Converseon worked in partnership with Graco Children’s Products (a Newell Rubbermaid brand) on a full scale social media strategy. The success of the community building, relationship driven approach has led to us submitting the following case study for the Forrester Groundswell awards on Graco’s behalf.
Connecting a 66 year old brand in a tightly-regulated environment with a highly-interconnected online community of influentials with a proven skepticism towards brands.
Graco needed to assess a complex and fragmented online conversation that occurred across multiple websites and environments including message boards/forums, hundreds of parenting blogs, numerous parenting social networks, Twitter, YouTube and many other social media venues.
Graco first “listened” to the conversation to develop a clear understanding of the conversation landscape in the parenting category. This informed a strategy to:
- Make Graco an accepted and welcomed participant in the online parenting conversation.
- Humanize the Graco brand and build lasting relationships with the community by demonstrating that behind the brand are a group of concerned and engaged parents.
Listening (“i.e. Conversation Mining”) activity found that there was a robust, active parenting conversation that was largely resistant to commercial efforts to engage them in conversation.
A core thrust of the strategy: Don’t force the brand into the conversations, but instead environments to facilitate relationships between influentials and be invited to the conversation.
A core component: A series of Graco blogger “Get-Together” events across the country t to allow Graco to engage in an acceptable manner. This laid the groundwork for the subsequent launch of a corporate Graco parenting blog authored by a multi-disciplinary team of Graco employees. The blog was carefully crafted to focus on “parent first” issues, stories, advice.
- Conversation Mining results showed the volume of the online conversation for the Graco Brand nearly doubled, while the polarity of online mentions rose from 68% positive in 2007 to 83% positive in 2008
- Amongst this shift, 100% of posts sparked by proactive outreach have been positive
- A significant increase in positive recommendations/reviews – this desirable topic became the most common discussion of the Graco brand
- Graco featured on the Today Show, Business Week and as a case study at BlogHer Business conference
- In just 6 months is ranked as the 59th top parenting blog in the hundreds strong Parent Power Index
- Thousands of monthly unique visitors to the Graco Blog, increased traffic and conversions at main Graco site
- Graco Blog ranks on the front page of Google for many relevant search terms
- Technorati Authority of 88 resulting from 224 blog reactions in 6 months (higher than many Fortune 500 blogs)
- 155 posts at the Graco blog garnering 530 comments
Hear What Others Have To Say
- Company Blog Check Up: Graco – Mack Collier (5th Best Score so far in Mack’s extensive series of corporate blog reviews)
- Graco Blog is Fantastic and Graco Continues to Rock Their Corporate Blogging Efforts – Jake Mckee (The Community Guy)
- Social Networking is Personal – Kelby Carr
- So You Want To Talk to Mommy Bloggers? – Erin Vest (Queen Of Spain)
- Rubbermaid Unit Gets Parents Talking Online – Atlanta Journal Constitution
To connect with Graco online subscribe to their corporate blog, see parenting blogger videos at the Ready For The Road Ahead car seat site, follow them on Twitter and see pictures from their blogger events on Flickr.