October 14, 2010

Social success: A case study of uTest’s Facebook Page

Ayelet NoffThere is little doubt that brands today have realized the critical value of social media in developing powerful brand awareness. So now the burning question is how do we effectively engage the people we wish to connect with in a way that creates real, tangible and effective results for the brand.

uTest specializes in software testing services through its community of 30,000+ professional testers from 165 countries around the globe. Companies – from garage startups to Fortune 500 software giants – have used uTest’s services to test their web, mobile and desktop applications.

In the last few months, Blonde 2.0 (part of the Socialmedia.biz network) has worked with uTest to create a social presence for the company, nurturing current clients as well as reaching out to potential new clients,while developing a central hub for their community of testers.

We began by working on bringing testers closer together through social media channels. By doing this, testers could connect with one another from around the globe; chat; share notes and join in the uTest community experience. In addition, it created the perfect opportunity for uTest to recruit new and raw talent, enhance brand awareness and create a virtual meeting point for other companies to learn about uTest’s services.

uTest had already developed a solid online presence with a powerful website; a nice Twitter profile; blogs with pertinent posts relating to software testing and mobile app testing as well as forums to which community members could subscribe. uTest had already built the foundation for a Facebook page and called on the Blonde 2.0 team to find creative ways to increase its brand awareness while encouraging interactivity with the audience.

Everyone went in with expectations of gradual growth as is common with most brands that initially hit the Facebook sphere. Growth on a Facebook page is usually gradual and requires patience to achieve significant results. The build-up of fans can be a challenge. The fruits of our creative brainstorming and collaboration brought to life our “Bug of the Month” competition idea.

We’ve all encountered bugs and error messages while using software apps or visiting a website. To celebrate the joys and pains of this experience we asked members to share the funniest, craziest or scariest bugs they could find during our “Bug of the Month” contest. Members were asked to capture these technological freaks of nature with a screenshot or video and then to share it on the uTest Facebook page along with a caption of which site/app they were using and what they were trying to do when the bug “bit” them.

And then the clincher … members were asked to tell friends, family and colleagues to help out, as the screenshot with the most likes would win the grand prize of a stylish iPod Touch.

The results of our efforts were overwhelming. Members kicked their campaigns into high gear and “likes” for the bugs were spreading like wildfire. The campaigning was fierce and far-reaching and often it felt like our bug hunters were running for office, pleading to all for votes.

Let’s have a look at some of the numbers: At the start of the competition, the page had approximately 1,140 members. After 20 days and 36 posted bugs later, more than 4,800 likes and new members joined the uTest page – thanks to the creative and exciting dynamic of the competition. The contest was intense and after a very tight finish, the winner of the competition garnered 1,844 likes and went home with the iPod Touch. So overwhelming was the response, that the uTest team decided to add a second prize (iPod Nano) for the second most “likes” (with a total of 1,413) as well as a Judge’s Choice Award (the honorable title, coupled with a iPod Shuffle) that went to the most creative and unusual bug. The competition was not only a success for those who won but also a win for the entire uTest community. Members shared on the page how much they enjoyed the competition. Michael John A Gonzaga posted on the page: “We’re happy because the fun and excitement is always there, win or lose. Thank you uTest.”

As brands turn to social media for better ways to engage with their audience, there is no question that uTest is leading the way in building a loyal and active fan base. Who knew BUGS could have created this much excitement on the Web?

The uTest contest was a success because it was simple to explain, easy to participate in and strongly tied to the brand’s messaging. A social media “lesson learned” from this campaign is the importance of knowing where your audience lives. The uTest audience – testers, potential testers, developers and web and mobile app junkies – really connected with the campaign because it spoke to them and the world they revel in. In turn uTest was able to increase its brand awareness in a way that was both engaging and meaningful as the contest got its participants to do what they love to do.

The uTest competition clearly shows that with a strategic approach to social media engagement, a brand can achieve phenomenal results in a short period of time – it’s just got to bug you enough to get there.Ayelet Noff is a partner in Socialmedia.biz and founder and Co-CEO of Blonde 2.0, an award winning digital PR agency with branches in Boston and Tel Aviv. Contact Ayelet via The Blonde 2.0 website , email, or follow her on Twitter and Google Plus.

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  • That's inspiring! I never knew that you can simply ask people to help you out. I guess, many are making the mistake of bombarding people with their campaign without really engaging them to participate. I think I'll have to take the lesson here and apply it to my page. Thanks for sharing.