Using Social Media for ROI

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					Using Social Media for ROI

Written by Andrew Walding
Tuesday, 23 November 2010 10:05 -

Using Social Media has its supporters and critics when it comes to your business.  We recently
found the lists below of companies that have successfully used social media to better their
business and connectivity to customers.  At the end of the day, it is all about return on
investment (ROI).

We hope you find this list and the stories as interesting as we did:


1. AFTER STEAZ: Organic Tea doubled sales through coupons downloaded and shared on
Facebook and Twitter with discussion of the how and why organic teas mattered. 250,000
coupons were downloaded and 2,830 tweets were recorded an hour.

2. AJ BOMBERS: Owner Joe Sorge used Twitter as social maître’d to build relationships with
75% of his customers at his Milwaukee burger joint and weekly sales were up +60% a year
later without spending $1 in traditional media. AJ BOMBERS also declared a “Foursquare
Day” to earn a Swarn Badge and increased sales +110%.

3. BEST BUY (Twelp Force): Best Buy employee communities grew to 2,200 employees within
3 months and responded to over 13,000 customers on social networks answering public
questions, concerns, and opinions. The Twitter feed @twelpforce now counts over 29,000
followers and the number of questions averages 100-125 per day and is considered a key
value-add by customers and the company.

4. BLENDTEC: CEO Tom Dickson ran viral commercials on YouTube to sell blenders
direct-to-consumers and increased company sales +700%.

5. BURBERRY: Social microsites secured 1,000,000 fans and a 10% increase in same-store
sales 6. CADBURY (Wispa Chocolate Bar): 22,000 fans of Cadbury Wispa petitioned the
company on Facebook to bring back the discontinued chocolate bar. 40 million bars were

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Using Social Media for ROI

Written by Andrew Walding
Tuesday, 23 November 2010 10:05 -

released and sold out in 18 weeks, a rate of 4 per second.

7. CISCO: Launched a new router and achieved goals using only social media. It saved the
company $100,000s

8. CLOROX: Launched online community,, with blog and Twitter effort
on Labor Day weekend at the beginning of the school year. Twitter page was among the Top
10 trending topics over Labor Day weekend and blog was recognized by the Marketing to Mom
Coalition and mommy bloggers for excellence in terms of delivering sharable information.

9. COFFEE GROUNDZ: Used Twitter as a direct ordering channel between the company and
its customers. Coffee Groundz reported 20%-30% increase in company sales and market
share via Twitter

10. COMCAST: Started “Comcast Cares” Twitter customer service center and attracted 2,700
followers. Many who were critics of the company changed to raving fan. Quality of attention
and dialogue serves as model for the company.

11. CONAGRA FOODS (Hunt’s Ketchup): Advocates of Hunt’s pleaded with ConAgra through
Facebook to stop putting high fructose corn syrup in what they believe is the “best ketchup
ever.” The company acts responsibly and stops. Ok. This might not track to direct sales but
it’s a great use of social media for a greater good.

12. DELL: Used Twitter to create “Dell Outlet” and booked $3 million in revenue in one year
from Twitter postings

13. DOMINO’S: Credited Foursquare with a 29% pre-tax profit through promotions that
encourage people to check in to their stores

14. DR. VAKSMAN (DENTIST): Dentist with five month old dental practice in San Francisco

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Using Social Media for ROI

Written by Andrew Walding
Tuesday, 23 November 2010 10:05 -

attracted 320 new clients through social media presence including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
and YouTube.

15. DUNKINS DONUTS: Ran annual promotion, “Create Dunkin’ Next Donut,” through social
networks to award grand winner with $12,000 plus year’s supply of donuts. It generated more
than 130,000 submission for 174,000 votes and “a healthy response in sales during the
promotion period,” according to manager of interactive and relationship marketing, David Tyler.

16. HARLEY DAVIDSON: ( Harley owners created website and social
community totally funded by users and user-generated content. Here, Harley owners trades
photos, jokes, where to find hard to find parts, advice on Harley models and ownership plus
there are at least 7 mechanics on-call at all times. now has 35,000+ and cost
to Harley is negligible.

17. HISPANITO: Major hispanic online community,, created entirely
through social network. Within a year, it had 56,000 registered users plus 150,000 unique
visitors with 6,000,000 pages viewed every month.

