Do you enjoy case studies? I do, especially when those case studies are about social media and content marketing.
At one point, I used to share examples I came across via Twitter using the hashtags #retailexp and #practicalmktr. And, then recap those tweets in blog articles. Eventally - in September 2011 - I created a first compendium in an article titled 100+ Case Studies: Social Media Marketing Examples.
A year later, on September 4th, 2012, I published a follow up article detailing 200+ case studies of social media and content marketing examples shared on Twitter from September 1, 2011 through August 31, 2012.
Fast forward to 2017. Social media and content marketing have evolved considerably. Although there are plenty of new examples, those original stories remain inspiring. I hope you enjoy the combination of classic and new case studies.
To help sort through the categories, I've created the following table of contents.
Airlines and Social Media
Singapore Airlines finally discovers Facebook, Twitter http://ow.ly/6L1PL
How JetBlue Deals with Social Media Whiners - "JetBlue, for example, has one customer service policy that it adheres to. And it uses it across the board, regardless of how consumers are getting in touch. There have been instances where the company has had to revamp its policy. Consistency is really important via social media channels, since they are so public. “If you are going to do something for one person be prepared to do it for everyone, whether they have a lot of followers or not,” he said."
10 Social Media stars includes JetBlue ow.ly/btY8o
American Airlines engages via social media in sincere authentic way ow.ly/d4OoM
Tweeting without fear with examples from @SouthwestAir http://ow.ly/8qtma
Alcohol Brands and Social Media
How spirits producer Beam uses digital & social to extend customer experience
Nicely done Jack Daniels with your cease/desist letter ow.ly/czMqf
Valuable PR lessons from Heineken's bizarre dog-fighting crisis ow.ly/arp5Q
How one small company is using QR codes: Sacre Bleu wines
Banking and Social Media
WSJ article about Banks going social: http://ow.ly/7LXjU Wouldn't it be more social to ditch fees & really listen to customers?
3 Financial Services Companies online, doing content & social ow.ly/83cDY
Role of social media in financial services marketing: insights including from @FrankEliason when he was with Citi ow.ly/b1T6F
Example of Social Media + Financial Planning: what's your story? ow.ly/cpycp
10 Social Media stars includes Capital 1 ow.ly/btY8o
Beauty & Personal Product Brands and Social Media
#LONGREAD: Is Twitter Still Relevant For Fashion Brands?
L'Oreal advises men on perfect facebook profile picture. http://ow.ly/6exu1
L'Oreal leverages social media for customer service, brand loyalty ow.ly/7k4dU.
How Orabrush went from YouTube to 3500 Walmart stores using social media http://ow.ly/6Ej0U.
Here's the YouTube video from Orabrush: http://ow.ly/6GO2P
Thought-provoking brand examples re: how to use Pinterest creatively ow.ly/aJixX
Kotex, one of 3 brands bridging online + offline ow.ly/c5EbJ
Big Business and Social Media
Real people vs. stock photos. G'by IBM happy man! Love this story ow.ly/6YZJk
FastCo describes 7 reasons for embracing social business with IBM as example http://ow.ly/6xKgq
Social and digital case study: Adobe http://ow.ly/aJmij
Insight on GE's digital strategy: ow.ly/bkwdY
How Xerox integrates Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube selectively ow.ly/bDkDA
J&J's priorities for 2012: social, mobile: ow.ly/b1ZVq
Did you know Caterpillar uses social media to capture customer preferences for products ow.ly/bN4sv
McKinsey perspective on how social media could add $1.3T to economy. ow.ly/d4lbe
Harnessing Power of Social Media: interview with Barry Libert: Important to focus outward
Car Brands and Social Media
What do you think re: introducing new car via social media game? Ford + Zynga for Escape ow.ly/7zChN
Thought-provoking brand examples re: how to use Pinterest creatively ow.ly/aJixX [Peugeot]
3 brands bridging online + offline, Honda [Pinterest] ow.ly/c5EbJ
Ferrari uses social media to drive visitors to microsite ow.ly/aSDP1
Very cool: travel for free across country using social media. Audi experiment: ow.ly/d4kmi
Great examples: how car dealerships use social media to reach customers http://ow.ly/6xRNK
Perspective on Big Brands [i.e GM] & Facebook ads ow.ly/bkr77
Casinos and Social Media
Did you know? social media pays off for casinos, customers http://ow.ly/68vfa
