RadioShack: Road to the Social Media Super Bowl — Live from Member Meeting 30

Coverage of this session by Evan Perkins of Connect with him by following him on Twitter.

4:30 —'s Erin McDaniel introduces RadioShack's Director of Social Media Marketing, Cosmin Ghiurau.

4:31 — Remember, don't hesitate to tweet all the great things you're learning with #BlogWell!

4:32 — Cosmin: Most of us have seen the Super Bowl commercial, but I want to focus more on what happened after that aired. It was a big social media moment for us.

4:33 — Cosmin: Remember RadioShack? We have a 90+ year history as a brand. Many people remember us growing up and have, somewhere along the way, had some experience with the brand. We carried one of the first PCs, one of the first mobile phones, etc. We have lots of history.

4:34 — Cosmin: Overtime, however, there have been some challenges and struggles. We've kept at it, and our Super Bowl commercial was a great time to remind people of our presence.

4:35 — Cosmin: We started on social in 2009. And now, we are a social brand with 3.8M total followers.

4:35 — Cosmin: But we're still on a social journey. We started in 2009, and it took a lot of learning. In 2011, we started with Twitter and built a base. In 2013, we decided that social was much more than just marketing. In 2014, we're at a good place to use social not as a tactic but as a part of the overall strategy of our brand.

4:36 — Cosmin: We recognize now that all the different business units need to come together. Social needs to integrate across the business.

4:37 — Cosmin: From the beginning with the Super Bowl commercial, we knew we needed to take advantage of the second screen and mobile. The second screen was our primary strategy. We knew that's what the viewers would use to engage with us.

4:38 — Cosmin: Our key learnings from past Super Bowl spots was that hashtags lock you into a conversation. We wanted to know how we could drive the conversation to Twitter, but also be able to control the moment with the hashtag that we designate (not just with one general hashtag).

4:40 — We set up a command center to make sure that we could begin to engage immediately after the spot aired. We used multiple tools including Spredfast and Tracx.

4:41 — Cosmin: We didn't want to just do the standard giveaways, but instead give away products from the 80's based on an emotional connection. We gave items away even after the 24-hour mark.

4:42 — The real-time social engagement started right away. We noticed things happening on Reddit, in our celebrity influences, etc. We began to see huge results right away. We reached twenty-two-times the growth in social mentions. We had four organic trends on Twitter and 4.6M YouTube Views.

4:43 — Cosmin: Note that 82% of those involved were on mobile access during the Super Bowl.

4:43 — Cosmin: We had verified engagements and lots of exchanges not only from fans, but from various other groups and brands.

4:45 — Cosmin: The next day, Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon mentioned the ad on Late Night. It was a big moment from a cultural standpoint.

4:46 — Cosmin: We began to see some immediate headlines from the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, etc. Our stock prices rose.

4:46 — Cosmin: Our seven-step approach to winning in the moment: First, watch the tape. Research the appropriate strategy for the brand, and apply social data.

4:47Second, have multiple plays in the game plan. What about weather or another crisis? Do brand appropriate real-time marketing and have a bench ready for last minute issues.

4:48Third, your starting team — identify each player on your team. Know who needs to be in the room for the moment (e.g. the decision-makers and approvers, marketing channel owners, community managers, paid media, PR/Earned media, creative (copywriters), and agency/partner key contacts).

4:48Fourth, practice. Have a clear game plan with clear roles. We had channel accountability and planned launch scenarios and surprise-launch scenarios. Practice, practice, practice! We also had reporting cadence identified.

4:49Fifth, executive a key play. Confirm each channel is live. Look for gaps in experience.

4:49Sixth, run and gun offense. Leverage highlighting real time opportunities. Fuel conversational moments and engage with relevant other brands/elements of campaign.

4:50 — Seventh, post-game huddle. Begin reporting, adjust the content based on social intelligence, highlight and share key moments internally, and document key learnings!

Q & A

Q: Can you talk about social engagement? How many people did you have to cover 24 hours a day?

A: Cosmin: We had 5-6 total people doing the listening/engagement, but we also had additional virtual resources to help us handle the volume. We were prepared for an increase in activity, but it did take us one week to go through and archive all the mentions!

Q: Did you release your ad in advance? Why or why not?

A: Cosmin: Great question. We wanted to not tease or say anything in advance because 1) Nobody expected us to have a commercial; and, 2) We wanted to surprise, come into the moment, and deliver!

Q: What numbers were you interested in finding?

A: Cosmin: We put together a KPI chart with benchmarks from past events. Overall mentions and sentiment were very important. Traffic to the site was also watched carefully.

Q: How did you manage who was going to engage with whom? Types of people, topic, etc?

A: Cosmin: Because of the sheer volume it was more about just keeping up. We did have the Community Mangers choosing which posts they were engaging with, specifically.