Kmart Harnesses Power of Influential Bloggers
Kmart kick-started a social networking campaign by giving six well-known bloggers $500 gift certificates to go on a shopping spree in a Kmart store — then share the experience with readers.
The bloggers could write anything at all, positive or negative, and all of them clearly disclosed the arrangement in their posts, http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles..san&s=96540&Nid=50294&p=96845">writes MediaPost (via Retailer Daily).
The purpose was to get people talking about Kmart in the blogosphere and increase Kmart's "share of social voice," which was assessed before Dec. 2 - when the campaign began - at a value of 12.8% according to Vitrue's Social Media Index (SMI) online conversation measurement system.
The SMI system is a daily share-of-voice index that shows the extent of online conversations about that brand, including mentions on social networks, blogs and Twitter, and video- and photo-sharing sites.
On Nov. 11, for example, Kmart's index was 14.49%, but JCPenney's was nearly 25% and Sears's just over 50%. On Dec. 10, Kmart's SMI was up to 23.2%, a 59% increase over its average SMI in November, surpassing JC Penney's (12.5%); Sears's SMI was 43.1% on that day, seven percentage points lower than before Kmart's campaign (Sears owns Kmart).
To boost "Kmart talk" online, the company ran a contest whereby web users could enter to win $500 gift certificates of their own. They could leave a comment on one of the bloggers' Kmart posts with a holiday wish list of Kmart items, or use Twitter to leave the message provided on each blog's posting area.
As of of Dec. 5, readers left more than 2,000 related comments and there were 2,500 entries in the contest. Collective reach across the six blogs and Twitter was estimated at about 500,000 consumers.
Sears decided to sponsor its own blogger shopping spree and certificate contest - to launch in mid-December.
An October report asserted blogging has become integral to the media ecosystem. Blogging was also listed as one of the major media companies felt pressure to leverage in an "Enterprise 2.0" world.