Given the significant use of social media tools by consumers and food, health and industry professionals around the world, the Almond Board of California (ABC) has included it as a necessary component of its current marketing communications program around the world.
“We have taken a strategic approach, which has helped us develop a social media program that helps fulfill the marketing goals of the Almond Board,” says Melissa Mautz, associate director
of ABC’s Marketing Services. “We are implementing a centralized approach to ensure integration and efficiencies around the world, but encouraging the multiple regions in which we conduct marketing programs to create regional strategies and manage the day-to-day business.”
In February 2012, ABC launched a consumer-targeted Facebook page
in North America. “The North American approach to social media has been deliberately slow and steady, and it’s starting to pay off,” says Molly Spence, director of North American marketing. A year after launching the page, the North American program started Facebook advertising. The ads appear in Facebook’s right-hand margin and encourage users in different ways to “like” ABC’s page. The advertising launch coincided with a countdown to National Almond Day, Feb. 16, with fun almond facts and daily tin giveaways leading up to that day. And in the first week of advertising, the page’s fan count went up nearly 250%.
“Our intent with Facebook is to build a solid base of loyal, truly engaged fans and valuable content before we use advertising to promote the page to a wider group,” Spence says. “We’ll aim to keep this quickly growing fan base engaged, keeping in mind that the best form of engagement is when they ‘share’ our posts with their Facebook friends,” she adds.
More recently, ABC launched a North American consumer
Twitter handle with the description “We’re about yummy recipes,
tips & for the love of #almonds! Great for snacking to give you the power to take on whatever life brings.” The new handle, @almonds, is designed specifically for consumers and consumer media, and complements ABC’s well-established industry-targeted handle, @almondboard.
Currently in China, we are active on Weibo, which is a microblogging service and is often compared to Twitter. In the months to come, China, South Korea and the EU3 (made up of Germany, France, and the UK) will begin building out comprehensive local social media strategies and launching new or additional platforms.