How Helix is Building Brand Awareness From the Ground Up
Discover how this personal genomics startup uses social media to educate and engage their audience as they differentiate themselves from established competitors.
Helix helps people improve their lives through knowledge of their DNA. In the competitive human genomics industry, Helix is distinct in a few ways. By creating an App Store-like marketplace, partners such as National Geographic, Lose It! and the Mayo Clinic are able to develop personal DNA products for their customers, while Helix handles sample collection, lab operations, and data storage.
Helix consumers are able to unlock up to 100 times more data points than other genomics companies. From just one initial DNA sample, customers can discover new insights over time as Helix and its partners develop new products and methods of analysis, amplifying the potential for return buyers and loyal fans.
Increase in social engagement
Increase in followers across channels
reduction in moderation time
What they did
To gain ground and set themselves apart from their more established competitors in the DNA genomics space, Helix embraced a community-oriented social strategy. They began using Hootsuite Business and a variety of tools, such as Crimson Hexagon and Google Drive, to support audience engagement and analysis, multimedia advertising, customer support, content management, and more.
We are a very consumer-focused company, and social is an amazing way to get insights and have conversations. From a marketing perspective, the entire organization does better when we know what's happening on social, and Hootsuite is a big part of that process.
How they did it
Social listening to understand their audience
To engage and educate potential customers about how they’re different, Helix realized they first needed to better understand who their customers are. Social listening enables brands to monitor customer sentiment and get a glimpse of relevant conversations on social media, to see what people are talking about and what types of questions they’re asking.
Helix investigated what people know about the science of genomics, and what they are most interested in learning about themselves. By using Crimson Hexagon, a social intelligence tool, they were able to gain insights into their audience and shape their messaging, brand positioning, and content they share across social media.
Building their brand with cohesive campaigns
Rather than taking a transactional approach—interacting with customers one at a time—Helix tapped into the strength of their social networks to build a sustainable buzz and a community of fans and followers.
To celebrate a recent partnership with the Mayo Clinic, and further distinguish their brand, Helix launched an integrated campaign, “Follow your DNA,” which they shared across social media. They measured the campaign’s success by monitoring engagement, click-through rates, and time on site. Engagement doubled as a result of the campaign, and Helix saw a 32% improvement in positive brand sentiment.
Using Hootsuite to enhance productivity
The Hootsuite dashboard helps Helix’s social media team keep track of what customers are saying about their brand and industry. They use the Planner and Publisher tools to view, manage and schedule all posts from a single location, ensuring they always have a steady stream of relevant content ready.
Hootsuite’s Assignments feature allows Helix to easily assign audience questions or comments to team members for follow-up, and to automate customer service interactions where possible. Assignments help ensure that any complex science-based questions are answered by an appropriate subject matter expert in a timely manner.
The Google Drive plugin helps Helix access and share information easily without leaving the Hootsuite dashboard. Another productivity win.
“Hootsuite allows us to be efficient in creating great content,” Kuzma says. “It allows us to get a broad view of everything that's going out on social, to collaborate efficiently, and to get the right stakeholders in place.”
Since beginning their partnership with Hootsuite, Helix has doubled their social engagement and followers, quarter over quarter, while also cutting their moderation time in half by going from 10 or more hours of moderating their social channels per week to a mere five hours. They’ve experienced a 30 percent increase in followers across their social channels, and have received media attention from Wired, Fast Company, CNBC, and many more.
Kuzma and Graham are eager to continue to explore the strength of social media in understanding and engaging with their audience, and to share stories about how their customers have changed their lives using the power of DNA knowledge. They’ve even invested in video production, with an in-house studio to help them tell engaging, media-rich stories to be shared across social and other media.
“I love the opportunities to use video to tell stories in a much more robust way than just a static image,” Graham says. “I think that's one of the greatest things that social offers us: two-way communication and the ability to tell a really interesting story. And Helix has a lot of stories to tell.”