Dentists and Social Media
Design and Social Media
Reinventing Design + social media: @Modenus BOB Magazine
Disaster Communications and Social Media
How different social media tools fit into disaster communication plans. From FastCo http://ow.ly/6tzjX
Using social to match blood donors and recipients. Wow! ow.ly/8ayf8
Stay tuned: disaster relief in social media age, including fr FEMA
Education/Museum and Social Media
Google+ as means to opening social networking to K-12 schools. Wow! http://ow.ly/6ElO7
Social media case study: Brooklyn Museum. Lesson: don't spread too thin. Great discussion in comments
Entertainment and Social Media
What brands can learn from Lady Gaga from @deniseleeyohn http://ow.ly/6qUon
10 SoMe stars Disney ow.ly/btY8o
What Lionsgate did differently creating pre-Hunger Games buzz: ow.ly/aiYkM
Great #practicalmktr perspective on Cirque du Soleil's social strategy: ow.ly/btX3E
Marvelous scientific + social media experiment: live tweeting National Zoo Panda artificial insemination ow.ly/bkrmF
Reference resource: 5 all time best Facebook Campaigns via @FastCo http://ow.ly/b1XuD -A&E
Fashion and Social Media
How social media adds value to Fashion's Night Out; savvy retailers use it to build relationships http://ow.ly/6L0Xn
Did you catch live streaming of Fashion Week? Making fashion more immediate, accessible http://ow.ly/6L1cN
Food Brands and Social Media
3 brands bridging online + offline: Red Bull [FB] ow.ly/c5EbJ
How Conagra's brands build online communities http://ow.ly/5WXgw
How Beef industry in Australia uses social media for promotion
9 social media crisis questions Dole failed to answer ow.ly/arpip
Using Twitter to sell ice cream treats ow.ly/7eUHB
Cadbury turns to Google+ to launch Bubbly bar and Searching For A Social Edge: One Brand’s Google+ Story
Food Outlets and Social Media
How Naked Pizza uses Twitter: http://ow.ly/6qTxi Genuine #practicalmktr humor!
10 Social Media stars include Starbucks, McDonalds ow.ly/btY8o
Brand marketing interview: how Starbucks transformed coffee from commodity to brand http://t.co/Wg8yPvTi.
The Starbucks Card makes transactions social from @TheBeanCast http://t.co/tdBe4IBr
How California Tortilla handles customer feedback online. Notice consistent, co-wide approach http://ow.ly/6L0HZ
Reference resource: 5 all time best Facebook Campaigns via @FastCo http://ow.ly/b1XuD includes Burger King
KFC Twitter account has fun with @NYTChicken aka Sexy Chicken ow.ly/76i7o
Love this success story of social media + traditional PR for @cupcakestop http://ow.ly/80Y3V
Using social media to build internal teams: Red Robin ow.ly/bDkiW
How Chuck E. Cheese uses social media to engage with diff audiences ow.ly/bDmg9
Domino's posts online order comments on NYC Times Square billboard http://ow.ly/5RjPY
Government and Social Media
I love crowd-sourced concepts. This one funded by US Dept of Defense to crowdsource military tactics http://ow.ly/6tE5K
The Army’s social media handbook. Updated and with commentary http://ow.ly/6xRo6
Marines have released social media handbook. Now actively use tools of social media
Love CDC's use of social media and humor to help peeps prepare for [zombie] apocalypse ow.ly/76h5r
Marvelous how social media contributed to Mars Curiosity Rover ow.ly/cUL5i
Brilliantly real and real-time: NATO and Taliban slug it out on Twitter ow.ly/8hria
Using social media to rebut government extremists' messages. ow.ly/8tHQg
UN Global Pulse monitors data for real-time signals re: food, economy, jobs 19 min video http://ow.ly/bbcrc
Using Twitter to track epidemics ow.ly/7zOUB
Hospitality and Social Media
Starwood leverage social media for customer service, brand loyalty ow.ly/7k4dU
Four Seasons Hotel leans on social to act local. Details: ow.ly/b1Z7z
Insurance and Social Media
Case study: Farmers Insurance helps agents use Facebook for ROI ow.ly/czvqj
Law Enforcement and Social Media
And how social media can help track the bad guys ow.ly/7zQ7l
How social media can help FBI solve crimes ow.ly/7zQ1N
Fascinating use of Google+: police present portrait of crime ow.ly/8qsR5
How Boston Police uses Twitter, texting for crime tips: ow.ly/aiYXR
Different perspective on 'getting found online': search, future of crime ow.ly/cfr6m
Social media in action with police: ow.ly/czvn9
Libraries and Social Media
AUSTRIAN CITY BECOMES A LIBRARY WITH QR CODES AND NFC STICKERS INSTEAD OF BOOKS - Klagenfurt created a new project putting scannable stickers around relevant locations allowing users to download digital content.
