from PR and social media traffic (as much as 10 times higher than other sites using Tealium) • 23 percent of page views on the site were generated by the PR and social media segment • 57 percent of the company’s PR and social media traffic came from tradi- tional news outlets; 34 percent came from blogs. The remainder came from videos and other sources. The numbers surrounding lead generation, however, were not as compelling. ShareMethods’ PR activity generated only a modest number of Web leads (for example: a prospect completing an online form for a free demo or trial). ShareMethods COO, Paul Soukup, reviewed the Tealium campaign and decided that adjustments needed to be made. Soukup asked his PR team, “Can we make adjustments to our PR strategy to improve our lead flow?” Together, they decided that ShareMethods should try 5 Disclaimer: The author of this report works with Tealium to provide social media marketing services to clients, and is familiar with the company’s technology©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 21
  24. 24. PR MEASUREMENTShareMethods plugged more industry-specific news and blog outlets, including ones covering high-tech, networking, telecommunications, and healthcare. Soukup is eager to see theTealium into its existing difference in bottom-line results going forward.Google Analytics solutionand began measuring Business Lessons Learnedpress and blog activity • Measuring PR and social media in terms of traffic and leads (andsurrounding the launch sales) is possible.of its newest product, • Make sure you have a PR measurement solution and strategy in placeShareSpaces. before embarking on a major initiative, such as a product launch. • Examine Web traffic data and try to look at bottom-line results, if possible. “For the first time were able to see what type of return we were get- ting for our PR investment. It was incredibly useful in determining our next steps.”—Paul Soukup, COO, ShareMethods©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 22
  25. 25. SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORINGUse social media intelligence to improve marketing and customer service. AAA With an increasing number of members starting to talk about AAA in social media, the company decided it needed to start listening and engaging. Company: Based in Heathrow, Fla., and founded in 1902, the American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit insurance company known primarily for providing emergency roadside service, maps and travel services. It has more than 50 million members. Challenge: AAA noticed that an increasing number of members were voicing issues and complaints within social media instead of calling their local AAA office. With more than 50 million members, AAA needs to keep on top of these conversations, not only to be responsive as possible to customers, but also to make sure issues do not snowball into a PR crisis. AAA was challenged to better monitor and respond to customer issues being aired on the social Web. Solution: AAA already had been using a social media monitoring solution, but the company needed a more robust enterprise solution that could monitor a broader range of social media outlets and also provide CRM capabilities. At a conference for the Society of New Communications Research (SNCR), Janie Graziani, AAA’s social media manager, discovered Radian6. The solution fit exactly what AAA needed. Within a short time, the company began monitoring an average of about 8,500 AAA mentions per month in social media. Because of her expertise, Graziani became the focal point for the company’s customer service outreach on the social Web. Working through Graziani and us- ing Radian6, the company began responding to everything from roadside assis- tance queries to website links that didn’t work. In one instance, Graziani helped provide support to a woman whose college-age son was stuck in his car along the freeway in another state. Because his car had broken down in an area where AAA wasn’t allowed to tow, the situation required special attention. Graziani first noticed the problem in a chat forum for the parents of college students. Graziani sets up daily alerts for certain keywords, such as “AAA,” and instant alerts for others, such as any mention of the company’s president and CEO, Robert L. Darbelnet, which may require a PR response. As social media hits the mainstream, more and more motorists are beginning to shout out on Twitter and other social media channels for help. AAA is certainly listening. (Please note: Graziani says the best way to get immediate help is still to call the AAA hotline.) Results: AAA doesn’t have enough data to quantify the specific impact of social©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 23
