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Category Archives: Case Studies

Case Study: Zappos.com on Twitter

Zappos.com is an online shoe and apperal shop known for it’s quirky attitude and fun style. Consistantly ranked as one of the best companies to work for, Zappos puts a large emphasis on the company’s culture and values in all it does. Recently, this has spilled over onto Zappos’ presence on social media, specifically Twitter. In 2009, Zappos was awarded the “best use of social media” title by Abrams Research (see here).

CEO Tony Hsieh strongly encourages all of his employees to make use of social media tools, as it aligns with one of their top ten core values as a company, which states “Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication”. Active on YouTube, Facebook, and Corporate Blogs, Zappos is consistantly seen as one of the most successful companies on Twitter (see more here). Recent counts show more than 430 Zappos employees on Twitter and Zappos is consistantly one of the most active companies to recruit via Twitter.

CEO Tony Hsieh leads the company by example, recently ranked the 185th most followed person on Twitter with over 2 million followers, Hsieh has taken the @zappos Twitter account on himself. Typically, this account and the account of other Zappos employees do not focus on products Zappos sells, but rather on sharing their unique culture and listening to customer feedback.  They are known for their laid back and accessable voice on Twitter that makes the brand more of a friend than a company. Consider, for example, the recent pictures posted by Tony Hsieh.

To many, these may look more like the recent pictures a friend may have Tweeted than a company trying to sell you shoes. This is in line with the culture of the organization and the voice they show in all they do.

According to recent articles, there are various core things that lend most prominantly to Twitter’s success. First, the Twitter voice previously mentioned, which makes the company approachable and friendly. Second, Zappos’ transparent brand tracking, which consists primarly of a page that shows all public mentions of Zappos on Twitter. This is also in line with Zappos’ company goals and a bold move possible for only a company with overwhelmingly positive mentions. Finally, Zappos regularly celebrates “super fans”, which inspires users to become one of these people. Fans are even posted on a fancy Zappos TweetWall, linked to Zappos.com. Read more about each of these here.

Zappos is a unique company with a unique culture. Now, people everywhere can learn about the fun that the employees are having at Zappos through their Twitter page. If you want to engage with some of the most energetic and crazy shoe salespeople around (these people, right here, featured in their own music video!), Zappos has opened the door to allow you to do this. This unique approach of using a unique culture to carry over into Twitter has proved immensely successful.

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Case Study: Chobani on Pinterest

You may not get excited about a visit to the grocery store, but people are getting excited about this grocery item on Pinterest. With over 4,000 followers and growing, Chobani has figured out how to use Pinterest to their advantage and it’s not all about just posting recipes (though there are some great recipes!). Let’s take a look at how Chobani has used Pinterest to become one of the most popular visual brands on the newest social media fad.

Chobani’s quick success on Pinterest hasn’t gone unnoticed. Recently seen speaking at a Social Media event at High Road’s Toronto office, featured on Ragan’s PR Daily, Beneath the Brand (a branding site), AdWeek, and Fast Company, Chobani’s use of Pinterest is wowing people in PR, branding, digital, advertising, and marketing. So, what makes Chobani’s use of Pinterest so wildly successful?

First, let’s take a look at what Chobani’s Pinterest page looks like. Chobani’s Pinterest page features 20 different Pinboards that include anything from quotes to workout inspiration to recipes and Instagram photos.

Among their 20 pages, Chobani features 868 pins at the time of this post and 13 likes. Although it’s not possible to see total number of re-pins from our perspective (which is a flaw with Pinterest, in my mind), the top righthand side of the screen shows a running commentary on the most recent people to re-pin Chobani’s images.

Chobani’s Pinterest page is managed by digital communications manager, Emily Schildt. She states that Chobani has seven things they keep in mind while managing their social media, including Pinterest. These includes posting things that allow people to discover new things, showing off all the core values of Chobani, micro-targetting their customer, making sure that you don’t go overboard with creating Pinboards, sharing openly, being responsive, and pinning hopes, dreams, and goals that align with Chobani. These are discussed more in the previously mentioned post on Fast Company (here).

What impresses me most about Chobani’s use of Pinterest is how well they know their customer. They are one of the very few brands I follow on Pinterest and their pins often grab my attention more than even my close friends. They have tuned into their customers so much that even the home and kitchen decor they post, which seems far from the actual product of Chobani, catches my eye. I am also impressed with how valuable following Chobani has been for me. I have learned many uses of yogurt in cooking and baking that I never knew existed…and oftentimes it is the healthy alternative!

Through mouthwatering pictures and branching out from their product, Chobani has used Pinterest to become more than just a brand. They have become a friend to their customer, sharing the same hopes, goals, desires, dreams, and tastes.