The Bookless Library - Don’t deny the change. Direct it wisely. The first is the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the main branch of the New York Public Library (NYPL). The second is an iPhone. Yet despite their obvious differences, for many people today they serve the same purpose: to read books. And in a development that even just thirty years ago would have seemed like the most absurd science fiction, there are now far more books available, far more quickly, on the iPhone than in the New York Public Library.
Luxury Brands and Social Media
FastCo re: Facebook for the Famous gets at social network terms of service & who owns what http://ow.ly/7uhOS
Thought-provoking brand examples re: H2 use Pinterest creatively ow.ly/aJixX
Learn about Oscar de la Renta, role of social media. Great job @OscarPRGirl ow.ly/6Z0LO
Have you read this FastCo story about Ralph Lauren's digital evolution? Fascinating #retailexp http://ow.ly/62VNu
Brooks Brothers Plays It Cool in Social Marketing - In social media marketing, Brooks Brothers is like an aloof bon vivant wearing a cool seersucker sports jacket on a humid summer day. The 194-year-old brand isn't frantically chasing friends and followers on social networks. Brooks Brothers is playing it cool. Instead, it's investing in tools and testing to improve the online shopping experience for customers and prospects - and increase sales.
Neiman Marcus is getting social and Neiman Marcus debuts first Foursquare challenge
Manufacturers and Social Media
Small surf shop plans to overtake competitors with technology
Reference resource: 5 all time best Facebook Campaigns via @FastCo http://ow.ly/b1XuD - Intel
How Oxygenics used Facebook content to increase fan base: case study http://ow.ly/bDiCu
Media Brands and Social Media
From Social Fresh a crowdsourced Facebook Marketing Book http://ow.ly/6dWxd
News Organizations and Social Media
Innovation lessons from Washington Post: http://ow.ly/6ElLF via FastCo
Time Magazine Google+ case study: ow.ly/czvIf
How Forbes uses social media. Fascinating! ow.ly/d4kLJ
How NPR media strategist Andy Carvin tweets revolutions. http://ow.ly/6L2bJ Fascinating
Reimagining newspaper reading as inherently social experience: WSJ on Facebook ow.ly/6Z0oJ
Philanthropy and Social MediaHOW CAN SOCIAL MEDIA HELP PHILANTHROPIC WORK?
How philanthropists can make use of social media: ow.ly/76ief
Politics and Social Media
Social media and politics. Here, the Republican perspective http://ow.ly/7LXrP
Learn more about politics and Facebook on Politico.
Fascinating use of social networking to monitor political, global sentiment. ow.ly/8ay5n
Politicians and social media. Newt Gingrich & Facebook
Love social media + politics: why social media couldn't predict Iowa race ow.ly/8AW79
A digital perspective on politics and election related communications ow.ly/aroSe
Religion and Social Media
Case study example: religion on Facebook, more specifically Jesus Daily http://ow.ly/6L4dl
Creative use of internet & social to connect with 'customers': Maine Convent recruits nuns: ow.ly/b20dI
Bishops urged to embrace social media to evangelize effectively bit.ly/buUm0k
Retail - Big Box and Social Media
Worth watching: Walmart intends to reshape future of shopping #retailexp by mapping social genome http://ow.ly/6L2iK
Lowe's introduces revolutionary customer #retailexp: "MyLowes" http://ow.ly/6LCqr
Retailers discover useful in-store apps keep shoppers from escaping http://ow.ly/6Z1vt [Gap, Walmart, Target…]
Update on @HomeDepot's social media strategy ow.ly/6YYSM
Home Depot Innovates Customer Checkouts. The Home Depot deploys an array of creative checkout options designed to hustle customers out the door faster.
10 SoMe stars Walmart, Home Depot, Nike ow.ly/btY8o
Target, Walmart Get Digital For BTS - For stores, back-to-school kicks off the important fourth quarter, and is the second-most-important sales event of the year, after the winter holidays. But Walmart says that for parents, it may even be more symbolic, with 76% of the moms it surveyed regarding it as more of a fresh start than January 1. Nine out of 10 even make school-year resolutions, it reports, with 78% vowing they will be more organized this school year, 75% hoping to save more money, and 61% making healthy eating a higher priority.
IKEA, one of 5 all time best Facebook Campaigns via @FastCo http://ow.ly/b1XuD
Interesting how Michaels is using mobile apps to drive traffic in-store
Tweeting without fear with examples from @bestbuy http://ow.ly/8qtma
Retail - Department Stores and Social Media
Lord & Taylor focusing on hi-tech customer engagement tools. Check out comment about fitting rooms! http://ow.ly/6exEJ and Lord & Taylor Can Help Make Sure No One Else Is Wearing Your Prom Dress
Nordstrom in Fashion with Social Media, Mobile Tech. Selected by U.S. News as one of America's Most Connected Companies for its use of technology to expand shopping options, Nordstrom has been aggressive about snapping up promising Internet ventures to diversify its business and experiment with new retail platforms. Its social media strategy extends well beyond Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to an array of buzz-generating fashion and photo-sharing sites. Recognizing that its customers always want to stay connected, the company introduced complimentary Wi-Fi in its high-end department stores in 2010."
