How Rover uses Sprout Social to measure and optimize performance on a global scale
Rover is a pet owner’s dream.
As the world’s largest network of five-star pet sitters and dog walkers, pet parents turn to Rover for in-home dog boarding, doggy day care and much more in thousands of cities around the globe.
But business is a dog eat dog world, and success isn’t guaranteed by wagging tails alone.
Rover uses social media to boost brand awareness and inspire long-term loyalty, and relies on Sprout Social’s powerful data and intelligence tools to ensure it’s barking up the right tree.
Sprout took care of the needs that were most pressing to us, and did so in a way that was cost-effective and scalable. Bret Neuman
Head of Social & Video Media
Man’s best friend
A big part of Head of Social & Video Media Bret Neuman’s job is creating organic engagement on social in hopes of driving traffic back to Rover’s website or blog, The Dog People.
“We’re mostly tasked with top-of-the-funnel brand awareness,” Neuman said. “We’re not an organization that necessarily has a huge budget for running broadcast TV ads all the time. It’s really important for us to maintain that top-of-mind awareness with our potential customers.”
Rover required a social media management platform that would not only help it make sure it was hitting its goals, but also drive decision-making.
“We looked at a lot of different platforms,” Neuman said. “Sprout took care of the needs that were most pressing to us, and did so in a way that was cost-effective and scalable.”
Scalability is particularly important for Rover, which recently expanded into Europe.
“We acquired a European competitor and now we have Rover in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain…,” Neuman said. “There are individual brand managers for each of these markets, and all of them are leveraging Sprout as well.”
It’s essential for Rover to understand how audiences in different markets react to its messaging, but manually gathering data from individual social platforms is a tedious, time-consuming task.
Sprout’s analytics and reporting tools eliminate the need for laborious manual processes, enabling users to quickly collect data for all connected social profiles in one location.
“It’s really nice to be able to use Sprout to see the general health and growth of our different social channels,” Neuman said. “We use Sprout to mine the insights of what’s resonating with our audiences in the US, and then provide that to the brand managers in Europe to see if that content resonates with their audiences. We can test different types of content and quickly analyze the metrics to see what’s working.”
I spend a lot of time in the Group Report, which wraps up all our top-level metrics and makes it really easy for me to slice and dice the data. It’s especially helpful when analyzing data across different date ranges. Bret Neuman
Manager of Social & Video Media
Best in show
Supporting social strategy on a global scale means Neuman spends much of his time in Sprout’s reporting suite. More importantly, he’s not spending time struggling against the limitations of native social networks.
“I spend a lot of time in the Group Report, which wraps up all our top-level metrics and makes it really easy for me to slice and dice the data,” Neuman said. “It’s especially helpful when analyzing data across different date ranges. [Without a tool like Sprout], if you wanted to look at a couple of years’ worth of data, you’d end up having to put together five different spreadsheets and try to remember where you left off with cutting and pasting numbers. It would end up getting screwed up before you finished your report. And then you’ve spent so much of your time doing something that takes two minutes in Sprout.”
And when it comes to drilling down into specific pieces of content, Sprout’s Message Tagging feature simplifies things further. Users can easily group and categorize messages to match specific workflows, business objectives and marketing strategies. Then, using the Tag Report, they can gain visibility into inbound and outbound tag activity to better understand message volume, performance patterns and campaign effectiveness.
“It’s so nice to be able to tag things from the Sent Messages Report and then run a Tag Report,” Neuman said. “I can report on various campaigns we’re running in tandem with other areas of the business. So if we’re putting together an integrated campaign over the summer or if we’re ramping up featuring content related to cats, for example, I can very easily tag all that content. Then if somebody drops by with a last-minute request to pull some numbers, it’s very easy for me to just run a Tag Report and spit out impressions and clicks and engagement around that campaign rather than going back and digging through data and putting together a report manually every time someone asks.”
Social listening is really great to get a feel for what customers are saying about us, even if it’s indirectly about us and outside our own social channels. Bret Neuman
Manager of Social & Video Media
Old dog, new tricks
Analytics isn’t the only trick up Rover’s sleeve.
Sprout’s Advanced Listening tool empowers the company to access and utilize industry, brand and competitive insights. Users can track and analyze conversations around relevant topics to understand consumer sentiment and brand health, uncovering everything from emerging trends to product development opportunities.
“Social listening is really great to get a feel for what customers are saying about us, even if it’s indirectly about us and outside our own social channels,” Neuman said. “We closely monitor our social channels, especially when people are tagging us or speaking directly to us, but social listening allows you to go further. I can track the adoption of a particular hashtag or do market research or just see what people might be talking about in relation to our brand, even when it’s not necessarily directly about our brand.”
Listening also allows Rover to identify influencers and industry thought leaders based on their social following or post impact to cultivate brand advocates.
“It’s great to have another touchpoint to see if influencers are speaking about our brand, and to find out market-level insights that we can then take to other areas of the business and share,” Neuman said. “Listening helps us understand the word of mouth around Rover as a brand.”
Rover will continue to serve four-legged friends and their doting owners the world over.
And thanks to Sprout Social, it will do so with audience insights in hand to help it reach larger audiences and create real connection with customers, all while saving valuable time.Download PDF