• October 5, 2020
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Social Distancing Works

In our recent July/August issue, we ran an article ("Social Media Is No Longer an Imperative") in the Insight section in which Forrester Research advocated for marketers to not rely so heavily on social media for their customer outreach.

At first look, the advice might have seemed counter-intuitive. After all, the marketing mantra has been for companies to be wherever their customers are, and all indications were that customers are on social media.

Evidence released this week shows that companies practicing this form of "social distancing" are actually benefitting, just as Forrester suggested.

Coffee subscription company Crema.co left social media in May and has since seen growth in both sales and customer loyalty.

The company formally abandoned all forms of social media May 20, leaving behind only a short video explaining its departure. It instead shifted its focus on providing customers with more value through weekly newsletters and giveaways. The result has been a marked increase in consumer interaction and loyalty and a steady 22 percent increase in sales.

The move away from social media followed an intense customer outreach. Crema presents all major decisions to its customers by means of surveys.

"Our customers are the ones who use the service on a regular basis; it only makes sense that their opinions have a powerful effect on what we do next," said Austin Romansky, managing partner of Crema.co.

In one of these surveys entitled "Leave Social Media?", 88.1 percent of customers said they either didn't use social media or they wanted to leave it altogether, and 90.3 percent said social media is likely a major cause of depression in the world.

"We already knew that we wanted to leave social media for mental and emotional health reasons, but we were pleasantly surprised how many of the Crema.co family felt the same way. After reading the results of that survey, the decision was final," Romansky said. "Even if we saw a decrease in sales, we'd still feel good about the decision. We're amazed that the opposite has proven true."

The team at Crema.co challenges other businesses to branch out in their marketing efforts to focus more on existing customers. They also hope all can find a balanced and healthy use of social media in their lives.

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