18. IKEA: Used one of the most popular and basic functions on Facebook, tagging pictures,
and used it to IKEA’s advantage to promote its showroom products from sales people to
regular people creating recommendation and advocates all over the world and a +15% lift in

19. IBM: Decided to let company employees set up their own blog and Twitter accounts to
service customers and reported the following stats: There was no IBM corporate blog or
Twitter account but there were 17,000 internal blogs, 100,000 employees using internal blogs
and as many as 500,000 participants in company crowd-sourcing “jams.” Results showed:
Crowd-sourcing identified 10 best incubator businesses, which IBM funded for $100 million and
generated $100 billion in total revenue for a 10-to-1 ROI with a 44.1% gross profit margin

20. INDIUM: A company that manufactures special alloys isn’t sexy; neither is convincing 14 of
its engineers to start blogs. But that exactly what the company does. It increased leads,
prospects, conversions and sales by double digits plus it gave customers the opportunity to
know the company’s employees personally.

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Using Social Media for ROI

Written by Andrew Walding
Tuesday, 23 November 2010 10:05 -

21. JETBLUE: Started a Twitter account to have more direct relationship with customers and
potential customera and to listen and respond how they could serve them better and deal
directly with any complaints. They now have over 1.5 million followers.

22. KOGI: A Food Truck serving Korean BBQ in LA used Twitter to let them customers know
where the truck was and when it would be in their neighborhood. They had over 65,000
followers and 300 to 800 customers every time the truck parked.

23. LIVESTRONG: Raised $10.8 million with the Livestrong Challenge which occurred through
social media channels with a blog serving as the hub. This occurred in 2009, in the midst of a
deep recession that was particularly hard on non-profits.

24. LOUIS E. PAGE INC: Fencing supplier really took off when now-owner Duncan Page
added a blog to the business website. Duncan himself was surprised to find an article about
how to use woven wire fencing to build a horse paddock attracted more than 1,500 views
alone. The result: traffic, media coverage, and an 850% increase in sales leads.

25. MOONFRUIT: Website builder offered free Apple product via Twitter and got 44,113
followers that resulted in a 600% increase for sign-up. As another result of the promotion,
“Moonfruit” and “Moonfruit Twitter” rose to top-ranking search term on Google for website

26. NECU JADRANU KOSOR ZA PREMIJERKU! 300 member Croatian Facebook group used
Facebook and Twitter to break news of sudden, unexpected resignation of prime minister of
Croatia a few minutes before mainstream media. They became the largest Facebook group in
Croatia within 24 hours and now have over 100,000+ fans.

27. ORACLE: Layered social networks on top of current communication channels and trained
25,000 partners, while reducing costs, boosting satisfaction and increasing PR

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Using Social Media for ROI

Written by Andrew Walding
Tuesday, 23 November 2010 10:05 -

28. PIZZA HUT: iPhone app for ordering accounted for 50% of orders and generate $1,000,000
in revenues

29. PROCTER & GAMBLE: Launched social community for Tampax and Always with website, The site focused on the shared interest of early teen girls. Social community
outperformed traditional channels with ROI of 4-to-1. was expanded to 21

30. SICKKIDS: The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, set up a wiki, CasafinOntario
Wiki, for Doctors to access resources and share “best practices.” Over 400 physicians
participated in the Wiki and comparisons were made between those who did and did not.
CafasinOntario Wiki users reported higher levels of practice change, greater CAFAS
knowledge, and greater satisfaction with CAFAS implementation supports. Not only did they
feel their learning curve had been accelerated thanks to the wiki, they felt more comfortable
with transition.

31. SNAPPLE: Created Twitter account to share simple facts about its beverages and gained

32. STARBUCKS ( to customers for new product ideas. “We used
to launch a new product and it cost millions of dollars. Now, when we launch a new product, we
already have millions of fans,” say Chris Bruzzo, Vice President Brand, Content and Online at

33. TURBOTAX: TeamTurboTax launched Twitter campaign to respond and answer questions
during key tax season and found customers were 71% more likely to recommend TurboTax
because of their interactions with the company through Twitter.

34. VIRGIN AMERICA: Used “promoted tweets” to offer additional values to travelers and
revenues to Virgin American and saw 6%-15% of travelers logged on through WiFi connections
for 300 to 500 inflight tweets per day.

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Using Social Media for ROI

Written by Andrew Walding
Tuesday, 23 November 2010 10:05 -


 1.ADIDAS: Used social networks to do guerrilla marketing on mobile (e.g. Facebook, Twitter,
SMS) in and around NBA All-Star Game and increased retail sales 20X goal in Las Vegas
(where All-Star Game occurred).

