The Current State Of Social Media In The Candy Industry

Social_Media_Tools_Comparison_Candy_Hersheys_Snickers_M&MS_Lindt3

Whether it is the Italian Ferrero Rocher, the American Reese’s or the Swiss Lindt, confectionery brands use social media as part of their promotions mix. A glance at the table below summarizes which social networks some of the largest candy brands use. Clearly, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are winners used by all the brands, followed closely by Instagram and Pinterest.

Candy Brands Compared - Social Media

In Action: Hershey’s, Lindt, Snickers and M&MS.

Hershey’s uses Facebook as a means to communicate with their fans through celebrating everyday occasions with recent posts on National Happiness Day, Pi Day and Easter. Over 8 million likes on their company page suggests they have a massive audience whom they are able to reach frequently. Twitter is used in a similar manner with posts overlapping in content and similarity to Facebook. They have over 150K followers, only a fraction of their Facebook audience, yet their engagement seems higher with several hundred ‘Favorites’ and ‘Retweets’ by their fans. More can be done by the brand to share exclusive or tailored content on each platform and cater to the different demographics that exist on each. Cross-posting can be seen by fans as a short-cut to save time posting, but can deter the audience and make the brand seem like they are lazy. Simply – cross-promoting works better than cross-posting (Donkor, 2016).

When I think of Lindt, I picture a classy chocolate, oozing with quality which makes my mouth water…so it comes as no surprise then that they use photos of their products across many of their social networks, be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or re-pins of others pictures on Pinterest. Despite their brand being a ‘luxury’ chocolate brand somewhat, they are able to tailor their messages to touch their audiences in a more informal and an every-day tone. Although they have a Google Plus account, it seems to have been abandoned since 2014. Lindt should consider building their profile to take advantage of building a network on one of the ‘Big Four’ social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn) that is being used by some of their competitors (Kissmetrics, n.d.). Having a presence on social networks is different to being active on it.  Google have integrated Google+ posts and +1’s (and more recently tweets from Twitter) into its search results, and often favor their own social network to appear higher in search engines (Parsons, 2014).

Snickers have truly mastered customizing their messages for their audience on each channel. Their Facebook page hosts contests, product launches and commercials and Twitter is edging more towards moments and real-time marketing. Their Twitter strategy targets busy and hungry Twitter users through daily routine nuances – targeting people at home, in the office, on their commute via their well-recognized tagline “You’re not you when you’re hungry”. This tagline can be interpreted in several ways and creates further brand awareness and exposure (Deguilhem, 2014).

And the winner is…

It’s hard to pick a candy brand, without hurting another. But I think the trophy for the best social media usage has to go to M&M’S. M&M’S are a humorous and playful brand. Their distinct colored M&M’s have distinct personality traits and their commercials and marketing messages all revolving around them make them unique. They use Facebook for announcing new products, celebrating occasions and are currently trying to get feedback on which peanut flavor they should keep on their shelves! Their warm and lively stance on social media make them a brand which consumers love. Hence the 10 MILLION likes on their Facebook page, 50K+ followers on Instagram and 78K on Twitter! They also have an active and verified Pinterest account with just under 10K followers sharing creative photos of recipes including their M&Ms shared by their fans. They are not hesitant on using user generated content as part of their social media strategy.

As you can see, social media uptake by candy brands is clearly not resisted. All of the brands mentioned have been using a multitude of channels to reach their audience to tempt them with their chocolates and most have been successful at posting relevant and engaging content frequently. Hershey’s, Lindt, M&Ms and Snickers are just a few amidst the others who shine on the social media front.

Which candy brands do you follow on social networks? Who do you think does social media marketing best? Leave me a comment below 🙂

References:

Deguilhem, A. (2014, June 27). SNICKERS – MOST EFFECTIVE DIGITAL CAMPAIGN EVER. Retrieved from http://www.theydontloveyou.com/snickers-twitter-campaign-effective-digital-advertising/

Donkor, B. (2016, February 3). Why You Should Never Cross-Post on Social Media. Retrieved from http://linkhumans.com/blog/cross-post-social-media

Kissmetrics. (n.d.). Which Social Media Accounts Really Matter and Why. Retrieved from https://blog.kissmetrics.com/which-social-accounts-matter/

Parsons, J. (2014, April 3). Does Google Favor It’s Social Network over Others? Retrieved from http://www.audiencebloom.com/2014/04/google-favor-social-network-others/

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16 thoughts on “The Current State Of Social Media In The Candy Industry

  1. Dean Blackwell says:

    I have to agree with you on companies finding ways to improve on cross promoting vs. cross posting. This was a big problem for a case study I did for a major fast food company. Much of the content across platforms was redundant and made it appear as though posting was coming off a bit lazy. One of the suggestions I made for the case study was to cross promote engaging content vs. cross posting.

    I don’t eat a lot of candy but when I do its usually between Twizzlers and M&Ms. LOL. Although I enjoy M&Ms playfulness in its commercials I have to say Snicker’s advertising promotion for “You’re not you when your hungry” is genius. They’ve been running the campaign since 2010 but I find its still very effective! The latest Marilyn Monroe adaptation is genius marketing as it lends itself as useful engaging content for platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. It’s the kind of content that’s ridiculously funny, clever and viral. So I think Snickers wins over M&Ms for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • trupti-desai says:

      Thanks for the comment Dean!
      I also agree, cross-posting can appear to be lazy plus as a consumer, do I really want to see a brand’s post published everywhere?

