Cloudera knows the value of data better than most companies.

When enterprise businesses on the cutting edge require data solutions, they turn to Cloudera.

From autonomous vehicles to surgical robots, the enterprise data cloud company helps some of the world’s largest and most forward-thinking businesses sort out their data engineering, data warehousing, machine learning and analytics needs, whether in the cloud or on premises.

But where does Cloudera turn for its own data needs?

When it comes to social media, the answer is Sprout Social.

With the help of Sprout’s powerful publishing, listening and analytics tools, Cloudera ensures every aspect of its strategy is informed and optimized by social data.

As far as what differentiates Sprout from competitors in the enterprise space, ease of use would be my No. 1 thing.
Shelby Khan
Social Media Manager, Cloudera

Selecting Sprout

While various departments within Cloudera leverage social media, the company’s social marketing efforts are primarily run by an army of two, according to Social Media Manager Shelby Khan.

While Khan’s colleague is focused on content scheduling and publishing, she concentrates on measuring performance and developing strategy. Both rely on Sprout’s social media management platform to do their jobs.

However, Sprout wasn’t always Cloudera’s go-to social software solution.

Khan used Sprout in her job at Hortonworks. Once that company merged with Cloudera, she brought it with her.

“Cloudera was conducting a search for a new social management platform because they weren’t happy with the one they were using,” Khan said. “They had actually decided they were going to use Sprout when our merger was announced, so when they found out we were already using it, it became clear it was the right choice.”

Sprout’s user-friendliness gave it a leg up over the competition.

“As far as what differentiates Sprout from competitors in the enterprise space, ease of use would be my No. 1 thing,” Khan said. “With so many of the other tools, it seems like you need years of experience to actually use them effectively.”

I honestly don’t think there are any posts that go out anymore that aren’t using Optimal Send Times.
Shelby Khan
Social Media Manager, Cloudera

Engaging audiences

Over the years, Khan has seen social evolve from a bullhorn for brand messaging into a platform for connection between brands and consumers.

“Five years ago, brands would rush to find a relevant article coming from somewhere like Forbes or ZDNet so they could tweet it first and hopefully get lots of retweets,” Khan said. “But those days are over. You no longer get any benefit from sharing random third-party articles about your industry. People follow you on social now to get information directly from you—to have authentic engagement.”

Using Optimal Send Times, the company is able to automatically publish content at the times proven to generate engagement. Powered by Sprout’s patented ViralPost® technology, Optimal Send Times utilizes audience data to detect when social users are most active for engagement opportunities.

“It’s one of our favorite things,” Khan said. “I honestly don’t think there are any posts that go out anymore that aren’t using Optimal Send Times.”

Content is tagged within Sprout for easy analysis later, allowing Cloudera to quickly go back and find content related to specific topics, business units or campaigns.

[W]e use social listening to keep a finger on the pulse of what people are saying and how they feel about us to better understand what the sentiment is in the market.
Shelby Khan
Social Media Manager, Cloudera

Applying insights

Cloudera also uses Sprout’s Advanced Listening product to uncover valuable insights that can be used to inform content creation or overall business strategy.

“Our No. 1 use case for listening at the moment is for sentiment,” Khan said. “Social media moves much faster than traditional journalism, which makes it a great real-time barometer for how we are perceived. So we use social listening to keep a finger on the pulse of what people are saying and how they feel about us to better understand what the sentiment is in the market.”

Advanced Listening enables Cloudera to identify the percentage of positive, neutral or negative messages associated with its brand, as well as topics relevant to its industry. The team can view specific messages associated with sentiment with the click of a button to dive deeper into details.

“Social is much more immediate than the feedback we get from news articles about us or our public relations efforts,” Khan said. “So the data we get from listening impacts our strategies in terms of our PR and our responses to things. We can look at certain events and quickly see what the key conversations are around them.”

Next Cloudera uses Sprout’s analytics and reporting tools to see what’s working and what may need to change.

“At any given time, I can tell you what type of content is performing best on our different channels,” Khan said. “I can tell you which technology is doing best, because our business units are broken up by technology. I can tell you that we get more engagement from our edge and Internet of Things content compared to our standard big data content.”

This information is then used to refine Cloudera’s content strategy in an effort to capture audience interest and drive traffic directly to the company’s website.

From scheduling content to reporting on how it performs, it saves so much time.
Shelby Khan
Social Media Manager, Cloudera

Removing roadblocks

Engagement and link clicks are key performance indicators for Cloudera, and with Sprout, the company has experienced consistent growth on both fronts.

Year over year as of August 26, 2019, across LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, Cloudera achieved a:

  • 164.4% increase in total social followers
  • 78.4% increase in total social engagements
  • 78.6% increase in total social impressions

This helped drive 201,400 total link clicks from organic social.

But the true value of Sprout is also measured in terms of time saved, according to Khan.

“From scheduling content to reporting on how it performs, it saves so much time,” Khan said. “It also makes a huge difference for our team, because it used to be that I might have to pull metrics manually, say for a big quarterly business review. People would want to know the impact of social and how our content performed compared to other businesses or our own baseline. Before we’d have to go through LinkedIn and Twitter and Facebook for the last quarter and read every individual post, put it in a spreadsheet and grab the metrics for it. It was a full day’s work. Now it takes two minutes.”

Cloudera can take those time savings and focus more on what really matters: Inspiring interest, trust and loyalty among its audience.

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