Staying Social on Social Media

abazhano    March 29, 2017

Brands becoming more Digital

Consumer packaged goods companies have started to spend more for digital and social media to better meet changing needs of their consumers who are increasingly looking for education and inspiration on-line. Digital and social media helps companies to craft a more personalized and better targeted message to their consumers and, as such, often achieve higher ROI vs. traditional TV media based on one-size-fits-all approach. Parmalat Canada views Social Media marketing as an essential tool in brand building and promotional plans for its flagship brands President, Galbani, Black Diamond, Balderson and Astro. These brands have on-going digital presence at major social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. The company seems to having embraced Social Media practices that require more message customization, more personal approach to consumers and faster response time vs. some traditional marketing media like TV and print.

Digital Marketing: Web or Social Media?

It seems that Parmalat’s digital strategy has been evolving from “web-site centric” digital strategy where web-sites are considered to be a major touch point of consumer digital experience to “social media centric” strategy where social media pages are assuming equal or sometimes more prominent role vs. branded web-sites. In the “web-site centric” model, digital and other forms of advertising in Food Industry used to direct consumers to their branded web-sites. A typical branded web-site would be designed to provide brand’s story, product information, product usage suggestions and consumer contests among other things. The companies have also encouraged consumers to sign up for newsletters to build on-line community of consumers interested in the brand. The situation has started to change with the emergence of sophisticated Social Media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. For example, Facebook allows brands for creation of more personal community on-line while also providing potent capability for more targeted advertising.

Strategy Evolution Example

A good example of this tendency is evolution of digital advertising for Galbani Cheese, #1 Cheese Brand in Italy and Europe. At its inception, Galbani Canada was heavily relying on the branded web-site as a major consumer touch point in digital space. WWW.GALBANI.CA is designed to

  • educate consumers about Galbani’s brand heritage as Italy’s favorite cheese brand for more than 130 years. In particular, web-site tells about life of the charismatic Italian cheese maker, Egidio Galbani, whose cheeses have become favorites for generations of Italians.
  • provide product information including key benefits and nutritional data
  • serve as a point of entry for consumer contest “Win a Trip to Italy” for an opportunity to experience cheese and wine making in Italy.
  • host an inspirational library of recipes for Mozzarella products including video recipes from an Italian celebrity chef, Massimo Capra.

In search for new ways of connecting and building relationship with consumers, Galbani has ventured into Social Media where its core consumers are increasingly turning for information and inspiration.  Towards that end, Galbani has created a community of consumers who are interested in  European Food, Cheese  and Italian Culture on Facebook.  As a part of community building, Galbani publishes posts centered on interesting aspects of Italian culture, Italian community and on simple Italian tradition recipes for different occasions throughout the year. For instance, Galbani created a special Social Media campaign through dedicated posts and videos to celebrate the Italy’s Heritage Day and Italian Film Festival events with its fans last summer.  Galbani Social Media campaign also reported on  Galbani’s “Taste of Real Italy” cheese sampling events with Galbani Brand Ambassadors at street festivals in Toronto and Montreal area.  Consumers seems to have been enjoying the campaign as evidenced by some on-line engagement metrics (e.g., Chef Massimo Capra videos more than 500K views on YouTube).

Facebook marketing has offered the brand many opportunities to adjust the message to make it more relevant for consumers, Galbani seems changing its media tactics and content based on consumer response. Among the key lessons of Facebook marketing is striking the right frequency of posting ( daily, weekly, bi-weekly, special occasion) and providing fast response to consumer questions (e.g., the best practices is response within the same day). By staying responsive and posting increasingly more relevant content, Galbani  has significantly grown its on-line community and is ready to embark on Facebook targeted advertising to spread its message to even wider audiences.

Lessons for Others

  • Companies are becoming more receptive to using social media platforms for marketing purposes
  • Some of the best practices of effective social media community management include:
    1. creating relevant content that is organically connected with the Brand Promise,
    2. choosing optimal frequency of posting, staying responsive,
    3. selecting advertising plan to impact larger audiences
  • Facebook Analytics Reporting is essential for the brand  to refine its social media content and strategies

Organization: Parmalat
Industry: Manufacturing
Name of Organization Contact: Alex Bazhanov, Brand Manager

Authored by: AB

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.