Everyone is accountable in the workplace. Whether it be to a supervisor, manager, board of directors or partner we all have to prove the value of our efforts, and social media is no different.
Many organizations have been using social media effectively but the key to integrating it into traditional business practices is to utilize social media metrics. It is great to participate in social media but if your results are not aligning with your goals and objectives then it becomes difficult to define success. Social media metrics can show if your efforts are making an impact on your business.
Giantnerd is an outdoor apparel retailer that has built its company on being “social from the ground up”. The idea of the site is that users will interact with others and help them make smart shopping choices, thus increasing satisfaction and customers overall shopping experience. In theory, the idea works but the management team at Giantnerd realized that only through effective measurement would they be able to tell if this new shopping experience was working and how they could continue to grow.
Giantnerd was able to accomplish 2 things from effective social media measurement;
1. Understand their customers better and understand their habits. By offering exclusive deals on multiple platforms they were able to find out the best places to focus their social media efforts. When they added a “like” button on their site linking to their Facebook page they saw average orders went up 50%. Because they were able to measure this success, the company added the option for customers to sign into Giantnerd.com using their login details from social networks including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. They were able to find out that consumers who login with their own social credentials spent an average of 10% more than those who used a traditional Giantnerd account. By utilizing social media metrics they were able to conclude that consumers who “like” their brand on Facebook or can login through social networks convert at a substantially higher rate then other consumers.
2. By providing feedback, polls and crowd sourcing options Giantnerd was able to create more data to measure and thus serve their customers better. Their main goal, to be a social company, could only be achieved if they were responsive to their audience. By offering opportunities for customers to vote, like or recommend items they could measure the data and provide a better experience for their customers.
Lessons for Others
1. Measurement is essential to create a business based Social Community – Giantnerd prides itself on being a new type of shopping experience, allowing the community to help you make educated purchasing decisions. However these communities can show Giantnerd executives what their customers want and how to grow the business but they need effective measurement tools to do so. Having the proper tools to measure what you are looking for becomes essential to using metric data in a meaningful way.
2. Find your platform and go with it – Through measurement and metrics the folks at Giantnerd realized that Facebook was the most effective tool for them. They have now dedicated over 20% of their overall marketing budget to Facebook ads because as Giantnerd CEO Randall Weidberg says ““One of our main approaches is to increase the number of fans we have because the more fans we have, the more we can openly communicate with them.” By defining this as a business goal the company was able to target the platforms (Facebook) that will help deliver success.
3. Measurement should tie into your business goals – The main goals of Giantnerd is to be a social company and they made sure they measured the right things. By understanding Customer sentiment, customer service and buying habits they are better able to achieve their business goals. It is important to note that every organization needs defined, measurable goals so they can effectively use social media metrics.
Submitted by : Aaron Miller, SMBP Student University of Waterloo
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