Saturday, April 3, 2010

Social Media Marketing Success Stories

Image by ThomasThomas

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything
that can be counted counts." -- Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein had the above message hanging on a sign in his office at Princeton. Why? Because he understood (better than perhaps anyone else) that not everything can be quantified. Success in social media marketing certainly falls into this category. No amount of number-crunching can guarantee a home run in every social media marketing campaign. In other words, trial-and-error will always be a necessary part of any social media effort.

So, how can you increase your odds of success in your social media campaign? One way is to look at what has worked for other companies, organizations, and individuals. The following links provide a plethora of social media marketing success stories and case studies. I would love to hear what you think is the most important lesson these stories and studies have to teach us about how to be effective and efficient. In addition, if you have a story to share, please share it with us! 


  1. Reading the social media marketing success stories was interesting to see how all the big corporations are improving there own social media marketing.

    One of particular interest to me was how triscuit started home farming campaign. I thought this was an innovative idea especially considering how everyone is more concerned about the environment and going green.

    Abigail Davis.

  2. Capitalism at its best and potentially worst. Without the free market element, there is no way that this type of service (and, indeed, it is a good service) would ever come to be, let alone survive. I also noticed what appears to be a great restraint on the part of etailers not to step too far over the line in their content or tactics for fear of a backlash or worse, regulation, making etailing much more difficult.

    The red flags came when watching the P&G ad campaign targeting pre- and early teenage girls. Not many of us seek out personal advice from our local salespeople, yet, here it is more subtly engineered. As the father of a 13-year old daughter, my skepticism was roused.

    Jonthan Sprague

  3. Abigail and Jonthan--glad you found the is post of interest. Social media provide many opportunities for companies to participate successfully, but only if they do it in an honest and transparent manner. Any other tactic will be detected in the long run and become quickly condemned.


  4. I firmly believe that like your post says trial and error are the only way to effectivly accomplish your goals and the only of narrowing your chances of failure is education.
    The more prepared you are the better your guess may be. Even if you are anly prepared to guess.
    Social media marketing alows a powerful infastructure that is very popular in this day and age. This resource is a powerful tool for any market.

    Jesse Crabbe

  5. Jesse--I appreciate your comment about my post. As Wayne Gretzky puts it, "You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take."


  6. It's really crazy how far we have come! I read the success story about how facebook's fan page for DG stores was a huge success!

    I love facebook, it definitaley lets me keep in touch with friends, but I never thought about how much clicking the become a fan button makes a difference. very cool!

    Alycia Canterbury

  7. I found the success stories interesting because I was unaware of the strategies that go into all this plus it was new to me that these companies would be able to benifit from the different findings in the marketing.
    I also believe that the trial and error are an extremely effective marketing strategy but being that the information and people's decisions change on a day to day basis, the only way to keep this strategy effective is to continue doing trial and error.
    Sean Michael Coyle

  8. This is a great quote and blog. It is very true. The business field is so unpredictable that no one can know what is going to happen. The only way to find out what works is to test the waters and take risks. Looking at other companies man be helpful but every situation is different as is every state of the economy. Something that happened 5 years ago for a similar company may not work now for yours. The only way to find out is to give it a shot and hope everything works out.
    Matthew Bruhn

  9. This was a very interesting subject. The most important lesson to be learned is that Social Media Marketing does not have to be sophisticated or expensive to be effective. Even a simple blog if presented correctly can accomplish the goal. If the message builds relationships, and wins the hearts and minds of people, they will connect with the brand and be more likely to purchase it in the future.

    Although most of the videos I watched were really pretty simple, they all contained at least one or more of the following: a unique slogan, music, some sort of giveaway or customer participation. The people who appeared in the videos spoke more freely and less rehearsed than in conventional commercials, which we often tend to block out. This is a more refreshing method of reaching potential consumers.
    Charlene Sherman

  10. WOW, I had no idea this sort of marketing even existed before this afternoon. This is part of an assignment for an Intro to Business class and I have just gain several wrinkles in my brain.
    I have been a member of LinkedIn and Facebook for about a year now and have received notices from a local radio station, but had no idea this is what the marketing aspect of the business world has come to.
    These are most definitely lessons learned, which will be utilized in the future. Thank you for the great insightful messages posted here.
    Paul G.

