How 14 Leading Brands Are Doing More Social Engagement with Less


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 Omaha Steaks had no way to measure customer response times or issue resolution percentages.

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

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

  • Make it easier for agents to monitor conversations
  • Rapidly identify influencers and passionate fans
  • Effectively route questions to the people or team who can help
  • Quickly respond in a brand-appropriate way

Net result: A reduced response time from approximately two hours to just under one hour, and the ability to monitor – in real-time – if they are meeting 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 $1,000 out. Great, a 10x return. So, next time, I put in $200 and I get $2,000.

But, what if you could put in the same $100 and get $1,200 out? Or $1,500?

If your company falls 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. In case 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. This, in turn, will enable 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. This results in greater efficiencies and effectiveness.

Now, theory is great, and we know it works for Omaha Steaks, but what about for 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. Their first fully implemented months were compared using Sprinklr in early 2013 to performance from June 2013.

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

Here’s what was 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%

There was a significant and measurable improvement in these companies’ ability to engage with their social audience. It should also be noted that they each 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.

Image credit: cienpies / 123RF Stock Photo

Jeremy Epstein is VP/Marketing at Sprinklr, a cloud-based software that provides Social Relationship Infrastructure to over 300 of the world’s largest, most social brands like Intel, Microsoft, Hearst Digital, and Virgin America. Prior to joining Sprinklr in February 2012, Jeremy was the Founder/CEO of Never Stop Marketing, an international consulting firm which served F50 clients such as Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft. The author of four books, Jeremy served as the lead instructor for Microsoft’s global Digital and Social Marketing training programs. He has spoken in 17 different countries and worked in Frankfurt and Tokyo. Jeremy has a B.A. in History and a double minor in Economics & German from Johns Hopkins University and studied International Relations and Marketing in Germany and Japan.

  • Good stuff Jeremy… measurement is definitely at the forefront of every CMOs daily “to do” list right now!

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