Why are grocery brands looking desperate in social media?
Consumers value fmcg brands for their everyday utility, not for the banal, uninvited messages that hijack their Facebook feeds without delivering anything they really want. Grocery brands need more meaningful ways to start and maintain dialogues with consumers – which may be why on-pack offers have enjoyed a healthy resurgence in recent months. These promotions are a chance for shoppers to get something for nothing and, in today’s value-conscious times, they are delivering ever-higher response and entry rates.
It is however the power of on-packs to unlock social media dialogues and instantly deliver millions of ‘Likes’ or ‘Friends’ that is now capturing the attention of savvy marketing managers.
If a grocery brand with 20m packs runs a strong on-pack offer it could easily deliver a 5% response. If these consumers participate via social media, not only is the brand delivering genuine value but it instantly creates 1,000,000 new connections. A Facebook or Twitter logo on your packaging will never overcome consumer inertia on its own, but a strong on-pack promotion can get your buyers signing up in their thousands every day.
Unfortunately, as the recent New Covent Garden Soup ‘Win a Farm’ promotion shows, you can live and die by the Facebook sword. And if you engage via social media you’d better ensure you deliver what CONSUMERS think is fair, not just what is basically legal.
Covent Garden was legally watertight when it announced (via Facebook) that no one had won, but online consumers made it clear that one prize hidden across millions of packs looked a bit mean to them.
So how do you create an on-pack promotion that turbo-boosts your social media whilst avoiding the pitfalls? Here’s a few starting points
Make it EASY
Too many social media-led promotions request ‘user generated content’. It may fit the brief and brand image, it may create some funny videos for the website, but it decimates response. Most people just can’t be bothered. Can you?
Make it FREE
Although more expensive to run (unless you find a 3rd party partner) ‘Free’ promotions always outperform ‘Wins’. The guarantee of a reward is the key to getting your 5-10%+ response rate.
Make it ACHIEVABLE
If budget constraints mean you can’t do a ‘Free’ or if a ‘Win’ better suits your brand image, ensure people feel they can actually win. Our experience proves that the perceived chance of winning is the single most important factor in creating high entry rates. It’s why many of the best promotions now offer lots of smaller prizes rather than one big one.
Make it NEWS
Start early by inviting your ‘Friends’ to help you develop the promotion – why not let them choose the rewards, partners and prizes they want to see on their brand?
Once live, social media becomes the perfect way to show that real people actually win these things. Campaigns with lots of regular free draws can keep these winners rolling in; every day, every hour, every minute!
Make it DIFFERENT
People talk about shiny new things that catch their attention. Follow the tried-and-tested rules for success but always stamp your brand personality. What can you do that your customers will talk about? For the right reasons.
Stewart Hilton is creative director at sales promotion specialist Blue Chip Marketing