2.AMERICAN RED CROSS: During Hurricane Katrina, multiple organizations had trouble
coordinating and sharing information connecting children to their parents. Because 44% of web
users found social network as an alternative, social media reconnected more families than
organized support and regular media combined. “One person can take a photo. One person
can post a message…and it changes our understanding of a situation immediately,” said
Macon Phillips, special assistant to the President.

3.BARACK OBAMA: Social media campaign for the President on raised
$30,000,000 from over 70,000 personal fund-raising pages, 400,000 blogs, 35,000 groups and
200,000 offline events. I sometime wonder, when social media was so successful getting the
President elected, why it’s not being used more strategically, now.

4.BARE ESSENTIALS: Makeup manufacturer used combination of e-mail and social media to
achieve unique visitor engagement rate of 75% and equivalent conversation rate to mass
media channel at a small fraction of the cost.

5.BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH: The updating of personal status on social
network pages for women with breast cancer received more media attention on CNN and
newspaper networks than the paid efforts of numerour PR firms. The difference, of course, was
the former was a marginal investment and later was paid support.

6.COCA-COLA: Achieved strongest global marketing integration ever with Expedition 206, a
social media promotion where a small group of travel ambassadors went to 206 countries over
365 days to “generate happiness” and published on social networks. It enabled global
promotion execution among 3,500 Coca-Cola marketers around the world.

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Using Social Media for ROI

Written by Andrew Walding
Tuesday, 23 November 2010 10:05 -

7.COLGATE: Launched Wisp, disposable toothpaste, through “Be More Kissable” social media
video campaign (+30 more involvement) that ran on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. It
achieved reach of 10,000,000+ rivaling mass advertising at small fraction of the cost.

8.DIGITAL: Magazine/blog/website with pay-per-click business model linked social media
outreach to SEO for site authority. Goal was to deliver 10,000+ viewers to show profitability;
social media delivered 100,000+ viewers for sustainable success.

9.FORD FIESTA: Used social media for U.S. launch to generate mass reach, build
relationships with key targets and achieve reservations-to-conversion sales rates that were 10X
higher than expected. On YouTube, Ford Fiesta generated 6,200,000 views with 132,000
consumers raising their hand for more information. On Flicker, there were 750,000 views; 83%
were new to Ford. On Twitter, there were 40,000,000 impression; 30% were car buyers under

10.EMC: B2B social media effort that achieved business transformation by creating a global
company-wide social community, EMC ONE. This connected and increased collaboration
resulting in double-digit revenue growth in more than 60 countries.

11.EMERSON SALON: Saavy used combination of blogs, Facebook and Twitter to reach 75%
of their customers and drive positive reviews on Yelp. This built business because 90% of all
purchase decision begin on the internet and 85% are looking for an independent review.
Co-Founder, Matt Buchon, said “it’s rare for even a walk-in customer to come in and not have
be read our blog or seen our tweets.”

12.FELA: Off broadway play, Fela, created Facebook campaign, aimed at Facebook users with
interests like theatrical shows or Afro beat. They spent $4,400 in time, management and
Facebook ad costs and generated $40,000 in ticket sales for ROI of 9-to-1.

13.FISKARS: 300 year old Finnish company that makes fine cutting tool created online social
community of crafting enthusiasts called “Friskateers” to reach underutilized channel of small
retailers for a 3X increase in company sales.

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Using Social Media for ROI

Written by Andrew Walding
Tuesday, 23 November 2010 10:05 -

14.FOILED CUPCAKES: Generated 93% of its business through social media leads to surpass
revenue target by +600%

15.GENERAL MOTORS: Launched “FastLane,” one of the first blogs personally written by
senior executives. Customer feedback given through a blog saved the company $180,000/year
versus traditional focus group research not to mention the enormous good will of company
executives responding to consumers, not a focus group moderator.

16.H&R BLOCK: Tax preparation is a highly seasonal business. H&R used Facebook and
Twitter to provide immediate access to a tax professional for Q&A in the “Get It Right” social
media campaign. The effort secured 1,500,000 unique visitors and answered 1,000,000
questions for a 15% lift in business versus the prior year when there was no social media “Get
It Right” program.

