How 14 Leading Brands Are Doing More Social Engagement With Less

Author: Jeremy Epstein

Omaha Steaks knows full well that their customers are passionate aficionados with high standards. When a customer or prospect engages with them socially, every minute matters. Their world-famous quality is only part of the equation, equally world-class responsiveness is part of the brand promise.

The problem was that they had no way of measuring customer response times or issue resolution percentages.

Omaha Steaks realized that without the operational reporting, there was really no way to ensure if they were consistently meeting their social SLA. So, they didn’t really have one. Response times were about 2 hours-but no one knew for sure.

So, Paul Haskell and the social strategy team at Omaha Steaks decided to think about the challenge from an enterprise-wide perspective. They implemented social relationship infrastructure which would allow them to:

  1. make it easier for agents to monitor conversations
  2. rapidly identify influencers and passionate fans
  3. effectively route questions to the people or team who can help
  4. quickly respond in a brand appropriate way

Net result: A reduced response time from approximately 2 hours to just under 1 hour, and the ability to monitor-in real-time- if they are hitting SLA commitments and providing the best level of service possible.

Do customers who get answers back more quickly buy more? You bet they do. That’s a lot of steak.


Measuring the Impact of Social Engagement

The back of the envelope way for measuring the impact of a social initiative is to look at Inputs and Outputs.

I put in $100, I get $1000. Great, a 10x return. So, next time, I put in $200 and I get $2000.

But, what if you could put in the same $100 and get $1200 out? Or $1500?

If you fall into the “do more with less” category, you’re probably already thinking about this.


Driving Improved ROI from the Inside Out

If you’ve ever read The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt, you are familiar with the theory of constraints. If you haven’t, the basic idea is that the internal processes under which you operate are a huge element to your output maximization.

The same is true in driving social campaigns at scale in large enterprise environments.

Sprinklr, by way of introduction, provides the social relationship infrastructure for large organizations and serves close to 300 brands including Intel, Dell, Virgin America, Hearst Digital, DuPont, PayPal, and Omaha Steaks.

It’s Not Sexy, But Social Relationship Infrastructure Is Required for the Enterprise

Providing a way for social-facing employees to coordinate across teams, functions, divisions, and geographies in an integrated environment will remove constraints and allow them to generate improved output, even with the same input.

So whether someone sits in marketing, customer care, PR, or corporate communications, HR, product, or legal, they are all able to collaborate, execute campaigns, create content, etc. on the same platform, resulting in greater efficiencies and greater effectiveness.

Now, theory is great, and we know it works for Omaha Steaks, but what about other brands?


How 14 Brands Improved Social ROI by Investing in a Social Infrastructure

Sprinklr took a sample view of 14 of the brands that made an initial investment in Sprinklr between Q4/2012 and Q1/2013. We compared their first fully implemented months using Sprinklr in early 2013 to performance from June 2013. And, yes, we did our absolute best to control for other factors.

Some of the brands included in the analysis are StubHub,, Air Canada, The PGA Tour, Entergy, Zillow, and Interstate Batteries.

Here’s what we found across all 14 brands.

  1. Average Response Time:              – 2 hours
  2. Total Replies:                                 +2014%
  3. Total Engagement:                        +80%
  4. Average Engagement per post:    +53%
  5. Total Likes:                                     +82%
  6. Total Comments:                           +89%
  7. Total Shares:                                  +135%
  8. Inbound Messages:                   +72%

They-and we-are naturally excited that they saw such a significant and measurable improvement in their ability to engage with their social audience. It should also be noted that they demonstrated a strong commitment to proper onboarding and training.

Enterprise Social Infrastructure: Not Sexy, But It Is the Next Frontier

It may not sound or look sexy, but we’ve gotten to the point where social relationship infrastructure has become mission critical.

If you have ever seen the inbox of a social practitioner using email to coordinate responses, execute campaign, and get legal sign off, then you know how much time is spent just finding the right person to answer a question. It is inordinate and unacceptable.

Internal processes, for many brands, are approaching or past the breaking point.

Brands will-and should-continue to fine tune the input:output calculations of social engagement.

At the same time, those that invest in laying a foundation for true multi-function, multi-division coordination and collaboration around each social message and each social customer will derive a competitive advantage.

The trails have been worn down by the wagon trains, time to put in the tracks and roads.

(Note: If you’d like to understand the data more, feel free to contact Sprinklr on the web or via Twitter)

Jeremy Epstein is the VP of Marketing at Sprinklr. You can follow him on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.


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