The following Twitter case study was written by Innerarchitect.com CEO Susan Hanshaw. The research was compiled by deansguide and analyzed by both of us in an effort to recognize the true ROI for Twitter. Our study was based on a 12 week marketing campaign we executed in the Napa Valley for a prominent boutique winery. The goal: drive consumers to the winery tasting room Monday through Friday.
Our white paper will be published in the coming weeks. If you are interested in receiving a copy, and you work within the wine industry, leave me your comment with email address.
Inner Architect recently compiled findings from a 12-week project we completed a few weeks ago for a boutique Napa Valley winery. Using a CRM tool, we tracked all our efforts and measured the results. The rates in which we converted messages to visitors–unheard of in email or postal campaigns--speaks to the power of targeting, personalized messages, and most importantly, 1:1 marketing.
We were working with a small budget that afforded only an average of 7.5 hours of time per week. Our goal was to generate traffic to the tasting room during the week, Monday through Friday only. We recommended that we could be most effective with a special offer, so we ran with a complimentary tasting for 2 offer.
The Measured Results
A CRM approach to this project provided us with the ability to measure the results of our campaign. Anyone who says that you can’t measure the ROI of social media simply hasn’t thought out the measurement points and set up a disciplined system for tracking.
Our CRM reports tallied that we made 260 unique offers in the 12-week period. These 260 offers were not mass blasts into the general stream. They were targeted messages delivered via Twitter’s @mention feature to prospects we identified using Twitter search.
We sent 84 people to the tasting room, with an average of 3.4 people per visit. That’s a gross conversion rate of 32% generated from 25 users, or a net conversion rate of nearly 10%. Anyone who has experience measuring email or postal campaigns understands that these rates are untouchable in the “traditional” channels.
Key ROI Finding
By keeping track of our efforts, we were able to uncover a key indicator that a prospect will convert to a visitor. Comparing the response rates of the group that visited the tasting room to the non-visitor group enabled us to see that 84% of the visitors responded to our first tweet effort versus only 26% of the non-visitors.
What this possibly points to is an opportunity to increase ROI by investing time only in prospects who respond to our first tweet and shifting more time in searching for targeted propects.
Twitter as a Direct Marketing Solution
A white paper is now in the works to describe more fully how Twitter can be utilized as a direct marketing solution. If you are interested in receiving a copy, email us your request and we’ll send you a copy when it’s done.
In my previous article “Pingdom’s 2010 Internet by the Numbers” one of the most amazing, yet easy to believe, statistics was the fact that 89.1% of all emails are spam. In many cases people send emails that are not spam but because of the subject line or length, their efforts are deleted because they appear to be spam.
Guy Kawasaki describes 13 tips to becoming the effective e-mailer in his book “Reality Check.” Although each tip is worthy of mention, one in particular is the platinum standard: Keep it Short.
Keep it Short
Instead of diluting Guy’s tip by paraphrasing or interpreting it, I am going to provide this tip verbatim:
“The ideal length for an e-mail is five sentences. The ideal content level is one idea. If you’re asking something reasonable of a reasonable recipient, simply explain who you are in one or two sentences and get to the ‘ask.’ If it’s not reasonable don’t ask at all. My theory is that people who tell their life-story suspect that their request is on shaky ground so they try to build up a case to soften up the recipient. Another very good reason to keep it short is that you never know where your e-mail will end up- anywhere from your minister to the attorney general.”
The most important ideas within this tip:
- The ideal length of an e-mail is five sentences
- The ideal content level is one idea
- If it’s not reasonable don’t ask
Understanding how to leverage social media is like learning to cook. No matter how sophisticated your skills become, the best way to “cook” is to stick to the simple ingredients. Keep it simple stupid aka KISS rule is the most effective advice I can give any of the late adopters just beginning to understand social media. What does it mean to stick to the simple ingredients?
10 Simple Ingredients to Utilizing Social Media
- Plan: you must have a master plan for your Social Media efforts
- Objective: identify your goals and business objectives in utilizing Social Media
- Networks: identify which network(s) you will utilize.
- Audience: where are your customers/prospects? Which social networks are they using?
- Tools: identify which tool(s), third party applications, that will help you automate and save time in executing your plan
- Measurement: how will you measure your Social Media efforts? Without measurement strategy, you will never know how effective you are or can become
- Honesty: be true to your style, your company mantra, stay within your philosophies. Don’t be something you are not
- Communication Mix: do not spam a network with hard sell messages. Ensure your communication mix is giving value 70% and serving your sales needs 30% of the time
- Avatar: use pictures of people, or you, as often as possible when branding your social network profile
- Commitment: if you are going to utilize a social network then you must be present, communicate, and engage consistently. This is not a part time endeavor!
Twitter is now acknowledged, by savvy marketers and companies, as a full fledged direct marketing channel. According to many reports, unlike traditional channels like television, radio, email, postal, direct mail, and the telephone, Twitter and it’s digital brethren will see an increase in marketing activity and money spent on marketing campaigns. In our work as marketing consultants, we utilize Twitter as a direct real-time communications tool to initiate one one one conversations with consumers and prospective consumers. The following strategy, and the reasons for it’s effectiveness, will help you connect more deeply with your customers and prospective consumers.
Twitter Communication: Always Have the Last Word
Anytime a customer or prospect tweets their appreciation, approval, or a recommendation for you or your business, you should always respond. This response can be a simple thank you but it must happen. The most important strategy is to make sure you have the last word in the string of communication.
6 Reasons Why it is Important to Have the Last Word
- Acknowledgment: by sending the last tweet you let people know that you received and understood their tweet
- Etiquette: by thanking people you show the Twitterverse you have manners and will properly recognize people for their effort
- Recognition: your tweet will provide the recognition that your customer/prospects are important to you
- ReTweet: by retweeting a customer/prospect’s tweet you are sharing it with your audience of followers
- Hashtags: by using the hashtags your customer/prospects use in their tweet to you, you are providing recognition of their importance to you as your tweet cirulates within hashtag streams they believe are important to them
- Top of Mind: by thanking everyone and having the last word, you stay top of mind with your customer/prospects
In what is an eye opening compilation of statistics, leading to some interesting questions, Royal Pingdom’s “Internet 2010 in Numbers” provides a look at the growth in:
- Web servers
- Domain names
- Internet users
- Social Media
- Web browsers
The most interesting insights involve email, internet users, and social media.
Email Growth 2010
- 107 trillion – The number of emails sent on the Internet in 2010.
- 294 billion – Average number of email messages per day.
- 1.88 billion – The number of email users worldwide.
- 480 million – New email users since the year before.
- 89.1% – The share of emails that were spam.
- 262 billion – The number of spam emails per day (assuming 89% are spam).
- 2.9 billion – The number of email accounts worldwide.
- 25% – Share of email accounts that are corporate.
Internet Users Growth 2010
- 1.97 billion – Internet users worldwide (June 2010).
- 14% – Increase in Internet users since the previous year.
- 825.1 million – Internet users in Asia.
- 475.1 million – Internet users in Europe.
- 266.2 million – Internet users in North America.
- 204.7 million – Internet users in Latin America / Caribbean.
- 110.9 million – Internet users in Africa.
- 63.2 million – Internet users in the Middle East.
- 21.3 million – Internet users in Oceania / Australia.
Social Media Growth 2010
- 152 million – The number of blogs on the Internet (as tracked by BlogPulse).
- 25 billion – Number of sent tweets on Twitter in 2010
- 100 million – New accounts added on Twitter in 2010
- 175 million – People on Twitter as of September 2010
- 7.7 million – People following @ladygaga (Lady Gaga, Twitter’s most followed user).
- 600 million – People on Facebook at the end of 2010.
- 250 million – New people on Facebook in 2010.
- 30 billion – Pieces of content (links, notes, photos, etc.) shared on Facebook per month.
- 70% – Share of Facebook’s user base located outside the United States.
- 20 million – The number of Facebook apps installed each day.
Although most of these statistics point to the growing use of technology in today’s world, some of the numbers just stood out for their uniqueness or surprising quality. For us the following were intriquing:
- 294 Billion email message, on average, sent every day: unfathomable!
- 89.1% of emails are spam: it feel like more than 90%.
- 266.2 million internet users in North America: North America ranks third behind Asia and Europe.
- 152 million blogs: when I began blogging in 2007 WordPress used to show the number of blogs on the site. There were fewer than 100,000 at that time.
- 70% equals the share of Facebook’s user base located outside the United States: how viable is Facebook for American businesses targeting American consumers when considering this number and the number of abandoned accounts and duplicate accounts?
WARNING: DO NOT watch the above video until you have read the following article:
Inner Architect’s focus is Social Direct Marketing based on the integration of social media channels with direct marketing strategies. We focus on producing positive measurable results for our wine industry clients. Do you know how to hire a consultant?
You are your winery’s GM, COO, Marketing Director, or Direct to Consumer Manager and you are in charge of creating, executing, and maintaining a social media marketing plan with Twitter as your centerpiece. You understand the following challenges in executing this task:
- Time: you do not have the time to execute and maintain your winery’s social media marketing plan
- Expertise: you do not have the expertise nor the background to leverage Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Foursquare, etc.
- Expense: you do not have the budget to hire, train, and pay benefits to a new employee to execute your marketing plan
What Are You Getting From Your Social Media Consultant?
What are you getting when you hire a social media consultant to run your company’s Twitter presence?
- Goals: have you identified your goals for Twitter? Do you want to drive traffic to the tasting room, sell wine club memberships, network with wine journalists, broadcast events, develop new leads, or create offers?
- Strategy: do you have a specific strategy that you want the consultant to execute?
- Plan of Action: did you receive a written plan of action from your consultant on how they will achieve your desired goals?
