Nuts & Bolts - Case Study: Building Social Media ROI Through Influencers

Elusive though it may seem, Tricia Tangradi has found the ROI of social media. After she implemented a social media marketing program, the director of marketing and support for HouseMaster, a Bound Brook, N.J.-based home inspection franchise system, saw revenue increase 15 percent above last year’s numbers. Plus, franchisees active in social media realized a 36 percent year-over-year (YOY) revenue increase from “mobilizing” HouseMaster’s biggest fans.

“No marketing collateral or website in the world will ever be surpassed by the impact of authentic personal testimonials,” Tangradi says.

To achieve those results, Tangradi employed a three-step process coordinated by tools from Satmetrix, a cloud-based customer experience software provider based in San Mateo, Calif.

In August 2011, HouseMaster started a pilot program with 17 of its franchisees. HouseMaster inspectors collected email addresses from the real estate agents, homebuyers and homeowners they served. Those customers received an emailed survey.

“The responses that came in were overwhelmingly positive,” Tangradi says, “with key words that spoke to all of the things that we believe our brand represents: ‘professionalism,’ ‘education’ [and] ‘trusted advisor.'”

In December, once Tangradi knew the survey content proved HouseMaster was providing the level of customer experience she expected, the entire HouseMaster system joined in on the surveys. “Every time a HouseMaster system home inspection form is uploaded to a secure website for viewing by a real estate professional, homebuyer or seller, an automatic survey goes out,” she says. Then in January 2012, HouseMaster started its corporate Facebook page and encouraged franchisees to do the same, on an individual level.

In the March 2012 survey email, Tangradi began the next phase of the HouseMaster social marketing plan: Customers who rated the HouseMaster experience a nine or 10 out of 10—or “promoters”—saw links for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. “They auto-populate their personal sites,” Tangradi says.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

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