  11. Paul--thank you for the kind words about the post. It is indeed amazing how many success stories exist about businesses seeing real results from social media marketing campaigns.

  12. I think there are both pros and cons of social media marketing. It can either work for you or against you. If you are the employer or company it can work really well, but if you are the potential employee it can work against you in many ways. Companies can do a search for you on Social Networks, i.e. Facebook, Myspace, Twitter etc., and find out personal information about anyone that is applying for a position within their company. Like a pre-screen process and some people may not even be called for an interview just by what is said or listed under their profiles on the social network profile.

    Facebook is a great marketing tool for companies, I have been a member for a few years now, and the first reason I signed up was to keep in touch with family members who don't live near my kids, and it is a great way for them to see pictures and videos without having to send out individual emails to each and every family member. It was about a year ago, that I noticed just how so many companies, people, and politicians use Facebook to promote their products, company, and campaigns. It has to be the most productive and profitable FREE marketing out there. Thank you for your post Melissa. Very insightful!

    Danielle Gilkey

  13. I agree that it would be smart for a business owner to use any of the social media networks for FREE advertising. In line with your original post though, it does take some of the initial work out of the process to actually observe what has worked for other similar companies.
    I liked your inclusion of the Einstein quote "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." It would be difficult to try to quantify immediate success when just starting out. As you mentioned in other posts, you have to do the research and have the time to devote to it. Just as a sidebar to the above comment about companies/prospective employers using social networking tools to check on applicants, most of the sites have a choice as to the privacy setting. I know that with FB, you can be anywhere from totally public profile, to very private, only having your name and current city show up. You can even set your setting to where you as the Fb acct holder, can't be looked up by your name. Not really a good option if you're a business just starting out trying to get some free advertising, but an option for the more "social" user, just the same. :)
    Angel Fox

  14. Angel--social media marketing is actually the opposite of adverting. Advertising interrupts you, while social media influences--a subtle but important difference.

  15. I read A Successful Facebook Marketing Campaign. I never truly thought about Social Media Marketing before this. I can see how social media marketing can boost sales, people that hear of a business through a friend that is a fan of that business.

    The numbers that this survey shows should make anyone a believer. If I where to ever open my own business I can see this definatley has benefits and it would be a mistake not to take advantage of something that is this effective.

    John Smart

  16. Awesome article and a great quote by Einstein. There is no fool proof way to use social marketing to contact and draw attention to ones product or service. The truth is that it takes diligent work and long term commitment for results to begin to materialize in a social marketing scheme. I for one have used Facebook as small part of an election campaign. Although it was impossible to find quantitative results on the penetration of that specific avenue the effect in total was a win and that is all that counts in the end.

  17. When using the social marketing, Einstein even knew that everything’s not perfect, and it takes trial and error to make things right. I completely agree with this because no matter how hard you try there is always going to be error in your life. But with error you can take that and always correct what you have done wrong. Some recent companies that have risen from social marketing are Coca Cola, Ford, and Pepsi.

    These Companies have always been big but good social marketing have made them better. For instance Coca Cola and Pepsi are always competing towards each other to sell their carbonated beverage. The social marketing will be the thing that’s gives them the edge. Ford has also come up in the social marketing world. With great advertisement and deals they have really stepped up their game. I believe all companies can make it with good social marketing

    -Trever Anderson

  18. I don't think that I have ever realized the extent to witch Social Media Marketing has come to. I am familiar with facebook and know a lot of people who use it very regularly. It was very educating and interesting to me to learn how companies use such sites for their marketing.

    I loved the Ikea video and their great marketing success. It worked well because there involved value, interaction with ease of participation, it grabbed people's attention and was very memorable. And the best thing, what better way to get yourself out there and on other people's pages than to have them put you there themselves! Very creative and effective!

    Sarah McElhose