In the last post I wrote regarding Heidi Cohen’s “Top Online Marketing Trends in 2012,” I briefly expanded upon her point that real time social media monitoring is a crucial puzzle piece that marketers must take care not to underestimate. In a similar fashion, Casey Hibbard’s Twitter case study of Avaya—a B2B communication technology company—reveals not only how important social media monitoring can be, but perhaps more importantly, it illustrates how effective real time monitoring can result in a solid return on investment (ROI) and directly generate sales revenue.
Like many companies, brands, and products, Avaya first turned to Twitter as a figurative “call center” of sorts, using the service as a channel to inquire about issues and pass them along to Avaya support staff. This strategy of engagement is one that has been utilized often and tends to prove very effective given Twitter’s ability to foster communication between brands and their prospects, and between athletes or celebrities and their fans.
That said, what sets this case study apart from other cases regarding real time Twitter monitoring is when Avaya received a tweet from an inquiring customer containing the message “shoretel or avaya? Time for a new phone system very soon,” they were able to parlay what could have been merely a positive plug for their brand into a six figure sale.
After Avaya’s Radian6 dashboard “caught” the tweet, their managing director of social media services, Paul Dunay, replied to the shoretel tweet with the following: “We have some highly trained techs who can help you understand your needs best and help you make an objective decision. Give me a call.” Thirteen days later, Avaya closed a $250,000 sale.
In the B2B world of million dollar transactions and billion dollar mergers and acquisitions, “250k” can certainly seem like a meager amount. But I would argue that being able to close a $250,000 sale simply due to your ability to monitor a brand mention on Twitter from someone who was making a purchasing decision between you and a competitor, and subsequently following up with why your product is the right solution for the prospective customer’s needs, is quite a success.
Social media monitoring is necessary and customer satisfaction is critical, but arguably, marketers should be doing much more with monitoring than purely looking for brand mentions. They should actively be trying to parlay that engagement into action, like Avaya did with this sale. This case study shows how simply keeping track of your company’s name in the social media spectrum can truly reap rewards.
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James E. Weathers III