Case Study: Social Business Strategy for Computer Components Brand

Business Challenge

Market leading computer components business and ecommerce retailer had several highly visible social media presences but felt they were not tapping social business’s potential. They wanted to be more confident of their purpose: what they were doing, where, how and when. The Social Business Strategy provided an in-depth Ecosystem Audit as well as an Organization Audit to measure the firm’s unique assets. It recommended several pilots to implement the strategy.


As engagement partner, led Social Business Strategy using the Social Network Roadmap(SM). Advised global marketing, public relations and social business team on optimizing social business investment.


Produced the Social Business Strategy in two phases, the Ecosystem Audit (external focus) and the Organization Audit (internal focus).

For the Ecosystem Audit, developed stakeholder profiles, and worked with multidiscinplinary client team to prioritize them in terms of importance to the business.

  • Developed each stakeholder’s key characteristics, and used them to design filters that would find them online. Programmed, tested and iterated each stakeholder filter in tight cycles. Utilized SNR Analytics tools and processes to rank highest priority digital social venues that would enable the brand to interact most efficiently.
  • Worked with engagement team to conceptualize and rank importance of stakeholders’ key activities (“workstreams”) most relevant to the brand. Programmed, tested and iterated filters for each workstream.
  • Synthesized workstream and stakeholder filters to rank digital social venues (sites) based on high priority stakeholders and their workstreams. Developed Top10 and Top20 rankings of digital social venues.
  • Expanded the ecosystem audit price with Brand Analysis, which is a usability analysis of social venues using use cases.
  • Created Ecosystem Audit Report with stakeholder profiles, processes, metrics, links and initial recommendations for how to engage.
  • Created Ecosystem Map, which is a visual representation of the 170-page report; it uses CSRA algorithms to place Top10 and Top20 according to rank, topic, stakeholder, workstream and several other metrics. Algorithm places all objects on the map as a function of scores and three axes, which makes the audit understandable at a glance.

For the Organization Audit, used core competency analysis and advanced workstream analysis to create trial pilots by synthesizing the firm’s unique strengths with stakeholders’ highest priorities.

  • Evaluated pilots’ feasibility with firm resource and organization analyses. Analyzed public and private case studies to vet concepts and develop relevant good practices.
  • Social business strategy recommended six pilots that would help the firm outperform in a highly competitive environment of ecommerce brands.


  • The Ecosystem Audit revealed that major platforms were inefficient for engaging with the highest priority stakeholders, so the firm was able to adjust its investments accordingly, shifting major platform interactions to supporting higher priority initiatives.
  • As a leading ecommerce brand, the firm had a transactional mentality and culture, and the Social Business Strategy’s analysis enabled the team to develop a clear vision about what it meant to “engage.” Part of the deliverable was hundreds of highly optimized links and conversations, organized by stakeholders and workstreams.
  • Workstream analysis provided rich intelligence on stakeholder use cases and anchored the social business pilots in empowering stakeholders in their workstreams. For example, gamers researched and built game rigs, family members got drafted into “home I.T. support,” moms and students sought the best boards for solving BSOD issues (P.C. crashes), hobbyists built home theaters, photo and video power users discussed high performance computing.
  • The Organization Audit provided a detailed and prioritized deployment plan, focused on leveraging the right assets from the firm’s internal team to achieve the most significant impact.
  • The Ecosystem Audit uncovered a green field opportunity in a venue with highly relevant stakeholder conversations—and with no competitor or substitute presence.
  • The Organization Audit grounded the team in the company’s core competencies, which we used as the foundation of their content strategies for each pilot, areas in which competitors were weak and the firm has the most value-add and authority.
  • The Social Business Strategy provided the firm a two-year planning horizon for using specific projects to increase social business competency while achieving defined quantitative metrics. The sequencing was designed to build competency for increasingly complex initiatives.

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