Category Archives: Case Studies

Studies and reflections on social media in real world terms with examples and analysis.

Sara Service Testimonial on Social Media

Sara Service Testimonial on Social MediaWhen The Sara Service began back in 2004, we began with the idea of offering long term rentals in Calahonda, Marbella and up and down the Costa del Sol. Our business plan was simple but solid and we built a useful web site and began the process of trying to find clients and listings. We struck a problem, however, as little to no-one was finding our site and we were getting little to no enquiries.

Sara Service Testimonial on Social MediaKnowing a little about computers and web sites it began to dawn on us that we were going to have to pull something bigger out of the bag if we were to leave the land of mediocrity and really get in touch with the modern world and more importantly, new clients. After a recommendation from a business colleague at Marbella Consulting who had used Justin Parks in the past, we got in touch and asked for a little get together to chat about if and how he could help us move forward and really get our site out there and in front of client’s eyes.

So we got together and the way he handled the project from beginning to end was nothing short of pure professionalism. He worked alongside us all the way, talking us through what was new stuff to me really, social networking and client-building.

So how did we do it? Well we’re not ones to keep business secrets to ourselves as we have often benefited from the wisdom of others. Justin took a look at our site, saw that we had done a bit of work with it in order to try and get some hits from the search engines (which was just getting harder and harder as Google kept moving the goal posts on us), so he suggested that we go with what’s happening in the world today and get networked up socially with an aim to benefit both the rankings on the search engines and our brand and service profile on the social media networks.

To be honest we were a small bit sceptical at first about how that could help our business as we are a bit old school in terms of sites and publicity (add the site to a few directories, exchange links with a few sites and wait for the money to roll in!), but we discussed setting up a Facebook page for The Sara Service, which we did then asked all of our friends to join and all of their friends. Honestly, we was astounded by the response, it had never twigged with us that Facebook could also be used as a business networking tool.

Sara Service Testimonial on Social Media

We did more than a few deals using Facebook, mostly by being able to put last-minute and bargain stuff straight in front of people’s eyes. Then the next stage of the plan we discussed was creating a Sara Service Twitter account (which was news to me again), so I followed Justin’s advice and again, once we understood how it can and should be utilised we found that with Twitter the potential was even greater because basically we had the chance of getting in front of not just people we knew, but people who we wanted to know, people who had the capital to do bigger deals and more importantly, people who were interested in what we were selling. Its early days but its obvious what this can achieve when its been explained!

Sara Service Testimonial on Social Media

To wrap it up we’d say the 3 best things to come from this campaign are:

  • The extra clients of course
  • The feedback we have been getting from clients who have already been using social networking
  • The power to stay in touch with our past and current clients at the touch of a button, keeping our repeat business and opening up our business to them and giving them access to contact us in a million different ways.

Thank you Justin from everyone here at The Sara Service, good job!

Sorrel Lewis & Jane Frith
Managing Partners
The Sara Service
Web: http://www.thesaraservice.com/
Tel: +34 695 082 710 / +34 661 801 627
Email: info@thesaraservice.com

MoonFruit Free MacBook Pro Social Media Campaign

Moonfruit.  There I said it.

Now I know the inevitable question you’ll be asking is “what the hell is Moonfruit?”.

Well this was their problem as well and they set about addressing the issue using social media and the power of a viral campaign in a simple and succinct way in order to raise their profile and grow brand awareness.

It proved to be incredibly effective and cost them next to nothing in comparison to a traditional marketing or brand campaign of the same potential reach. Lets have a look at how they did it.

Moonfruit Company Profile

Established since 1999, MoonFruit offer a website building or creation service using a custom drag and drop online interface.  Clients sign up and create an account and from there can begin building a website from there stock of designs and images.  The sites exist under a sub domain of Moonfruit.  A free version is available with incremental increases by month or by year depending on what package you deem to be appropriate for you and your site.

I can only speculate on how they decided to instigate this campaign but someone obviously realised that there was an opportunity here to go “global” with the brand via twitter so they brainstormed some ideals on how to make this happen and decided that a give away competition for a highly desirable product, related to their industry, that would excite the community and encourage them to grow the viral message they instigated. The product they settled on was a Mac Book Pro.

