Social media ROI continued…

by abisignorelli on May 20, 2010

My last post, Social Media ROI, generated quite a lot of conversation on twitter – thanks to everyone who contributed. It mainly centred around various ROI case studies. Over time, I’ll post some of these examples as some of them are excellent case studies.

In the meantime, I thought I’d point out an excellent post by Erik Qualman, author Socialnomics: How Social Media has changed the way we live and do business, and also the man behind the brilliant Socialnomics videos.  Here he picks out some of the key points from the ROI video as well as a few extra useful nuggets. I’ve popped an extract of the post below and you can read the full post here. Thanks very much to @callumsaunders for letting me know about this article.

Social Media ROI Examples from Erik Qualman

  1. Gary Vaynerchuk grew his family business from $4 million to $50 million using social media. Gary’s eccentric personality and offbeat oenophile knowledge have proven a natural path to success with his Wine TV Library.

  2. Vaynerchuk found first hand: $15,000 in direct mail = 200 new customers; $7,500 billboard = 300 new customers; $0 Twitter = 1,800 new customers.

  3. A Wetpaint/Altimeter Study found companies that are both deeply and widely engaged in social media significantly surpass their peers in both revenue and profit. The study also found the company sales with the highest levels of social media activity grew on average by +18 percent, while those companies with the least amount of social activity saw their sales decline -6 percent.

  4. BlendTec increased its sales 5x by running the often humorous “Will it Blend” Videos on YouTube, blending everything from an iPhone to a sneaker.

  5. “You can’t just say it. You have to get the people to say it to each other,” says James Farley, CMO Ford. Ford seems to know what they are doing, especially with Scott Monty leading the social media charge. By giving away 100 Ford Fiestas to influential bloggers, 37 percent of Generation Y were aware of the Ford Fiesta before its launch in the United States. Is it any wonder why 25 percent of Ford’s marketing spend has been shifted to digital/social media initiatives? Ford is the only U.S. auto company that didn’t take a government loan.

  6. Intuit introduced “Live Community” into its TurboTax products two years ago. Due in part to the resulting word-of-mouth, it has seen unit sales increase +30 percent each year and has now integrated “Live Community” into its other products like QuickBooks, Quicken, etc. “Live Community” allows customers to ask other customers questions, which has proved both beneficial to the customer and to Intuit. In some instances, the customer can answer questions that Intuit isn’t allowed to answer because of regulatory restrictions.

  7. Naked Pizza, a New Orleans pizzeria that specializes in healthy pies, set a one day sales record using social media. In fact, 68 percent of its sales came from people “calling in from Twitter.” On top of that (no pun intended), 85 percent of their new customers were from Twitter. So, yes, social media does work for small businesses.

  8. Also, social media works for B2B, non-profit, and more. Consider these examples. “Tweets for a Cause” sent out a tweet from Atlanta to encourage support of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. As a result of retweets from such notables as @mashable, @G_man, @zaibatsu, and others, the Atlanta Chapter site received 11,000 visitors in 24 hours as a result of this initiative by ResponseMine Interactive.

  9. Software company reports that 24 percent of its social media leads convert to sales opportunities.

  10. During Barack Obama’s rise to the White House, he garnered 5 million fans on social media and 5.4 million clicked on an “I voted for Obama” Facebook button. Most importantly this resulted in three million online donors contributing $500 million in fundraising. An astounding 92 percent of the donations were in increments of less than $100.

  11. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center witnessed a 9.5 percent increase in registrations by using social media.

  12. Web host provider Moonfruit more than recouped its $15,000 social media investment as its Web site traffic soared +300 percent while correspondingly sales increased +20 percent. They also saw a huge lift in their organic search engine rankings getting on the first page for the term “free website builder.”

  13. “Our head of Social Media is the customer.” — McDonald’s.

  14. Case-mate “Recession Case” drives record sales. Andrew Knight, VP of e-commerce, readily admits he was skeptical when a 22 year old on the marketing staff brought him the idea of selling a cardboard case for the iPhone (see image, above). Appropriately dubbed the recession case, this would retail for 99 cents.

    “My initial thought was that this was never going to work. I was thinking we might sell a couple hundred but most of them we would just have to give away. What I underestimated was the power of social media!” said Knight. What happened is that Knight had met blogger Larry Greenberg through Twitter and Greenberg posted an article about the Recession Case. The next day, almost every major tech news site picked up on the recession case: Gizmodo, Engadget, TechCrunch, CNET, Mashable, etc.

    “We broke our daily site traffic record by five-times and we set an all time revenue record in the same day! Our Facebook & Twitter traffic skyrocketed as the story spread virally and people shared it with friends and family. In four days we had sold over 7,000 recession cases! It was truly unbelievable how fast it took off,” said Knight.

    Case-mate also offered free personalized “Sharpie Script” on the recession case. This sparked a mini-phenomenon of its own, as people were buying cases for each other to simply send a personalized message (aka being social).

    Knight points out another added bonus of the social propagation, “Our search rankings have improved nicely. Our two most important terms are ‘iPhone case’ and ‘iPhone cases.’ We are currently #1 for both of them on Google!”


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Cal May 21, 2010 at 9:15 am

You’re more than welcome Abi – glad you found it useful! I regularly come up against marketing and HR professionals alike that remain bemused as to the ‘value’ of Social Media, since it delivers ‘no discernible ROI’.

The beauty of this article is, that after explaining to people that SM is now invaluable as a communications device, hence a viable marketing channel (regardless of ROI), there are still concrete examples where the medium HAS delivered ROI.

Whichever way you look at it, there’s no escaping the fact that Social Media is essential – as a marketing device in the Marketing sector, or as a communications tool within the HR sphere.

I’ve written about this topic in my latest blog post:


Jacquelyn Warfel June 15, 2010 at 4:30 pm

You’re more than welcome Abi – glad you found it useful! I regularly come up against marketing and HR professionals alike that remain bemused as to the ‘value’ of Social Media, since it delivers ‘no discernible ROI’.


avaam July 31, 2010 at 11:49 am

I would like to exchange links with your site
Is this possible?


Wordpress Themes August 14, 2010 at 9:46 am

Good post and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you seeking your information.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: