Social Media Success Stories

Based on my post from a day ago, I’ve decided to dedicate part of this blog to providing examples of social media success stories that can be used as proof that social media marketing channels can contribute significant return on investment to a wide range of organizations within varying industries. I’ve added a blog category titled “Success Stories” that will act (similar to CaseStudiesOnline.com) as a database of precedents for readers to look back on to justify future online strategies.

Molson Canadian

Being from Canada, and given that we are in the midst of the Olympic Games in Vancouver, I thought it would be fitting to discuss a campaign that Molson Canadian rolled out as a part of their 2010 Olympic related marketing efforts.

“Gear Up For Gold” is a campaign Molson Canadian developed with the goal of engaging customers through social media channels. On their website, fans are able to customize Olympic gear that can then be added to personal profiles used for posting on both Facebook (which recently passed Yahoo as the second most visited website behind Google) and Twitter. The campaign has seen Molson’s Facebook ‘friend’ numbers jump from 30,000 prior to the Olympics to over 260,000 people today. In comparison, Budweiser (boasting the 2nd largest beer fan site) has only 98,000 friends on Facebook.

To create a buzz, 3000 Molson employees were given a sneak peek of some of the campaign’s ads and were urged to spread the news ahead of their release. This goes to show how using internal brand ambassadors can be an effective way of promoting your company’s products or services at a low cost.

The social media strategy is considered the main reason for Molson Canadian’s improved identity with beer drinking Canadians, and have clearly revived what was slowly becoming quite an unmemorable brand.  With beer consumption in British Columbia projected to be up 19% over the same period of time last year, Molson has done a great job of making their brand visible at just the right time. For those that are concerned that social media strategies lack the ability to convert sales and drive revenues, Molson provides an example of a company that has used online customer interaction to increase exposure to their brand over a period of time that they knew there would be high demand for their product (beer).

Note: Statistics from The Globe and Mail article titled “Brewer Dons the Red Jersey for the Home Team” (February 23rd, 2010)

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Setting a Precedent: Social Media Case Studies

Yesterday I discussed the difficulties associated with implementing a social media strategy without being able to attach a specific revenue figure to your efforts.  One of the biggest issues for many corporate decision makers is putting their support behind a project without a precedent.  It’s understandable that a marketing manager be skeptical of a campaign that they don’t feel is ‘tried, tested and true’.

Entrepreneur Todd Maffin recently launched a website intended to provide marketers with the social media precedents they’ve been looking for to help justify their online marketing activities.   CaseStudiesOnline.com is a database of over 300 social media case studies, searchable by numerous characteristics including, industry, demorgraphics and type of organization. The website is far from complete, but will continue to grow as more cases are added to the database.

The rapid growth of online marketing has made it difficult to track successful social media initiatives, particularly those that relate to a company’s specific scenario (demographic, industry, product type, etc…). Todd Maffin has completely altered this dynamic, providing a space that marketers can use to convince management that proposed online activities are worth the investment in resources. By finding cases that they can point to as proof of past success, marketers should have less difficulty justifying the long term benefits of engaging customers online. Now, it’s the job of marketers to set further precedents that build on these examples and continue to prove the long term viability of online customer engagement and social media marketing campaigns.