The Moonfruit Competition

MoonFruit Free MacBook Pro Social Media CampaignThe competition worked because it was simple.  Very few parameters where put in place in order to qualify for the draw allowing the message to spread quite quickly and easily and the prize was obviously, very desirable. Basically they where randomly choosing 10 people from their follower base over a 7 day period to win a MacBook Pro.

The promotion simply required you to tweet as normal and include the term “#moonfruit” in your tweets and follow Moonfruit on twitter.

This happened.

MoonFruit Free MacBook Pro Social Media Campaign

The Moonfruit twitter account, quite literally, skyrocketed from 400 followers to over 35,000 followers in about 5 days and began trending on twitter as a Hot Topic.  The campaign itself then began gaining off line media attention from local and national newspapers and TV stations and of course commentary from hundreds if not thousands of blogs and bloggers as they began commenting on this “phenomenon”.

Heres a view over the long term with Moonfruits twitter account since the competition took place.

(Click the image to enlarge)

MoonFruit Free MacBook Pro Social Media Campaign

Now lets consider why this campaign took off and created such a ground swell so quickly. In essence the competition itself was nothing new in regards how it was formed or what it offered. Simple is best in most aspects and it worked exceedingly well in this case.  Heres some other points why it worked.

  • The prize was highly desirable and sexy and relatively expensive
  • The rules where simple and easy to enter
  • Engagement and process was immediate via Twitter
  • They listened to and adapted to the “conversation” as it developed

One interesting development of the campaign was that people began to create and mention Moonfruit in more and more interesting ways, taking photos, adding it in funny phrases and working out some interesting and fun ways of adding Moonfruit to tweets by wordplay.  Moonfruit adapted to this by offering an ipod to the best example, further encouraging the viral nature of the campaign.

Basically this campaign succeeded, and set the bar, for similar efforts to appear on twitter and in social networks for the future and indeed more campaigns just like it have been run and worked. I have no data to say how much revenue or profit was generated by the campaign but I would assume it would be quite substantial or conversely, it saved them a fortune in advertising and branding awareness efforts if not directly in services employed.

One interesting point was the amount of traffic (USA traffic only) which compete.com registered from the campaign in month 7.  A substantial increase.

(Click the image to enlarge)

MoonFruit Free MacBook Pro Social Media Campaign

But, lets see where Moonfruit stand today. What seems to be prominent is the massive spike that the twitter campaign caused but more importantly, the two flat sections on either side of the spike serve to illustrate the long term effects of the campaign.  The sites average monthly visitor count increase by around 40k per month after the campaign completed.  A substantial increase on average. Lets take a punt at figuring out the potential income this has generated.

The Revenue Generated

The site traffic before the twitter campaign was 172k then after the spike the site traffic averaged at 207k. Ignoring any potential revenue generated within the spike itself and working on a pessimistic line lets say the increase was 40k new and repeat site visitors and only 1% of those people purchased the cheapest option available to them. Thats 400 purchases at a single payment of €33 annually or €4-50 monthly (prices are the same in USD) then minus the cost of the ten MacBook Pros which works out at about 9000 USD.

Taking the annual payment first:  400 x 33 = €13,200 – €9000 = €4,200

and the monthly revenue: 400 x 4-50 = €1,800 x 12 months = €21,600 – €9000 = €12,600

That’s with pessimistic figures… Was the campaign worthwhile in your opinion? I think so.

The Moonfruit Campaign Results

This is their current follower count today, 6 months after the end of the campaign.

(Click the image to enlarge)

MoonFruit Free MacBook Pro Social Media Campaign

As you can see, the graph shows that MoonFruit have managed to, more or less, maintain their influx of followers, however, from the data available on the account from Twittercounter they have lost about 500 followers since the peak of the campaign. Not bad I suppose, but looking at the tweet count, its disappointing to see that they have only managed to communicate further with their followers a meagre 886 times.

Frankly that’s crap and I’m surprised that it hasn’t been engaged much more to continue listening and acting on their followers conversations.  Only time will tell I suppose.

Rage Against the Machine take the UK Christmas Number 1 spot

A lesson in socially driven economics has been in play over the last several weeks and for those that missed it I think its time to have a look at how it began and what it lead up to and what exactly it all means!

Rage Against the Machine take the UK Christmas Number 1 spot

The campaign begins

If you live in the UK then the situation will be quite familiar. The program broadcast in the UK called X-Factor (much like American Idol in the USA) has for the last 4 years dominated the prestigious number 1 spot on the Christmas Charts releasing classic ballads and songs “in the spirit of the season”.  This seems to have annoyed some people.  No, actually, its annoyed a lot of people… and they had enough.

What started out as a idea on Facebook, quickly gained momentum across a range of social networks and the group exploded with discussions and encouragement by users to support the idea and help make an impression on the music industry.  Twitter picked up momentum using the hashtag #ratm4xmas or #RATM and there was a Rage Against the Machine For Christmas Number 1 Website available as well.

The crux of the situation can be seen in the numbers below over the sales figures below:

  • (Series 1 – 2004) Steve Brookstein – Against All Odds250,000 copies sold
  • (Series 2 – 2005) Shayne Ward- That’s My Goal742,180 copies sold
  • (Series 3 – 2006) Leona Lewis – A Moment Like This571,253 copies sold
  • (Series 4 – 2007) Leon Jackson – When You Believe490,000 copies sold
  • (Series 5 – 2008) Alexandra Burke – Hallelujah576,000 copies sold

All of these Christmas Number 1 results where as a result of the X-Factor and basically, enough was enough, for people and they took a stand. The final results, as accurately as we can make them at this stage anyway are:

(Series 6 – 2009) Joe McElderryThe Climb450,838 copies sold

Rage Against the Machine (released 1992) – released by popular demand and a Facebook campaign Killing in the Name502,000

Source for figures: Unreality TV

Rage Against the Machine take the UK Christmas Number 1 spot

The 2009 Christmas Number 1

The final result, based on these figures is that Rage Agasint the Machine not only achieved the number 1 single for Christmas in the UK, they also created the record for the the first exclusively download-only single to hit number one, after pulling in more than 950,000 fans on the Facebook page along side which a  JustGiving page was created to raise money for UK homeless charity Shelter which, as of 19 December, was reported to have raised over £50,000 (approximately $80,000).

Finally, Rage Against the Machine have promised to hold a Free Gig in the UK as a show of thanks for the support and passion shown by fans in the UK.  They are also donating a proportion of this unexpected “windfall” from the singles sales to the Shelter charity.

The current affairs behind it

The whole episode has created a stir with media interest reaching fever pitch as Sundays chart announcement drew closer. Simon Cowell was reported as having branded the RATM campaign “stupid”, “cynical” and even “bullying”.  According to the Guardian Newspaper Cowell stated:

“If there’s a campaign, and I think the campaign’s aimed directly at me, it’s stupid. Me having a No 1 record at Christmas is not going to change my life particularly,” Cowell said. “I think it’s quite a cynical campaign geared at me that is actually going to spoil the party for these three.”

How things can change.

GigWise reported tonight that Simon Cowell called the creators of the campaign, Jon Morter and Tracy Morter and thanked them for making it the most interesting chart battle for years.

The big winners out of this though are of course SONY, although the more fanatical are citing this as a problem, at the end of the day, that’s another issue to address.  There is always next Christmas I guess :P

For your Christmas viewing pleasure.

Rage Against the Machine “Killing in the Name” – Pure brilliance.

So What?

The point behind all this was that a feeling of expression was stirred in the world of social media.  People utilised the medium to effectively rally behind a single cause and make their opinions heard rather than simply accepting the Status Quo and accepting something that many thought was inevitable consequently affecting the final outcome and making their voices heard.

The obvious power behind this type of movement is and has amazing potential for the future and certainly is not the first time that its reach has been felt.  To say that this will happen again would be full hardy, but the fact is, it has happened and as many of us know, the proof is in the pudding. Social Media has again had an effect on the “real” world and will most likely continue to affect and influence public opinion and information distribution and syndication in the future.