- ROI Measurement: Is your consultant explaining how he/she will measure their efforts on Twitter to provide a clear picture of the ROI for your investment in their services?
- Progress Reports: Has your consultant set up a schedule of regular reports detailing their progress?
Are You Ready to Participate?
Are you ready to provide the critical cooperation and help to your consultant to ensure success? Are you ready to authorize:
- Tasting Room: allow your consultant to brief tasting room staff on your Twitter action plan
- Measurement: require your tasting room staff probe visitors to understand which channel provided the motivation for their visit ie. Twitter, Facebook, email, postal literature, telesales, catalog
- Database Integration: are you ready to bring all your data points POS, eCommerce, telesales, email, Twitter, Facebook all together in order to create life-time value for your consumers in each marketing channel
If you are not receiving the service and planning from your consultant then it’s time to reevaluate your decision. Review and use this article as a check list for what you should expect from your marketing consultant and from your organization. And please watch the video.
Do you understand how important Facebook is to your business? Do you understand that content is the key determining factor in whether your feed is placed in the most important “Top News” feed? Do you realize that the time and day that you place your content can be the determining factor in placement in the “Top News” feed? Are you spending money on customized Facebook pages without understanding that your customized page will not positively effect how many people see your page? If you don’t understand what drives traffic to your Facebook page then the following statistics could be a basis for changing your current Facebook marketing strategy.
Vitrue: Days and Times Facebook Users Are Most Active
According to a fantastic article in SocialMediaToday.com the following findings describe Facebook user’s content consumption habits:
Mashable yesterday featured research conducted by Vitrue into the days and times that Facebook users are most active. As they summarize:
- The three biggest usage spikes tend to occur on weekdays at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET.
- The biggest spike occurs at 3:00 p.m. ET on weekdays.
- Weekday usage is pretty steady, however Wednesday at 3:00 pm ET is consistently the busiest period.
- Fans are less active on Sunday compared to all other days of the week.
Full adoption of Twitter as the choice social media engagement super tool is still in progress. Although many first adopter business niches and industries harnessed the power of Twitter early in the platform’s development, without demanding white paper or ROI analytical proof, many American companies still lag behind. When the light does go on, some very important steps often are overlooked before launching a successful Twitter presence. One of the examples of an industry that still struggles to understand how to measure the ROI of Twitter is the wine industry.
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Steps to Measure ROI of Twitter in the Wine Industry
- Direct Channel: understand that Twitter, as well as Facebook, is a direct marketing channel that can be measured
- Life Time Value: realize that consumer purchases can be attributed to Twitter, as they are for traditional channels, creating a bench mark and life time value for each winery’s customer utilizing Twitter
- Control: institute employee processes to capture consumer purchasing information in the tasting room
- Train: train all tasting room staff, within the conversation with visitors, to uncover which channel brought them to the tasting room. Was it a Twitter offer, a Facebook page announcement, a telesales campaign, a email notification, advertisement etc.?
- Integrated Database: the biggest challenge for wineries is to create one place where they can house all of their customer purchase information ie. tasting room, email, telesales, advertising, postal
- Measure: even if the challenge of finding one database to hold all customer purchases across all channels is currently improbable, there is a set of services that can measure interactions, responses rates, and CRM campaigns within the Twitter environment
A personal search engine that keeps track of your social footprint for future reference? It’s here in Introspectr.com. Introspectr’s motto: “Stop searching, start finding. Introspectr makes it easy to find messages, documents, and links from every part of your online life.”
- Provide Introspectr access to your Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail accounts
- Introspectr indexes your Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail messages along with links and attachments
- Search with any term and the results returned are your past Twitter tweets, Facebook messages, and or emails related to your search term(s)
Who are you connecting? What promises to be the next generation way to connect people with synergy, former Quigo entrepreneur Michael Yavonditte launched #Hashable.com. Hashable, according to Techcrunch’s Erick Schonfeld, “lets you introduce any two people via Twitter or email, and then follows up to see whether those intros were successful.”
How’s it work with Twitter?
Simply include the Twitter handles of the two people you want to introduce as well as @hashable, and the hashtag “#intro.”
If I want to introduce maverick wine industry veteran winemaker Cathy Corison to innerarchitect.com CEO Susan Hanshaw I would:
- You tweet: “@CathyCorison meet @SusanHanshaw I think you both have common interests and synergy #intro cc @hashable”
- Hashable would tweet to both parties with a link to their Icebreaker page with bio information for both people and fast way to reply on Twitter
How’s it work with email?
- Send email: email both parties and Ccing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Private introductions: email both parties and CC email@example.com
The real fun begins as you accrue points for each introduction you make. The more people you introduce “successfully the more HashCred you get.” HashCred is a point system that rewards you for particular actions that lead to a successful introduction. Hashable will provide incentives and rewards like Foursquare but with a true altruistic intention.
For more information watch Michael’s interview on Techcrunch TV.