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CAC's social media outreach enhances retail programs

Social media continues to evolve at a rapid pace, and the California Avocado Commission is taking full advantage of these new opportunities to reach consumers with targeted messages. CAC has expanded its social media efforts to fully support retailers with a variety of customer-specific programs and communications.

Jan-DeLyser-newJan DeLyserA key component of CAC’s social media program is providing timely content to retailers for their shopper outreach. Supermarket registered dietitians have been able to use this content, adapting and personalizing to fit their own communication styles. CAC also supports retailers by geo-targeting Facebook posts to provide information about California avocado availability in specific regions as well as to publicize local retailer events such as demos and cooking schools that encourage California avocado sales.

According to a 2012 study titled "U.S. Grocery Shoppers," 28 percent of respondents said they use Facebook to gather and share information on food products, nutrition and recipes.

“The sweet spot of social media geo-targeting is the three-way intersection of CAC targeted social media outreach, consumer fans looking to buy California avocados and retailers who merchandise them and want to bring those shoppers into their stores,” Jan DeLyser, CAC vice president of marketing, said in a press release. “We approach this engagement the same way with foodservice operators who feature California avocados on their menus.”

The commission integrates social media with CAC marketing programs, both online and offline, to ensure consistency of message wherever the consumer may be and from whichever device they use. For example, the same key communication points of CAC’s traditional advertising campaign are part of the commission’s social media messaging.

Social media plays an integral part in promoting and engaging users around CAC’s themed promotions and co-marketing efforts such as CAC’s Wake up to Breakfast with California Avocados breakfast promotion, Cinco de Mayo, and the promotion with Naturipe Berries. CAC also recently launched a Fourth of July campaign, with a recipe contest, co-marketing recipe exchanges, tweets and posts.

“By integrating social media into our marketing communications we are able to add a much deeper level of engagement with our consumers,” said DeLyser. “We have had success with our integrated approach and find it to be much more effective than managing social media as an independent silo.”

California avocados now have more than 200,000 very enthusiastic Facebook fans engaging with our product and brand. More than 5,600 Twitter followers help promote CAC recipes and usage tips. CAC also uses Twitter to promote events and activities, both in advance of the events and with live coverage.

Newer social media for CAC include Pinterest, with more than 10,000 followers of the California avocados page. The top category of “pins” on Pinterest is Food & Drink, and 75 percent of respondents to a 2013 survey conducted by AllRecipe.com reported that the site inspired them to try new dishes. Importantly this social media outlet skews heavily to women and drives considerable traffic to the Commission website.

Instagram has been added to the CAC social media line-up and appeals to an expanded demographic. DeLyser calls it “a grand slam” that reaches a younger demographic, including more men, African Americans and Hispanics than Pinterest. CAC already has more than 7,800 followers on Instagram, which now has 100 million monthly active users.