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My 5 favorite social media case studies

StudyWhile there a quite a few places you can explore hundreds of social media case studies (my favorite being Peter Kim’s Wiki of Social Media Marketing Examples), it’s sometimes difficult to dig through the masses to find the hidden gems that truly provide excellent examples and show tangible return on investment.

To save you time, I have compiled a list of five of my favorite social media case studies – each in a different key area of social media: community building, blogger relations, B2B corporate blogging, reputation management and hyperlocal targeting. Happy reading!

Community Building Case Study: B.L. Ochman on Fiskars

The Basics: Ochman outlines how consultants Brains on Fire helped 360-year-old Fiskars Brands regain a loyal customer base by appealing to the online crafting community.

Why I love this case study: From the measurable results, to focusing on engagement and not product, to combining offline and online activities, the Fiskateers case study is a perfect illustration of community building at its best.

Blogger Relations Case Study: Todd Defren on SlyDial

The Basics: Defren shows on his PR-Squared blog how targeted blogger relations and a social media release from SHIFT Communications provided hugely successful, measurable results for MobileSphere.

Why I love this case study: Defren gives us an inside look at separate (and totally opposite!) emails sent to Perez Hilton and TechCrunch – both landing hits!

Corporate Blogging & B2B Case Study: Ben Hanna on Business.com Blogs

The Basics: Business.com engages its B2B readers and advertisers through two separate corporate blogs, one appealing to each audience. By watching how other companies succeeded in social media, Business.com was able to experiment and find what worked for them – and grow a very loyal following.

Why I love this case study: The Business.com team was unafraid to try new directions when something wasn’t working and this case study offers some great tips on growing a community around your blog.

Reputation Management Case Study: Jason Falls on Network Solutions

The Basics: On his Social Media Explorer blog, Falls shares how Network Solutions had a brand reputation issue and came up with a plan along with Livingston Communications to use social media engagement to improve brand reputation.

Why I love this case study: A simple 3-part plan turned around an entire company’s reputation. One key: they didn’t just listen to their customers – they acted!

Hyperlocal Targeting Case Study: Sarah Evans on Triblocal

The Basics: The Chicago Tribune launches hyperlocal news site covering 100 communities in Chicago’s suburbs – and most of the content is user-generated. Evans interviews Managing Editor Kyle Leonard on the rapid growth of Triblocal.

Why I love this case study: User-generated content (UGC) is a phrase tossed around like candy these days, but Triblocal lives and breathes it every day… to the tune of 500,000 page views a month!

I go back to each of these case studies regularly. Do you have any case studies that you can’t live without? Let me know your favorites in the comments.

About Heidi Sullivan

One of PRWeek’s 40 under 40 in 2012, Heidi Sullivan is Senior Vice President of Digital Content for Cision and a self-proclaimed social media metrics nerd. She leads the company’s digital and broadcast content teams, the global research team for Cision’s media database, Cision’s social media community team and the company’s content marketing strategy. You can find her on Twitter @hksully.

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