  26. 26. SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORINGJanie Graziani sets up media monitoring, but the company has increased the immediacy with which it responds to customer issues. Of the 8,500 social media mentions the companydaily alerts for certain generates per month, AAA responds to between 100 and 200 of those, Grazianikeywords, such as says. If she can’t address the complaint or issue on her own, she will funnel it“AAA,” and instant alerts to the customer support team. Social media monitoring has also been a boonfor others, such as any to AAA’s public relations because issues that have the potential to flare up on blogs and in chat rooms are addressed more quickly. The company is also usingmention of the company’s social media for general customer communications, such as tweeting about thepresident and CEO, company’s new iPhone application.Robert L. Darbelnet, Though the company hears its fair share of complaints, most of the commentswhich may require a PR are positive. Graziani’s favorite was one that appeared on Twitter recently: “Don’tresponse. you think AAA service technicians should wear superhero costumes?” Although Graziani is technically in public relations, her role in social media means she also has one foot in customer service—proof that social media continues to blur the lines between public relations, marketing and customer service. Business Lessons Learned • Consider incorporating your public relations staff into your customer service response process when it comes to social media. PR pros understand the medium. • Monitor other social media channels, such as chat forums, so you can catch important conversations. “[Social media monitoring] is doing a couple of things for us. We are finding out what people are saying about us. The other thing it is doing is helping us quickly respond when there are issues with our products or services. It’s definitely helped improve our response times.”—Janie Graziani, Manager, New Media & Technology, AAA Public Relations Crocs With millions of shoes sold, the popular footwear company knew it had many fans out there. But how to organize them into a community? First step: Listen. Company: Based in Longmont, Colo., Crocs (NASDAQ: CROX) designs, manu- factures and markets footwear for men, women and children under the Crocs brand. The company sells shoes in more than 6,000 store locations in the United States and in more than 40 countries.©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 24
  27. 27. SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORING Challenge: Started in 2002, Crocs gained rapid success selling millions of its bright, quirky sandals with holes in them. It knew it had a large base of vocal fans out there on the Internet and in social media, and the company wanted to reach those fans and organize them into a community of brand ambassadors. Solution: George Smith, social media specialist, started out using Google News alerts and other free tools to monitor social media conversations. He learned a lot about real-life crocodiles and alligators, and discovered he needed a more powerful solution to pinpoint conversations about Crocs shoes. He began using Radian6, a popular social media monitoring service that cuts through the chatter (as many as 250 conversations per day on Twitter, discussion boards and blogs) to pinpoint important conversations. Smith began monitoring several keywords, “crocs shoes” being one of the most important. Soon he began engag- ing in different types of conversations, mostly in Twitter because it’s in real time. Smith focuses on several objectives: • Customer service: Smith helps customers with product-related problems. For example, he points them to the right Web page to get a broken strap replaced. Often he’ll just let customers know he’s there—and that he cares. When someone tweeted about being on a customer support line for 10 minutes, he let the customer know there was an unusually high amount of traffic and to please be patient. Just the acknowledgement that the com- pany understands the situation and is working diligently to get to their call can do wonders, Smith says. • Creating brand advocates: Crocs shoes definitely have a unique look. When people comment that Crocs are “the ugliest shoes alive,” Smith will see if he can turn them around. For example, when someone mentioned: “I only wear flip-flops, I would never wear Crocs,” Smith chimed in with: “Did you know Crocs also makes a full line of sandals?” The person was impressed that someone from Crocs was out there and willing to talk with them. “We get a lot of converts that way,” Smith says. • Product assistance: Smith often helps customers find Crocs either by send- ing them a link to the company’s online store locator, or directing them to online retail partners, such as and Amazon when is out of stock on a specific product. Results: Smith has definitely noticed an uptick not just in the number of social media conversations but also in the quality of conversations. People are increas-©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 25