JC Penney Introducing Foursquare, QR Promos for Holiday Angels programs
Has your brand tested a Google+ hangout yet? Dell, Macy's have. ow.ly/8tHVu
Battle of the Digital Brands: JCPenney vs. Kohl’s - Overall, JCP is winning in social media. Although, the numbers would say otherwise, from a social media standpoint, JCP’s social strategy follows all of the best practices for engagement. Its posts are well-thought out and do a good job of delighting consumers and addressing their needs. From a mobile perspective, it’s a tie. Both retailers are doing different things on mobile, but each is doing them equally well. Both experiences are user friendly.
Retail - Specialty Stores and Social Media
This is interesting: Urban Outfitters makes fall catalog available via Facebook: http://ow.ly/6xQKr
Gap's social media policy a guide for other companies. The clothier gives its 134,000 employees a no-nonsense policy. Here are some highlights you might want to adopt.
UNIQLO HIRES GRAMMY NOMINEE TO WAKE CUSTOMERS UP WITH A DAILY SONG [VIDEO] - The Japanese clothing brand engages consumers with a free social alarm app that sings about the weather of the day.
UNIQLO TAKES OVER PINTEREST CREATING ANIMATED MOSAICS - The clothing brand choreographed a sequence of mass-pinning on Pinterest to create a giant images promoting their new line of mesh clothing.
Pandora Operating Outside the Luxury Box - Customizable, affordable jewelry fuels Pandora’s growth
Four retailers who translated social media into revenue - Several retailers are getting the combo right, including DressBarn, Swisa, a high-end beauty retailer, Gymboree Play & Music, an offshoot of the children's clothing line, and Tretorn, a Swedish outdoor retailer. They each found a way to use social media to drive sales and traffic.
How Zappos uses/mines Facebook insights ow.ly/czPOc
Etsy seeks scale w/o losing aesthetic: ow.ly/bDlOJ case study
GUESS deploying iPads to better serve shoppers
Thought-provoking brand examples re: H2 use Pinterest creatively ow.ly/aJixX
Most Customer Service Tweets Go Unanswered Within 24 Hours - But two retailers – Zappos.com and LLBean.com – replied to 100% of daily customer service questions posted to Twitter by STELLAService analysts in a recent 45-day study of the top 25 online retailers. It’s an impressive accomplishment considering the average for replies within 24 hours was just 44% across the top 25 online retailers.
Retail - Grocery Stores and Social Media
Tweeting without fear with examples from @wholefoods http://ow.ly/8qtma
Pinterest case study: whole foods ow.ly/bN3nr
Sainsbury's using QR codes to educate shoppers about Fairtrade products
Supermarkets and the social Web - “So much of social media is simply the basics of human interaction."
Retailers Go Mobile and Social Media
How 6 retailers are using mobile to enhance the #retailexp http://ow.ly/6xRC1
Square rethinks the register
Digital World Now Coaxing Shoppers Back to Stores - “But at the same time, more consumers have their mobile phones in hand so retailers who recognize that and take advantage of the phone as an information conduit to direct people to the right stores, or to find what they’re looking for at any moment in time, will be better served to succeed.”
What Retailers Want From In-Store Technology - Brick-and-mortar stores look to bridge the gap between online, mobile and in-store experiences. According to the Motorola Solutions data, 51% of retailers were investing in technology to improve customer service in stores. Moreover, 22% were doing so to keep up with the competition, and 18% aimed to increase inventory choices. Out of all the technology investments, in-store Wi-Fi bubbled up as a clear imperative for many retailers.
Sports and Social Media
MLB Fan Cave integrates social media with content & art http://ow.ly/76hfl
So how will social media affect 2012 Olympics? infographics ow.ly/aJhTy
How social media can help keep Olympians visible in b/n events: ow.ly/bkwah
Transportation and Social Media
Tourism and Social Media
Lovely! Obermutten Goes Social via Facebook. Watch video to see how online/offline R integrated ow.ly/8ayAZ
How will you use these 200+ social media and content marketing examples and case studies? I'd love to hear.
If you come across interesting case studies, let me know in the comments and I will add them to this listing.
This article was originally published on 9/4/2012 and has been updated.
Image Credit: Great Serbian Brand on Flickr which uses social media.