Emily Bacheller

Social Media Marketing Case Studies: Learning Moments and Key Takeaways From #SMBMSP76

Emily Bacheller     Online Marketing, Social Media

TopRank at #smbmsp76

Here at TopRank Online Marketing, we believe in the power of collaborative learning. Our team members’ backgrounds in diverse aspects of marketing; including PR, communications and SEO; allow us to work together to manage all aspects of digital marketing for our clients, including social media marketing.

However, the social media marketing industry is unique, in that the majority of social media expertise is learned from experience: either ours or that of our peers. That’s why we love attending industry events to get the scoop on creative new social media marketing best practices.

One such event is Social Media Breakfast, which is hosted in downtown Minneapolis’ 514 Studios. Last week, eight TopRank employees attended a Social Media Breakfast session on social media case studies that explored some inventive social media campaigns that local marketers are running for their B2B and B2C customers.

The SMBMSP76 panel of social media experts included:

These marketers impressed us with their creative approach to running creative social media marketing campaigns on a limited budget. Here are some of the top takeaways from the case studies that they presented:



Evan Prokop – Digital Marketing Manager


Have both concrete objectives and the means to measure success in place before beginning any social media marketing campaign. A lot of time and resources can go into campaigns, so it’s important to be able to assess what worked, what didn’t work and opportunities for next time. Analytics will be your best friend here, so make sure you’re ready to gather these insights.

When doing pre-event research, identify any attendees who are particularly influential in the industry, or who are likely to be vocal amplifiers in the social community. Forming relationships and engaging with these folks can be the secret sauce that helps your content reach and influence a much larger audience.

Stock images can be a great, cost effective way of elevating your social content, but make sure to avoid cliches. We’ve all seen the hands shaking in front of a globe image or the diverse group of employees smiling around a table. Using less common stock images, or better yet original images, gives  your content a much better chance to elicit interest rather than eye rolls.



Emily Bacheller – Social Media Lead 


To “win” at events, publish blog posts about the event topic before, during, and after the event. Also, don’t just go to an event and expect to be successful. Prepare for the event by looking for social influencers who are attending the event and by joining conversations on Twitter.

Create and share custom visuals to promote whitepapers and other important content assets.



Kate Heithoff – SEO Copywriter  


Tina Cassler of Sopheon shared that companies that add stock photos as featured images alongside their content generally see about 35% more page views compared to text alone. She also told the audience that custom graphics and images can produce ten times higher click through rates.

Consumers are always looking for a reason to believe in your brand. Make sure to let your community know that you’re listening to them and not just trying to sell your products.



Leila De La Fuente – Account Manager 


When measuring the success of a social media post or campaign, consider the engagement patterns of your audience. Some audiences only log in once a week or less, so sharing and commenting could be delayed. In some cases, it’s smart to wait a month before gathering the data surrounding the success of a post or campaign.

In an influencer marketing program, remember to keep excitement going with an influencer that has participated by sending them updates such as “the blog you are featured in has had ___ shares in ___ days!” or, “Our tweet promoting the blog you are featured in has received ___ retweets.”

At trade shows or other events, identify other attendees that may be campaigning around the same topics as you, and join forces with them. Promote each other’s posts to gain more visibility.



Joel Carlson – Social Media Lead  


When developing content strategy for a new event, it’s a good idea to look at previous event content in order to analyze what worked well and what didn’t. Provide the best content to your audience.

LinkedIn and Google+ take longer to get results compared to Twitter due to engagement response time, so patience is needed when analyzing content effectiveness.

Creativity is important when developing content, but analyzing data needs to drive your social tactics.

Nick Ehrenberg TopRank

Nick Ehrenberg – Account Manager  


When conducting event-based marketing campaigns, consider following the 1:9:90 rule: focus the majority of your effort on event listening and responding.

Event-focused content should still provide value to followers who aren’t attending the event. Create assets that anyone can find useful, even if they aren’t attending the event.

When conducting an influencer outreach program, consider short and long-term KPIs. While the initial focus can be on awareness and channel growth, eventually the program can shift to lead and revenue generation as the influencer’s audience becomes more aware of your content.


Megan Inman – Account Coordinator


Before events, be sure to plan, reach out to influencers and let data drive your social tactics

Earn third-party credibility by cross promoting with another company to share and engage with one another’s content.

Get to know your audience and engage with them on your social channels.


Thank you again to Mykl Roventine from the Minneapolis / Saint Paul Social Media Breakfast for all that they do for the Twin Cities social media scene. TopRank Online Marketing is proud to be a long time sponsor of SMBMSP.

To watch a video of this event, or to learn more about upcoming Social Media Breakfast events, visit smbmsp.org.

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