Private Community Generates 680% Sales Conversion Increase [CASESTUDY]

by Shilpa Pandya on Jan 27, 2011
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CareOneEditor’s Note: We are working to provide more case studies to its readers based on our social media case study template. Please join us in using this template.

CareOne Debt Relief Services has implemented a social media measurement strategy that has allowed them to successfully prove that involvement within their online community has a significant impact on conversion and retention rates.

The greatest impact of social media is seen on leads that have not finished the process to sign up for a debt relief plan. Prospects that interact with the community after abandoning a lead form showed a 680% improvement in ultimately signing up for a debt relief plan and a 732% improvement in making their first payment, when compared to those who did not interact with the community.

1. The Challenge

As CareOne continued to expand their online community, their social media team came up against that very important question: how do we prove our social media efforts are translating into real business results?

2. The Context

CareOne’s most successful social media initiative to date has been it’s online community. The ultimate objective is to help people on their journey out of debt.  Because the community includes many members who are not current CareOne customers, there is a huge opportunity to convert community members into active customers by showing them the value CareOne’s services can add to their lives.

  • CareOne’s community has been active for over five years.
  • The community is open to anyone who wants to join and currently boasts over 1.4 million members.
  • The social media team created new interactive features which have increased connectivity amongst community members.
    • Personalized tag clouds – Members can create a tag cloud that describes who they are and why they joined the community.
    • Badges – Members receive badges that tell community members which path they have selected to get out of debt, either On their Own, Debt Management, or Debt Settlement. They also receive separate badges which share their level of involvement in the community from newbie to active member to expert. This has allowed community members to quickly customize feedback and tips specific to the plan the customer is on.
  • More on the CareOne community

3. The Solution

Establish business relevant success metrics to judge the success of the community. They began with three major objectives and figured out which metrics would prove success for each.

A. Brand Awareness

By working on increasing their exposure, influence and engagement, CareOne was able to increase their overall brand awareness.  Relevant metrics measured included:

  • website visits
  • page views
  • follower count (Twitter)
  • overall brand sentiment (measured using Radian6)
  • shared content (measured using ‘Share This/Add This’ stats from CareOne website)

B. Lead Generation

CareOne worked diligently to elicit active participation from their community, with the ultimate objective of driving potential customers from action (downloading content) to conversion.

They offer free e-books such as Debt Diva’s Money Management Resources and guides to provide content to help people make decisions on how they want to get out of debt.

In addition, they provide blog content on a variety of subjects that help people make the right decision for them. By tracking conversions from their community and seeing the top content that was viewed by those conversions, they were able to determine what was most useful to prospects who chose CareOne.

C. Retention

By tracking customer interaction beyond the initial sale and engaging them continually within the community, CareOne was able to increase their repeat business.

4. The Results

  1. Prospects who participated in the community showed a 680% improvement in signing up for a debt relief plan*
  2. Prospects who participated in the community showed a 732% improvement in making their first payment*
  3. Prospects who participated in the community showed an 18% improvement in retention rates*
  4. Social media had the greatest impact of converting customers who had partially filled out their debt relief plan form*
    * Based on a year-long measurement period beginning January 2010

Post Author

Shilpa Pandya is a marketing and social media professional. She is currently an associate at New Marketing Labs, a premier digital marketing and strategy agency. In this role, she works with clients to build brand value by integrating...