COM0015: The strength of one little peanut butter cup

By: Bryan Thiel


Who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter?

The popularity of that magical combination, introduced all the way back in 1928, proves that very few people can resist when it comes to the iconic orange and yellow packaging.

But what may be even more impressive, is what Reese’s has done on social media.

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This screen shot shows it all: an interactive competition, timely content, and a company willing to interact personally with consumers.

Capitalizing on the interactive nature of its platforms, the snack has found countless new and fresh ways to address their audience. When it comes to commenters, they are constantly sending out replies, whether it’s addressing complaints or concerns, re-directing consumers to Hershey’s suggestions page, or just initiating conversation among their followers. Their Facebook page houses a variety of content, including recipes, contests, and advertisements.

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On Twitter, it is much of the same, but they’ve also kept the content fresh and new. Some of their competitions and coupons are exclusive  to certain social feeds, and they understand the importance of being self-aware. Retweeting a celebrity mention, capitalizing on trending hashtags, circulating specialized video content, and promoting website extensions have all helped Reese’s build up their social media standing.

Another company excelling on Social Media that I was directed to by Social Media Examiner was Martell Homes. Their Facebook page is well organized, providing pictures of renderings, drawings, and finished homes, while also offering tours with specific albums. Their photo content is organized and well-maintained, and like any private business should, they have their reviews right at the top with their high scores benefiting them.

It goes beyond their Facebook page however, as their website digs even deeper into integrating their social feeds.While the standard social buttons, photos, and contact information are all displayed on their website, they’ve actually expanded their services to include a blog which can profile neighbourhoods, offer unsolicited advice to their customers, or even re-direct people to other social feeds. One of their most-recent posts is one of their employee’s five favourite pins of the week. This is a great idea that helps deliver a varied message, even if it could use some tweaking (An author with a link to their Pinterest page or embedded links to each of the pins would be a big help).

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There are some things to improve on (no author or links), but it’s a fresh and interseting approach to a blog from a company you might not expect to have one.

There’s things to improve upon, but it’s a fresh and interesting approach to a blog from a company you might not expect to have one.

They’ve also done a great job of identifying what their market is, and which feeds work for them with Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, avoiding any unnecessary social media forays.

Inspired by the choice we have to make for our next assignment, I decided to scour a list of Canadian non-profit organizations to see who could benefit from a  social media facelift. The thinking was very similar to the struggles of the Canadian Lung Association: These companies don’t necessarily have the most money to spend, so their plans may need some help.

After coming across a few business, I decided to turn my attention to my home town of London, Ontario and the Thames Valley District School Board.

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While most of the posts offer important information, some of them aren’t getting the circulation or reaching the target audience like the TVDSB would like.

While they’ve done a good job of embracing social media, there are places where they can improve. Their video content is a little lacking, and while some of it digs a little deeper into what is going on across the school board, some of the videos are quick clips without much in terms of content attached to them.

When thinking about how this is a school board that encompasses a city worth of schools, trying to integrate multiple schools into a single post (or multiple posts regarding multiple schools) would be a great way to drive interaction and keep bringing parents back to their social feeds.

Additionally, one of the key points brought up by the CLA was their failure in identifying their target audiences properly. There are few (if any) posts geared towards high schools and high school students on their feeds, and when  you consider who may be using their mobile devices to investigate Facebook and Twitter, it’s high school students.

That is, outside of school hours of course.

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One thought on “COM0015: The strength of one little peanut butter cup

  1. Bryan, I can’t BELIEVE we both chose Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups as a case study in social media done well. Full marks for noting the unique marketing happening on various platforms. I also think you made clearer the point that, because they don’t respond to stories / comments / questions / concerns with platitudes and pad comments, they are more personable and likeable.

    On the organization that could use some help with their social media approach, I take your points on that School Board as well. My daughter is in the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (ocdsb.ca) and it always seemed to me that the student audience was only tacitly acknowledged, not genuinely addressed. There is a student page, but in my opinion it only scantly covers issues really on students’ minds – sure, they want to know about scholarships and homework help but what about who to turn to for help with bullying, peer pressure, fitting in? An opportunity to be sure!

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