Over the past few weeks I have noticed a spate of demands for social media proponents to share their case studies. Michael Watkins asked whether anyone is doing anything with social media other than just talk, and Laurel Papworth responds by listing her favourite Australian social media projects. But the issue runs deeper.
On the one hand, as Mike Zeederberg of Profero explains, “… one of the key strengths of the social media space – if you're not part of the target audience, you'd never even know a campaign was running … no wastage, no mess, no fuss”. But many agencies (and the clients they work for) are often restricted from publishing details of their campaigns – competitive advantage being what it is. At best, such details are disclosed during conference presentations or worst, during closed one-on-one pitches for new work. All this leaves most of us guessing at the effectiveness and ROI.
So what’s an agency to do?
In this interview with Michael Kordahi, Heather Snodgrass, Greg Brine and Iain McDonald explain how an idea was transformed by a Twitter conversation and spawned a great online competition. In the process, the competition demonstrated the way that SEO and social media (in all its guises) can quickly and convincingly produce measurable results for an brand/product/service – or even an imaginary dinosaur – the Velociroflcoptersaurus.
As it turns out, the competition was fanned by Happener’s Markus Hafner and ultimately won by Nick Homes a Court (click here to hear how Nick’s strategy was developed and executed). A quick Google search yields almost 7,000 search results for a word that previously did not exist. Not bad going for a competition that started at the beginning of January 2009 and ended two weeks later.
It goes to show just what can be done (and demonstrated) when you approach it creatively. Nice.
4 thoughts on “Make Your Own Social Media Case Study”
Great point about searching for effectiveness and ROI measures. I’m always interested to hear what engagement metrics are being employed by which campaigns/clients. It’s my belief that none of these may be the same across the board, and some articulate the results better than others.
That aside, maybe it’s time we did a call for submissions? Case studies, ROI, engagement metrics, measurement.
hah! I agree about “demands” – it’s like we are being goaded into revealing IP under the guise of defending social media. Like, we research, evaluate, blog, present, and then still have to give personal consultations, for free?
But I disagree on measurement- the easiest thing to measure in social media is… the ‘socialness’ of it. If you can’t count views, number of people who added it, ratings or anything it probably was a viral email video, not social media 😛 (Call to action is something else)
Always up for a good Google bombing – the first ones that I remember was the one that Anil Dash won. The Typepad founder. I don’t remember the word, but he did it very simply, asking bloggers to link to him using the keyword. It would’ve been in 2004 when I was in London. Been hundred’s of ‘unique phrases’ keyword competitions since. Intriguing this one came from Twitter, but then again, there’s probably others that have arisen out of other discussions besides blogs.
You can give it a go, but as I suggested – the details of such campaigns are tightly held. I know I have information that I simply cannot share – and I am sure I am not alone.
While we can measure some of the social aspects of a campaign, without some of the deeper analytical measurements, it still feels like skating on the surface. (And I also love it when people reveal original objectives. Post-facto rationalisation or not, it provides a great sense of how social media works, what it takes to sell it in, and where the benefit lies as part of the overall marketing mix.)
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