      You’re right, I was also torn between which candy brand does it best – Snicker’s or M&M’s (I love both :P). I also think Snicker’s do a fantastic job being witty and clever like you mentioned! I did an entire case study on their Marketing campaign earlier and found the affinity for the brand is really very strong. M&M’s for me is the winner due to their latest campaign which encourages their fans to vote for a peanut flavor they would like on the shelves! The thing about these candy brands is that most of them do social media very well; they all have a presence across a variety of channels but more importantly, they have the consumer in mind when it comes to engagement. Thanks again for your insight 🙂

      Like

  2. morganebruce says:

    I don’t think I follow any chocolate products on social media. I can’t eat them online. I glanced over M&M’s official Twitter and Facebook page. I wasn’t too impressed. I have a strong pet peeve when companies post the exact same content on multiple social media landscapes. I just think “man, switch it up!” I noticed that on M&Ms’ Twitter they respond ALOT to their customers with problems, which is good but I felt there were enough “problems” that the company could use a Q&A Twitter page. I actually like Snickers a bit better. Though M&Ms’ SM wasn’t shouting for me to purchase their product like #EatASnickers was, Snickers’ SM content was playful and brand appropriate. But that’s just an opinion. The fact of the matter is M&Ms have a greater reach.

    Liked by 1 person

    • trupti-desai says:

      Thanks for your comment Morgane! I too found Snicker’s campaign really great for it be running since 2010 and still bringing in the results I imagine Snickers enjoy. For me, M&M’s are a staple of how social media can be enhanced when they build stories, create fun content and design compelling visuals with their characters to consistently reach their audience. I agree that perhaps a Q&A Twitter feed may be more appropriate for M&M’s! Perhaps my next post may be more interesting to you where I look at Snicker’s in more depth in terms of how they use mobile apps 😉

      Like

  3. victoryfitness2016 says:

    I love this topic! Candy in the U.S. I feel is very popular. I love that you provide a chart of what social media platforms each company uses. I feel as though candy can be challenging because it is absolutely taste preference. Lindt has an ability of providing a lot of different flavors to their consumers. Snickers has a couple varieties that they can offer and M&Ms also have a couple varieties they can offer. I think it is important for these candy companies to get creative, in which you have stated M&Ms uses the social media platforms the best. I agree, they have very cheeky tv ads and magazine ads. I also don’t recall seeing the same ads too often and as you stated this is important! People don’t want to keep seeing the same advertisement over and over, and definitely not on different social media platforms. I think its important for companies to be mindful of how they are using their different social media platforms and what information is going on each. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    • trupti-desai says:

      Hey, thanks for your comment 🙂 Indeed, creativity is extremely important for these candy brands as the competition is stiff for them! I think the use of their characters give them a distinct personality that appeals to adults and children alike. Cheers!

      Like

  4. athletictrainingandadministration says:

    I never really followed any candy companies on social media but I may have to after reading this. It is really interesting to see how these candy companies have truly embraced the use of social media. I am not a big candy or chocolate person myself but I am obsessed with the M&Ms commercials. Despite the fact that I don’t really buy or eat much candy, M&Ms ads always seem to have the ability to make me laugh and on the rare occasion that I actually buy candy, I often remember them. Candy is definitely an extremely popular item so having good relationships with customers through these social media platforms can mean great things for these companies. Great blog post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • trupti-desai says:

      That’s what makes M&M’s so unique and powerful as a candy brand. Their commercials always make me smile too and that emotional connection sometimes is what drives consumers to purchase a candy bar, or for that matter anything! Thanks for your comment 🙂

      Like

  5. ssm4smallbusiness says:

    Ms. Desai,
    I absolutely love everything about your WordPress site. The layout the colors and polished posts. I enjoyed both this week and last week’s posts and found them very complementary. Your chart was very interesting to read and added a lot to your overall post. Very interesting to see the waning interest in companies from Google+. I also like your titles and calls to actions. You have a knack for writing these. I look forward to future posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. sastransky says:

    Your blog is beautiful! You must have experience creating blogs, I love it! (Now I need to go enhance mine) 🙂 The information on here was so easy to read. I agree M&M’s is the winner. The are a fun and playful brand, and very versatile to market and advertise. It is easy to use social media platforms to gain engagement from fans. I also really like the chart you posted. It looks like Snickers is falling behind on their social media efforts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • trupti-desai says:

      Thank you for the lovely compliments! This is actually the first blog I’ve ever created 🙂
      That’s true, I believe Snickers would be a good case study for viral marketing and enhancing word of mouth (through their tag line “you’re not you when you’re hungry”) but when it comes to social media presence, I believe M&Ms do it best. Since the super bowl this year, I’ve repeatedly come across Snickers Marilyn Monroe commercial and the importance of it for me has reached saturation. Thanks again for your comment!

      Like

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