## How Does Esurance’s Social ROI (On \$1.5 Million Spend) Stack Up?

Having saved \$1.5 million on airing their commercial (which was hardly even a “commercial”!) after the Super Bowl (versus during the big game), and spending this money on a “prize fund,” Esurance certainly did something innovative, as well as bridged the gap between the offline (TV) and the online (Twitter, YouTube, website), and also reaped some interesting results. The online stats that the ad campaign yielded were disclosed by their agency Leo Burnett earlier this week.

Here’s what they tell us of the prices Esurance paid versus what these results normally cost:

• Hashtag price: \$0.28 per use (based on 5.4 million uses of the #EsuranceSave30 hashtag) versus \$? (I couldn’t find any data on this one)

• Twitter follower: \$5.75 per follower (they’ve had 261,000 new followers join the official Esurance Twitter account, yielding an increase of nearly 3,000%) versus the Twitter Promoted Account ad’s “recommended bid” range of \$1.50-\$2.20 per follower as quoted by Lisa Raehsler in her recent Search Engine Watch article;

• YouTube view: \$4.52 per view (they reported 332,000 views of the Esurance commercial on YouTube) versus \$0.045 per view that Matthew Peneycad‘s test buy of YouTube TrueView ads yielded (more on Social Media Today), and the \$0.07-\$0.08 range that I’ve seen quoted elsewhere.

Within the first hours of the sweepstakes they also had a 12x spike in website visits to the Esurance’s site. But for this one, we are missing some other important pieces of the puzzle (e.g.: the exact number of newly-acquired visitors, and/or the conversion rate at which these visitors turned into Allstate customers) to make any sensible conclusions.

Of course, the above calculation is based on very simplistic math (merely dividing the \$1.5 million by the number of results yielded automatically excludes all the other results from the ROI) and limits itself only to the results registered during the campaign (i.e. before the prize is awarded). It does not and cannot (yet) measure the post-campaign effect, or the brand benefit(s). Nonetheless, however, the Esurance case yields some interesting food for thought that marketers may want to keep in mind when putting together their TV-to-social/online initiatives.

What do you make of this? Was this a successful campaign? Would you go the same route had you had the \$1.5 million to spend on a marketing campaign? If not, what would you do differently?

## 2 Keys to Selling on Twitter: Monitoring and Designing Conversations

Less than an hour ago I tweeted that I’ve booked my airfare and hotel for Affiliate Management Days West 2013. Very shortly after that Tweet, Mozio (which positions itself as an “airport ground transportation search engine”) tweeted right back at me:

Of course, I couldn’t help but notice this. Their Tweet was (a) relevant, (b) timely, and (c) hit the nail on the head. No, I didn’t have my ground transportation arranged yet. And guess, who I will use to find it now!

I also couldn’t help but recall Jeff Molander‘s advice. In his “Off the Hook Marketing” book he wrote:

The answer to selling more with social tools is rooted in starting conversations that are worth having, conversing in ways that align the needs of buyer and seller, and designing conversations with customers in ways that generate inquiries and sales.

The above-quoted startup has made a perfect example of a company that (i) monitors other people’s Twitter conversations, and (ii) chimes in when they have something relevant to offer. Are you utilizing these two simple keys to selling on Twitter yet?

## Quantity of Quality: Thoughts on Optimum Number of Tweets per Day

If you’re on Twitter, like me, you’ve probably wondered more than once: How many Tweets are too many? What pace do my (current, and prospective) Twitter followers want from me? Hourly? Daily? Where’s that sweet spot?

I myself have been trying both frequent Tweets, and seldom ones, manual, and scheduled… And you know what? I’ve always been noticing that, as in anything, quality always beats the quantity. It may sound obvious, but hear me out. There are slow days, and days when the amount of useful data and high quality content is so massive that the task of content curation — be it on Twitter or Diigo, Paper.li or Shareist, or any other platform in-between — really becomes challenging. Do pace yourself in moments like these! Schedule the speed at which you’re going to be serving the information! A flood is never good. Not even when it’s a flood of high quality content. In fact, in these cases it is even harder to digest, and frustrating to follow (because the “end-consumer” can get quickly upset that they just don’t have the time to eat it all up).

I’ve come to the above conclusion based on my own experience (e.g. Twitter following either slows down, or sometimes even drops, when I dump too much data on their heads). But then I thought: wouldn’t it be also interesting to analyze how frequently some of the top Internet marketing influencers tweet? After some time spent researching, I’d like to show you how things look (the below order is merely alphabetical):

Of course, there are also such Twitter users (and tremendous influencers) as @Mashable (with nearly 3,000,000 followers, and an average of 29.4 Tweets per day), Gary Vaynerchuk aka @GaryVee (who is nearing his 1,000,000 followers, posting 35.2 Tweets every day), @ChrisBrogan (48.8), Scott Stratten aka @Unmarketing (57.3), and others who tweet at least once every hour. Most of these either have teams of people responsible for tweeting, or are obsessed (in a good way, but yes, obsessed!) with social media. And frankly, as a user, I find it difficult to follow their streams of consciousness, news, or whatever else. But since they bleed social media, we all expect them to tweet that much… Exceptions aside, it seems that 8 Tweets a day (or less) is that sweet spot. I’m at 14.6. Seems like I need to pace myself too… You?

## The Biggest Lesson You Can Learn About Social Media

It seems like only yesterday I was working on my “Sixteen Thousand Tweets Later” blog post (well, in reality, it’s already been 8.5 months since that date), and today I’m celebrating another milestone — 20,000 Tweets.

Funny, but even though the number of Tweets since my above-quoted post has increased only by 25%, the number of my followers has nearly doubled (from 3,035 to 5,756); and while discussing the things that they have taught me I did allude to the importance of giving on social media, today I’d like to elaborate on it further. After all, it’s the biggest lesson I personally have learned about social media!

You see, I have built my personal brand almost entirely with the help of social media.

• In 2005 I started participating in an online forum. Between May 2005 and May 2009 I contributed well over 11,500 posts to it, learning a ton in the process, as well as making a name for myself.
• On July 16, 2008 I joined Twitter. I didn’t start actively tweeting until I figured out what worked best and what didn’t (Twitter is very different from other forums of social media), but, as you can see, I’m nearing 6,000 followers already.
• On January 1, 2009 something else happened — something that (together with my active participation in an online forum) has taught me a bunch about social media — I made daily blogging one of my New Year’s resolutions. Ever since then, between my blog posts at AMNavigator.com and my guest blogging efforts (for example, here), I have put together over 1,100 blog posts.

I’ve also participated in LinkedIn Groups (starting one myself on September 15, 2008 as well) and Answers, done some video-blogging and started a YouTube channel, put together polls, actively participated by commenting on other people’s blogs, and did a lot of other things on social media.

I did burn myself quite a number of times, but by trial and error, I’ve learned something that I’d like to share with you with today: the secret of successful social media marketing is actually quite simple — you cannot take more than you have contributed in the first place. All of the above-quoted social media channels can be extremely effective if you are happy to share (the knowledge, the experiences, and/or the feelings).

If your company is looking for another broadcasting channel, look elsewhere. Social gives us an amazing opportunity (to “communicate directly with buyers”, as David Meerman Scott would put it). You can use it smartly (to grow your business), or abuse it (to bury it). The key, in my opinion, is in mastering the skill of giving.