Technology provider iQmetrix designs and develops management software for the wireless retail industry. Last year, 15.5 million handset purchases were made using its systems. This amazing success—tied to the growth of mobile—is influencing the company's social media strategy for the acquisition of new customers and retention of existing clients, Anne Weiler, VP-marketing at iQmetrix, said.
“We realized that people are using their phones every morning to gather the latest news. Their expectations of content have increased and changed,” she said, “and we need to be meeting those expectations.”
To do that, the company, which published a biweekly e-newsletter, needed to generate more content to disseminate via blog posts and other social tools. Coming up with new content every day was a task iQmetrix decided to entrust to internal crowdsourcing, Weiler said.
Every morning, employees on the marketing, product development and design teams are asked to scour their sources for industry news. Then, at 9:45 a.m. the teams meet and discuss what they've found. The best link or news item becomes that day's blog fodder, Weiler said. “We take 15 minutes to discuss that blog post. The discussions are also important in that they educate our staff as well.”
Even those stories that don't make the cut are useful, though, since they become sources for iQmetrix's daily Twitter feed and are tweeted throughout the day. This has helped iQmetrix be seen as an expert source on such topics as retail, shopping, operating systems, wireless markets and carriers, as well as hardware vendors. The proof, Weiler said, is that the company's tweets are often retweeted. “We'll see industry people and analysts commenting on our tweets and blog posts all day,” she said.
The company is also using an integrated strategy to boost the number of Twitter followers it has. Last October, the company asked 500 people who had signed up for its annual summit to follow it on Twitter.
“We didn't print anything for the summit. Attendees had to go to Twitter and a mobile site to find out what was going on [at the event],” Weiler said. “Everyone who followed us was entered into a drawing to win a Windows tablet. We had 60 new people follow us on the first day we ran the contest.” Overall, the company went from 200 to 600 followers in the months leading up to the event.
IQmetrix used Twitter as a way to solicit feedback for its conference sessions. Each presenter had an individualized hashtag displayed on their slides; and, at the end of their presentation, attendees were asked to tweet a rating of the presentation from one to five. During one general session, the company hosted a live Twitter survey.
Another successful tactic, Weiler said, was the addition of question solicitation via Twitter. During each session attendees, were given the opportunity to tweet questions that would be answered during live Q&A sessions at the end of the event. “For the survey, we had someone compiling the results while we were live,” Weiler said. “It was a nonstressful way for our customers to engage us. We found the Q&A in particular worked really well, too, because no one had to stand up and ask a question.”