Castrol Motor Oil Builds Loyalty With Online Communities, Social Media Techniques
Castrol Motor Oil, a worldwide producer and marketer of synthetic and conventional motor oil and lubricants, has increased loyalty and sales with an aggressive social media program designed to attract and engage car and racing enthusiasts.
"We know our audience is already very loyal to our brand, so we felt building online community sites that enable customers to communicate with one another was a great idea," said Rob Krin, digital marketing and loyalty manager at Castrol.
Krin spoke at the Spotlight on Social Media event, which took place in New York City on Jan. 21. The event, hosted by the Direct Marketing Association's social media council and the Participatory Marketing Network (PMN), was designed to help direct and digital marketers learn how to apply social media to their businesses.
Krin outlined Castrol's social media program in his presentation. After taking three months to build, Castrol has realized immediate dividends since its launch this past June. "We started seeing a huge spike in responses to the program," he said.
Digital marketing agency Conversa Marketing helped create the program with Castrol. (Conversa Marketing was founded by Michael Della Penna, who also founded the PMN.) The program included the following elements, according to Krin:
- A loyalty website, Castrol Crew, with a database and loyalty engine that enables conversations among visitors and builds relationships with car and racing enthusiasts.
- Community engagement enabled by Twitter feeds, Facebook discussions and polls, and online forums designed to start conversations and keep them going. Rebates and promotional deals are also available to members of the Castrol communities on these social networking sites.
- A rewards program, where users receive credits for participation, including commenting on forum posts, subscribing to emails, inviting friends and family, and sharing content. Credits can be redeemed for Castrol-branded merchandise.
- An email communications program that includes a newsletter and event-triggered emails such as oil change reminders and targeted promotional deals.
Tracking social media
Tracking and monitoring social media engagement with customers and prospects was a key part of the program from the very beginning, Krin said. Therefore, several tracking mechanisms were put into place.
One involved assigning unique tracking codes to promotional programs by medium. A promotion or rebate downloaded from a Facebook page would have a different unique tracking code and landing page than a rebate or promotion downloaded from Twitter, for example.
"We could easily track, by code, how many rebates were downloaded via Twitter versus Facebook," Krin said.
Castrol also tracked engagement with its brand by posts. Here, Castrol relies on Facebook Insights, Facebook’s fan page traffic analytics service. The service enables fan page owners to collect and analyze page interactions and the overall quality of their pages’ content. It also gives companies aggregate scores based on how well their fan pages are doing in terms of number of posts compared to other fan pages of similar size.
"Facebook Insights has been extraordinarily important when selling our social media programs to upper management," Krin said.