A few minutes ago I had the pleasure of announcing the winners of the 2012 Business-to-Consumer Forrester Groundswell Awards at the Forrester eBusiness Forum in Chicago. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read through, not just the highlights below, but the full entries for all the finalists and all the winners — because once again this year we received many outstanding entries. It’s clear that social media has reached a tipping point, where savvy companies are using social tools to pursue real business objectives rather than simply chasing fans and followers. The 2012 winners put social programs to use in their organizations — successfully marketing their wares, supporting their customers, and generating insights.

Here, then, are our B2C finalists and winners for 2012.

Social Impact (Business-to-Consumer)


Million Moms Challenge Community by Blog Frog

ABC News and the United Nations Foundation partnered with BlogFrog to raise awareness and funds around issues affecting moms and babies around the world. This program identified more than 800 social influencers and activated them to create trusted content about motherhood. In total, the bloggers reached more than 15 million readers and garnered over 31 million total social media impressions. This in turn led tens of thousands of people to get actively involved: More than 15,000 people signed up for the Million Moms Challenge Community in the first two weeks.

Energizing (Business-to-Consumer)


New Kind of Social Shopping by sneakpeeq and Badgeville 

Sneakpeeq worked with gamification company Badgeville to engage its existing eCommerce customers and attract new customers. Site users can "peeq" at special prices for the style and home products on the site, or "love" the products they already own — either of which earns those customers rewards and shares their actions out to their friends. Since gamifying the retail experience, sneakpeeq has driven millions more "peeqs" at prices, created a 3,000% lift in the number of buy-button clicks, and generated an average 18% month-over-month growth rate in conversions.

Embracing (Business-to-Consumer)


               The Heineken Concept Club by Heineken and InSites consulting


Barclaycard Ring: Fueling Innovation with Community Built on Lithium

Barclaycard calls Ring “the world’s first community-designed credit card.” Once approved for the card, customers join a Lithium-powered community where they influence benefits, rates and penalties — and even receive a share of profits generated by the business. Ring, combined with other voice of the customer initiatives, has decreased complaints by 50% and increased customer retention by 25%, resulting in an annualized benefit of over $10 million.

Supporting (Business-to-Consumer)


Skype's peer-to-peer community improves 1st contact resolution to 70% and reduces support cost by 10% by Skype

Sky's Peer to Peer Community makes sound business sense, deflecting some calls, and shortening others, by Sky 


Engaging and Energizing Experts for Superior Support, by Hewlett-Packard 

Hewlett-Packard created a Consumer Support Forum that connects HP customers online in order to exchange insights, tips, and answers to questions – and self-identified volunteer “HP experts” provide more than 50% of the solutions. The forum contains nearly 500 million posts in total and has helped more than 40 million HP customers solve technology issues since its inception in 2009. HP estimates the forum saves the company $50 million per year in support costs.

Talking (Business-to-Consumer)


Glidden My Colortopia by Digital Influence Group

Paint maker Glidden partnered with Digital Influence Group to create My Colortopia, a program designed to inspire consumers to add color to their homes. The MyColortopia.com site featured content from design and decor bloggers, advice columns, and color picker tools. So far, consumers have spent 1.5M+ minutes interacting with the site and left more than 2,000 comments — and that’s made them more likely to buy. Visitors are now 70%+ more likely to consider purchasing Glidden Paint for a future project.