Investment in Social Media a Critical Component to American Pecan Council's Strategic Messaging PlanFri, 23 Aug 2019 10:37:33 CDT
Since the launch of its national promotional campaign, the American Pecan Council has invested a significant amount of its budget into social media messaging (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter) based on the advice of its agency of record, the New York City-based public relations firm Weber Shandwick. During the 2019 American Pecan Congress in Dallas, Texas this week, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays had the chance to speak with Janet Helm, a consulting dietician at Weber Shandwick who handles the firm’s food and nutrition accounts. She discussed the importance of having a strong presence in social media today and the strategic value that makes the investment so worthwhile. You can listen to their full conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“Social media is a very efficient way to reach the consumer because increasingly, that’s where they get their information,” Helm said. “So, we need to be there and inspire that consumer we want to reach to take action. Yes, we still do a lot of traditional public relations. We work with magazine editors and have tv segments and recipe demos - we’re doing all of that too, but buying advertising is the most expensive thing to do.”
For this reason alone, Helm contends that digital engagement is a much more cost-effective way to reach audiences. She adds that by using digital platforms, the APC can target specific demographics that play a key role in their marketing strategy - Millennial moms for example. Like anything, though, digital marketing has its obstacles. According to Helm, countless entities are vying for space on the populous’ social media newsfeed. This has created an opportunity for social media companies like Facebook and Instagram to evolve into paid channels. Essentially, to get face time with social media users, you have to pay to play. However, Helm insists it is still a much more affordable, efficient and effective option.
Knowing that the use of social media is going to be a big part of the plan, is only a part of the puzzle. Knowing what to say and how to deliver that message, is a whole other issue. Helm says the process in developing messaging for the APC was extensive and deliberate - and most importantly rooted in sound market research. According to their initial work, Weber Shandwick discovered that most consumers thought of pecans as a “dessert nut,” often used for pies and only for special occasions. However, Helm says the pecan in reality offers so much more than that, especially in the nutrition department. That premise eventually helped to identify the challenge consumers were presenting the pecan industry. Weber Shandwick came to the conclusion that consumers were challenging the industry to change their minds about pecans and promote them as rather a “snacking nut,” packed with healthy and beneficial nutrition.
After extensive message testing, Helm says they finally arrived at an idea they felt encapsulated the true nature and qualities of the pecan, branding it as “The Original Supernut.” Helm attests that social media has been integral in the rapid expansion of that brand and has been used to exponentially grow its consumer exposure with a tremendous amount of flexibility.
“Social media allows you to be more nimble, because you can get immediate feedback on the engagement of content to try and measure purchase intent,” she said. “We can know in real time through our measurements how our content is performing and make adjustments accordingly.”
Learn more about the strategic value and cost-efficiency of the APC’s social media investment, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below to hear the full exchange between Hays and Helm.
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