Facebook and Twitter for a Free Grilled Chicken dinner. High value resulted in coupons passed
around virally on the internet and KFC franchises ran out of food; yet, they honored everyone
who came with a coupon, eventually, and people appreciated their responsible behavior.
Check out Starbucks for a similar promotion and a company who didn’t behave so responsibly.

18.JIMMY CHOO: Best known as a designer for women’s shoes, Jimmy Choo used Twitter to
geo-locate and feature upscale stores where their sneakers were available and saw a +33%
increase in sneaker sales, a 40% increase in positive mentions and 4,000 participants in his
Twitter effort.

19.JOHNSON & JOHNSON (BABYCENTER.COM) 8 year old online/social media community
connected and engaged 8,000,000 new and expectant moms in the U.S. (78% of total) and
another 16.5 million in 21 countries. A major profit center for J&J and, in fact, a major social

20.JOIE DE VIVRE: A company that operates 33 luxury hotels in California on Tuesday nights
broadcasted special $79/night deals to its Twitter account of 10,000 followers and Facebook
page of 5,000 fans. It booked roughly 1,000 rooms, that would have stayed empty with virtually
no investment.

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Using Social Media for ROI

Written by Andrew Walding
Tuesday, 23 November 2010 10:05 -

21.JUSTIN BOOTS: Attributed 95% of sales to social media on a budget that was half of
traditional media.

22.KINAXIS: B2B supply chain management company used 18 employee bloggers and
focused on category thought leadership and it generated over 42,000,000 leads. That’s
2,180,000 per blogger.

23.KRAFT (TOLBERONE): In the Phillipines, Kraft wanted to make Toblerone, a Swiss
chocolate bar, synonymous with gratitude. The company established October 20 as the
country’s National Thank You Day. Website,
, and social network outposts generated nearly 500,000 hits and Toblerone sales escalated

24.MARS (PEDIGREE): As part of integrated “Pedigree Adoption Drive,” Pedigree created
“Become a fan, help a dog” Facebook group. When campaign started, there were 55,000 fans.
At the end, there were 1,000,000+. In terms of involvement, users sent 6,000 photos, 50
videos, 1,000’s of comments and, most important, made donation for 1,100,000 bowls of dog

25.PAGANUM FARMERS MARKET: Small network of UK farmers proved blogs and social
network advertising produced better return on investment than any other online or offline

26.PETCO: Leveraged the voice of their customers by implementing the Bazaarvoice Ratings
& Reviews solution, which went live on their site. As a results, website clicks were nearly 5
times higher, Top-Rated Products category had a 49% higher conversion rate and customers
spending saw a growth of nearly 63% on PETCO’s top-rated products.

27.PIPERSPORT AIRPLANES: Sold $140,000 airplanes online through search optimized video
content and social networks. The sale of the 1st plane drove ROI through the roof.

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Using Social Media for ROI

Written by Andrew Walding
Tuesday, 23 November 2010 10:05 -

28.QUICKEN: Launched social community and blogger outreach to build long-term
relationships with future and potential customers and provided free credit reports/scores, home
value report and mortgage recommendations. received over 425,000 visits and
70,000 accounts were created without a dollar spent in traditional advertising.

limited duration coupons through social media in limited markets. Coupons spread virally on
social networks but Starbucks, unlike KFC above), wouldn’t honor them. So Caribou Coffee
did, instead. Their competitors gained a lot of new customers who better taste in their mouth for
Caribou than Starbucks.

30.UNILEVER (AXE): Launched an online contest through social media and created a website,, for registrants to interact. The contest directed contestants to upload a digital
photo of his car and explain in a short essay how tricking out a car would help them get the
girl. AXE received more than 30,000 visits and four times the number of entries as compared to
previous AXE competitions.

31.VITABIOTICS: Health supplements manufacturer builds community of 13,000 that it uses for
learning, insights and trial of new products prior to going to market. Product trials have 95%
completion rate and save the company $100,000’s annually versus traditional research and
test marketing.

32.WET SEAL: E-commerce teen clothing store for girls created “community” section on the
web site for users to design their own clothes, publish for reviews and leverage “wisdom of the
crowd.” They saw a 21% increase in revenue driven by a 10% increase in sales and a 10%
increase in the average purchase per customer.

 33.WHOLE FOODS: Maintained 200 Facebook accounts and over 150 accounts. While the
accounts have different topics, they all focus on business happenings supporting a clearly
defined business strategy for social media.

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