golfsmith_logo-convertedThis blog was guest-written by Sherrie Nguyen, Bazaarvoice Community Manager.

Golfsmith, a leading manufacturer and provider of golf and tennis gear, was one of Bazaarvoice’s first clients, and started Tweeting (@golfsmithHQ) and set up a Facebook fan page in spring 2009. Like a lot of retailers, Golfsmith is new to social media, but they’re not new to listening to their customers – the company celebrated their 40th birthday in 2007.

Right now, they’re trying to measure the impact of Facebook and Twitter for their business, and it’s an experiment at this point. According to Eric Mahlstadt, Senior Online Store Manager, and Dillon Smith, Search & Marketing Analyst, they currently have more than 1,200 Twitter followers and almost 7,000 Facebook fans. They track click-throughs from these pages to their site, follow responses to posts and numbers of followers, and are pleased with their results thus far. And it’s part of their corporate strategy of listening to their customers.

“It’s very important to us to walk the line between being engaged and being obtrusive,” said Eric. “The value right now to us as a retailer is not as much about what kind of people these are, but what kinds of experiences they’re having. We’re interested in providing as many choices and platforms as possible for our customers to share thoughts and ideas and provide input. The struggle then becomes having enough engaged ears to hear all the feedback and to be nimble enough to act on that feedback.”

So, for Golfsmith, the next step involves tying these conversations to real commerce. As an early adopter of our new Social Network Accelerators, they’ll have the opportunity to use Twitter and Facebook to directly impact sales conversion on their site. It starts with increasing participation.

“With Social Network Accelerators, we expect to start seeing crossover/cross-pollination to and from customer reviews and Q&A and our Facebook and Twitter pages,” said Dillon. “This comes with using these accelerators to drive more participation with Golfsmith, no matter how our Guests want to reach out to us, then aggregating these reviews and answers to our product pages, to have a direct impact on sales. It’s important to Golfsmith to listen to our Guests, over any channel they choose to use to communicate with us, and interact with them as much as possible. The more we hear from our Guests, the better we can work to improve our customer experience.”

While Golfsmith is innovating with Social Network Accelerators to help drive participation, there’s even more to come. Working with Bazaarvoice can help Golfsmith continue to innovate to help them get the most from social profile information – showing Facebook friends on the Golfsmith site – and distribution – allowing consumers to submit content directly from their social networks.

“As we learn more and continue to strengthen our communication with our Guests, we plan to work to increase the ease of sharing information, opinions and media to and from our Guests,” said Dillon. “We aim to provide social commerce applications and social networking in the format that our Guests would most like to use.”

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