As featured in Inside FMCG

There’s no doubt social media has revolutionised the way we communicate, including how we market to consumers. But while FMCG companies are active in the social media space, there are still many untapped marketing opportunities.

Social media when done well can be instrumental to a product evolving beyond a commodity to become its own culture. A perfect example of this is Oreo, which has developed an almost cult-like social media following with its playful animations. The strategy has lifted the brand to a new stratosphere, surpassing product features and price point.

The foundation on which social media was built are the interactions and conversations between people and in the case of FMCG products, people and brands. This allows brands to interact and have a direct dialogue with their consumers. This remains the single most important aspect of social media as it can really set a brand apart.

One of the great ‘areas of potential’ social media can offer a brand is a channel to test the market in a very cost-efficient way. Product development, creative messaging and a brand’s look and feel can all be tested via social first, as a controlled test group for brands to gain insight and feedback very quickly. Many brands within the FMCG landscape are known to do this including Cadbury which recently launched new flavoured chocolate developed entirely through crowd sourcing via their Facebook page.

Social media also empowers others to tell your story through collaborations with celebrities, influencers or surprising and delighting advocates. When you understand the importance of others relevant to your target audience singing your praises authentically, social media is certainly a powerful tool to use.

Utilising user-generated content (UGC) in a social media campaign gives a brand the opportunity to educate around occasions and situations in which you can use the product. UGC prompts people to see a product differently and how it can be incorporated into their repertoire.

A recent campaign run by Social Soup to launch Tip Top Sandwich Thins used social media to generate trials through sampling, promote UGC across owned, earned and paid assets, as well as to track behavioural change through sales.

Around 20,000 people and 20 micro-influencers were selected to sample the product. Participants had to be Coles or Woolworths shoppers who enjoyed bakery products were seeking new lunchtime options. The micro-influencers were selected based on areas of passion including food, family and lifestyle.

All participants were asked to sign-up to the Social Soup trial app, watch the Tip Top Sandwich Thins ad on the app and buy the product in Coles/Woolworths using an e-voucher delivered in store upon scanning the product.

After trying the product, they then completed a review through the app, shared photos on social using the hashtag #TipTopThins and provided additional feedback on the product and project overall.

The campaign successfully drove a 236 per cent lift in sales among the trial group during the post-campaign period, which was measured using Quantium through matching trial participants with actual spend levels during and after the trial period against a control group of matching behaviour.

In terms of social engagement, the campaign delivered 18,587 social posts using #tiptopthins, 163,604 real world engagements (likes and comments) on the content, delivering an engagement rate of 4.6 per cent, helped by authentic influencer content connections. Overall the campaign reached 5 million people across Facebook and Instagram.

Along with impressive engagement, participants also wrote over 15,000 real-world reviews of the product hosted online and optimised for search and SEO.

Building communities of advocates, seeking feedback and making consumers feel heard through prompt and personalised customer service are just some of the powerful muscles a brand can flex within the social media space, generating a real-time and actionable feedback loop with the consumer.

As featured in Inside FMCG. November 6, 2018. Written by Maria Casas, Group Business Director, Social Soup.