“How do I measure social media ROI?” is the #1 social media question people ask according to Social Media Examiner.
Recently, at lunch with David Berkowitz, Senior Director of Emerging Media and Innovation, at 360i and blogger behind 100 Ways to Measure Social Media, this question came up and we thought: Let’s compile 100 case studies that prove social media ROI.
Let’s do it in 3 installments to solicit input along the way and understand the business principles at work.
Here are 34 of those 100 social media case studies. These 34 case studies cover B2C, B2B, profit and non-profit areas. They include businesses big and small. They prove social media ROI based on:
- Shorter Sales Cycles
- New Leads
- Improved company operations
- Innovations that resulted in a better way to do business
Conclusion: Significant results are proven to occur in social media where low out-of-pocket investments lead to high ROI’s when businesses: 1) Have a clear business strategy, 2) Aren’t afraid to jump in 3) Use their imagination to make the most out of social channels, customer engagement and brand relationship.
Each case study has a summary headline with key results and links to reference sites for more complete details. So, next time someone at your company questions whether social media demonstrates ROI, you can give them these 34 case studies; you can also let them know there are more on the way.
We’d appreciate your input on these 34 or any examples you may have.
34 CASE STUDIES THAT PROVE SOCIAL MEDIA ROI
- 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.
- 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%.
- 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.
- BLENDTEC: CEO Tom Dickson ran viral commercials on YouTube to sell blenders direct-to-consumers and increased company sales +700%.
- BURBERRY: Social microsites secured 1,000,000 fans and a 10% increase in same-store sales
- 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 released and sold out in 18 weeks, a rate of 4 per second.
- CISCO: Launched a new router and achieved goals using only social media. It saved the company $100,000’s
- CLOROX: Launched online community, CloroxClassrooms.com, 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.
- 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
- 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 the company.
- 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.
- DELL: Used Twitter to create “Dell Outlet” and booked $3 million in revenue in one year from Twitter postings
- DOMINO’S: Credited Foursquare with a 29% pre-tax profit through promotions that encourage people to check in to their stores
- DR. VAKSMAN (DENTIST): Dentist with five month old dental practice in San Francisco attracted 320 new clients through social media presence including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
- 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.
- HARLEY DAVIDSON: (HDTalking.com): 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. HDtalking.com now has 35,000+ and cost to Harley is negligible.
- HISPANITO: Major hispanic online community, www.hispanito.com, 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.
- 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 sales.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 builders.
- 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.
- ORACLE: Layered social networks on top of current communication channels and trained 25,000 partners, while reducing costs, boosting satisfaction and increasing PR
- PIZZA HUT: iPhone app for ordering accounted for 50% of orders and generate $1,000,000 in revenues
- PROCTER & GAMBLE: Launched social community for Tampax and Always with website, Beinggirl.com. The site focused on the shared interest of early teen girls. Social community outperformed traditional channels with ROI of 4-to-1. Beinggirl.com was expanded to 21 countries.
- 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.
- SNAPPLE: Created Twitter account to share simple facts about its beverages and gained 10,000 followers.
- STARBUCKS (MyStarbucksIdea.com):Went 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 Starbucks.
- 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.
- VIRGIN AMERICA: Used “promoted tweets” to offer additional values to travellers and revenues to Virgin American and saw 6%-15% of travellers logged on through WiFi connections for 300 to 500 inflight tweets per day.