Wampler, formerly the Group Marketing Manager of Online Engagement at Intuit, took a different approach to presenting the Intuit case study for Social Media Breakfast yesterday morning. As the crowd gathered at the offices of Real Networks to hear a case study, we got a pleasant surprise. Instead of taking the chronological approach we're accustomed to seeing in case studies, she framed the results of the engagement around four common misconceptions of and objections to corporate adoption of social media.
- Myth #1: I can't use social media to promote my product or service because [fill in the blank] isn't sexy.
- Myth #2: All you have to do is listen.
- Myth #3 : You can't efficiently scale social engagement with customers online. Sub-myths: have to be everywhere & do it yourself.
- Myth #4: You can't measure social media outcomes or tie to sales.
And she proceeded to break them down, one by one. My recap of her pearls of wisdom:My product isn't sexy enough for social media.
Hello! Your GRANDFATHER'S deoderent, Old Spice, arguably the un-sexiest male hygiene product since anti-snoring strips, just finished up a bang-up social media campaign that is not only garnering sales but imitators. If Old Spice can be fun and sexy with social media, so can your product. Look at Intuit's primary products: Quicken and QuickBooks. Financial software for small business? Snore. But Wampler argued to get to know your customers by elevating the conversation to get to the core of what is sexy for your customers: "Its all about getting closer to your customer. Not about the next shiny object."
And in the case of Intuit, a key insight discovered through conversation was that many small business owners feel alone. Solution? Hold a grant competition in which applicants recount their biggest challenge and how they solved it. The KPI was love: build love and recognition for all the thankless work that small business owners put in. The proof was in the putting: the Love a Local Business widget enjoyed a 40% participation rate, followed by a 360% traffic increase from test to scale.
All you have to do is listen.
Nope. Listening is the best place to start, true, but if you don't do anything with the information you're monitoring, you're not actively engaging yet. One of the most reTweeted posts from the event:
If listening is where you are going to stop, then frankly, don't bother.
It's not enough just to pay attention. Says Wampler: "It's noisy out there, and it's going to get noisier." Questions to ask: what's your business objective? What do you want to be known for?
Social media doesn't scale.
That is, one person can't do everything and be in every channel. Her two-word solution: focus and empower. Focus on your business objectives to find the sexy, then focus on one or two key channels.
Intuit found that Amazon's review site was the key place where conversation happened, so the key tactic was focusing on inline reviews. It's not a lot of volume (like Twitter), but it brought the most value and required thoughtful responses. The engagement goal was 100% response to reviews on Amazon.
In the end, all you want is a beer. What changes is how you ask for it.
Intuit discovered that small business owners wanted to discuss opportunities, features and products in one channel versus another, but the function was the same: sharing information.
(A word of caution for entering new channels: "Every time we entered a new engagement channel, negative response was 65%." Get over the initial negativity, she advised, and just be helpful and engage to change.Active engagement reduced their negative feedback in one channel by 50%.)
Social media outcomes can't be tied to real results.
Call deflection and call reduction are not valid KPIs for online participation, she claims. Employee engagement and customer touch are. Engagement shows the customer that you care, and unleashing employees onto the social web is a great way for them to know how to do their jobs better. Intuit's mantra:
Feedback is a gift.
Also, if you aren't tying your analytics suite to your social media sites yet, you've got an opportunity for growth. Track your social media URLs through your analytics tools and measure everything.
Plus, one parting statistic: online reviews for Intuit had a double-digit impact on sales.
It's pretty rare than a talk only an hour in length will provide more than one or two key takeaways. But Wampler really knocked it out of the park: funny, brass-tacks practical, and enough anecdotes and statistics to back up every busted myth.