Century 21 Blog


Social Media Case Studies: What Works

By Molly on May 27th, 2011


Yesterday at Blog World we participated in a social media case study panel where businesses presented how they are using social media, which channels and what success they have seen from their efforts. The panel was hosted by Jason Falls, a social media expert and the founder of Social Media Explorer.


The case studies kicked off with Lisa Grimm, digital public relations specialist for the Mall of America. Lisa shared the success of one particular campaign which was sheer genius. The most difficult time to park at the mall is during Christmas week, so to increase their social media following, the Mall of America team decided to auction off the parking spaces in the front row of the mall’s lot to their social media followers only. Simply by using the parking event’s hashtag on Twitter you were entered into the auction and could win a front row parking space to do your holiday shopping. This social media campaign increased the Mall of America’s Twitter following by 11%. Additionally, the social media event received media coverage in ClickZ and Forbes. You can follow the Mall of America on Twitter @MallofAmerica.


Next up on the panel was Shannon Paul, social media manager for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Prior to this position, Shannon worked on social media strategy for the Detroit Red Wings. She spoke to the audience about Blue Cross Blue Shield’s online community called AHealthierMichigan.org. She shared that “80% of internet users look up health information online.” With that in mind, AHleahtierMichigan.org is the focus of her work. She spoke about the importance of contributed content, about a content calendar, and how to utilize members of the company outside of the communications department. Interestingly, her team uses Facebook and Twitter primarily to drive traffic back to their website.


The final seat on the panel belonged to our very own director of public relations and social media, Matt Gentile! You can follow Matt on Twitter, @MattGentile. Matt spoke about the Smarter, Bolder, Faster marketing campaign and our entrance into social media which began with Facebook. He shared how we are actively building communities on Facebook and Twitter, including 8-10 updates per day on Twitter. Matt also spoke about the launch of this very blog and the importance of sharing useful content with our community. He also highlighted that we were the first company to buy real estate in ngmoco’s mobile game, We City. When asked by an audience member why get into mobile, Matt answered, “Our CMO Bev Thorne likes a quote from Wayne Gretzky that says, you have to skate in the direction of where the puck is going. That is what we’re doing.”

When asked by a different audience member, “What’s next for Century 21 in social?” Matt provided a truly exciting update which is that soon QR codes will be available on Century 21 signs. If you aren’t familiar with QR codes, they are custom bar codes that can be scanned on a smartphone that will direct you to specific information, such as a real estate listing.

If you’re interested in viewing more conversation from the case study panel we will be posting the video from the session!

Post Author

avatar Molly
Molly is a member of the @C21 social media team. When she's not live blogging from conferences or interviewing System members, you can find her reading about interior design, writing restaurant reviews, and imagining what the kitchen will look like in her Parisian dream home.
View all posts by Molly

5 Responses to "Social Media Case Studies: What Works"

  1. avatar Shannon Paul says:

    Hi Molly,

    Thanks for getting this speedy recap of our panel together! If I could correct one point – we don’t use Twitter and Facebook primarily as drivers of traffic, although we do track how often people share what they find on our site to sites like Twitter and Facebook. We think that’s a good metric for showing us whether people find the content we’re developing useful or interesting. In addition to the @HealthierMI Twitter account, all of our regular authors are also on Twitter and we think sites like this are important for building relationships with other bloggers and people throughout Michigan.

    Thanks again – I think what Century 21 is doing with social media is very exciting!


  2. avatar Dave Gannon says:

    thanks for sharing. i love that more healthcare and regulated companies are getting into social media given the most stringent legal/reg confines.

    does anyone have any case studies on using social media (twitter) for customer service in a regulated environment?

    thank you in advance.

  3. avatar Natalie says:

    Very interesting article. Century 21 began their social media campaign on Facebook, but how did they promote their page?
    It seems like promoting social media for a real estate company is a lot different than a mall that can give out customer specials.

  4. Glad to hear C21 is finally getting on the QR code bandwagon!


  1. [...] 21 Real Estate: Century 21, a leader in real estate, recently revealed that QR codes will be available on Century 21 signs. These custom bar codes can be scanned on a smartphone and will direct you to [...]

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