  28. 28. SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORINGGeorge Smith, social ingly using the verbiage and messaging that Crocs puts out through blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other channels. Since the beginning of the year, Smithmedia specialist, started has doubled the number of conversations he has each day from 15 to 30.out using Google News Although it is difficult to correlate increased engagement with sales, Crocs Q1alerts and other free tools online sales did increase along with Smith’s social media monitoring monitor social media Down the road, the company is planning to use the social media intelligence it gathers for other uses, such as product development or pinpointing locationsconversations. He learned where Crocs aren’t sold, but should be.a lot about crocodilesand alligators, and he Business Lessons Learneddiscovered he needed • If you’re serious about social media monitoring, upgrade to ansomething that could enterprise-class paid service that can filter important conversations.pinpoint conversations • Take it slow. Sometimes letting customers know you are there—and that you care—is the best thing you can do.about Crocs shoes. • Look for actionable conversations in which you can make a difference or even turn around a negative opinion. “People have to understand [social media] is not a magic bullet, and lots of companies are looking for that. With marketing budgets going down, people say, ‘We are going to do it in social media be- cause it’s cheap and easy.’ It doesn’t work like that. It’s a long-term strategy.”—George Smith, Social Media Specialist, Crocs SAP The enterprise software giant uses social media monitoring to better understand what people are saying about its company, products and services, while also engaging influential bloggers. Company: Based in Walldorf, Germany, SAP (NYSE: SAP) and its subsidiaries develop, market and sell enterprise application software products for corpora- tions, government agencies and educational institutions. The company employs nearly 50,000 people worldwide. Challenge: Since 2006, SAP has run a robust blogger relations program, often treating influential bloggers as they would treat members of the more traditional media. However, with the continued proliferation of blogs and the explosion of social media in the last year, SAP found it increasingly difficult to keep tabs on the number of blog posts and other social media conversations about SAP .©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 26
  29. 29. SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORINGMichael Prosceno prides Michael Prosceno, vice president of social media for SAP in North America, ini- tially attempted to keep track of these conversations manually using RSS feedshimself on “turning and creating alerts on various search engines. He quickly realized he needed aintelligence into action.” more robust solution to listen to voices within the B2B marketplace.Each day he sends 12to 18 communications Solution: Through a mutual friend, Prosceno was introduced to Mukund Mohan, CEO of BuzzGain. BuzzGain provides social media monitoring services thatnotifying different help target important conversations across a wide array of social media outlets.departments—from Prosceno now uses the solution to:product development to • Uncover new influential voices in the marketplace, particularly or customer Prosceno spends much of his day listening and monitoring conversationssupport—about that relate to SAP and the more than 26 industries it services. In assessingimportant conversations whether to develop a relationship with a blogger, he looks at that blogger’sthat may merit a listen or posts, blogroll and job. Is blogging a hobby or is the blogger connected to the industry in some way? Once that relationship is established, Proscenoan online response. will serve as an ongoing resource, whether it’s providing insight on a particular topic or pointing the blogger to additional resources both online and within the company. • Notify company departments of important social media conversations. Prosceno prides himself on “turning intelligence into action.” Each day he sends out 12 to 18 communications notifying different departments—from product development to marketing or customer support—about important conversions that may merit a listen or an online response. Sometimes, he will aggregate various conversations into a high-level synopsis or email a link. For example, when Tom Raftery of GreenMonk, an environmental sustainability blog for the IT industry, posted a video interview of SAP execu- tive Tom McClelland discussing how software is helping to change the utility industry, Prosceno immediately sent the interview to the company’s utilities and energy division and other key executives. If there are important conver- sations occurring around the software-as-a service market, he will send that to officials who oversee SAP’s product development efforts in that arena. Results: Two years ago, Prosceno had active relationships with about 20 blog- gers. Today, he interacts with more than 200 pundits and bloggers regularly, mostly in North America. He cites Ameed Taylor, CEO of Applation, and Vinnie Mirchandani at Deal Architect as two influential bloggers he uncovered through social media monitoring techniques. He now has fruitful relationships with them. “[Blogging] is not their day job, but they are passionate,” Prosceno said. SAP relies on Prosceno for insight into how customers, partners and pundits©2009 MARKETINGPROFS LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI SUCCESS STORIES 27