An extensive social media campaign is central to the Peruvian Avocado Commission’s big summer marketing push.
Consumer outreach efforts on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are all part of the Washington, D.C.-based commission’s social strategy to help move a big 2014 crop.
The campaigns are designed to build connections with consumers and to help consumers in turn connect with their local retailers selling Peruvian avocados, said Xavier Equihua, the commission’s CEO.
“Social media is the consumer outreach/engagement channel that complements Avocados From Peru’s overarching retail strategy,” said Enrique Camet, the commission’s chairman. “Social media is an important component to engage with our target audiences. And as we build this international brand, we want to be where our targets are.”
The commission sees its social media platforms as an opportunity to support PAC retailer partners further with complementary cross-promotions, said Bruce Dowhan, the commission’s vice chairman.
“The season of Avocados From Peru presents a limited period and within this short time, we intend to deliver the brand’s consistent message across all channels as many times as possible,” Dowhan said. “This cohesiveness ties all our outreach efforts together for an effective communications program.”
The commission launched its Avocados from Peru Facebook campaign June 12. As of June 30, the group was already up to 2,262 “likes.”
Recipes are a mainstay of the Facebook page, as are news, photos, health and nutrition information and in-store demo support for retailers.
For instance, when the commission launched a major promotion with Wal-Mart, it was able to get the news out via Facebook.
The commission’s page, facebook.com/avosfromperu, also is expected to be a hot spot for bloggers.
The second plank of the commission’s social media campaign revolves around Instagram, which taps into 21st century consumers’ interest in media other than the written word.
“Visuals are overall an important element to Avocados From Peru’s communication strategy,” Equihua said. “We built the website bearing in mind that visuals are able convey richer stories and capture greater attention.”
The commission intends to continue making visuals a priority when creating social media content, Equihua said, so all of its digital platforms have a consistent approach and are able to cross-pollinate for greater efficiencies and messaging reach.
“We’re encouraging Instagram followers to showcase how creative they can get with Avocados From Peru by sharing compelling images they’ve captured.”
One purpose of the Instagram campaign is to cross-promote Peruvian avocados with as many retail brands as possible, so consumers know where they can go to buy Peruvian.
Recipes and preparation tips are among the highlighted content, and the commission is encouraging users to make a personal connection with Peruvian avocados.
To that end, the commission is launching an Instagram-based Monumental Avocados contest. The first will likely run from mid- to late July, the second from about Aug. to Aug. 17.
The contests will reward 10 winners with cash prices, possibly of $100. To generate interest in the contests, the commission is enlisting the help of bloggers.
Last but not least in the commission’s 2014 social media outreach is a “Pinterest party,” likely to be held sometime in late August.
The event will, among other things, be a recipe generator — specifically for different categories of avocado usage.
A well-known food blogger, Coryanne Ettiene, will host the event and network with other bloggers to promote it. Four Pinterest “pinners” will be randomly chosen for prizes.
Another contest, set to launch the week of July 7, is a collaboration with the food52.com website. Linking up with the popular site is a good way for the commission to instantly get attention from a lot of discerning consumers.
“They have a great foodie fan base,” Equihua said.
The five-week contest couldn’t come at a better time.
“It creates top-of-mind awareness for Avocados From Peru during the peak season,” Equihua said.
Five of the recipes generated by the contest will become Avocados from Peru recipes.
Blog ambassadors like Marla Meredith, who has a huge following as the author of the Family Fresh Cooking blog, also are developing recipes for the commission and sharing their “tips and tricks.”