Lessons in Chocolate

Several times per week I catch my wife checking out Pinterest. I have never really been interested in it, as I see that she looks at “pins” covering fashion, recipes, fitness, and other topics I have little concern for. However, I know Pinterest is one of the apps she uses more frequently to share content with her sisters and friends, more than Facebook and Instagram. Given that our group project covers a jewelry company in Mexico with a clear female target audience, I decided to learn a bit more about Pinterest.

I asked my wife for her permission to use her account, and then received a crash course on how it works. I learnt that “pins” are very similar to wall posts in Facebook or tweets on Twitter, in the sense that they are shortcuts to content users find interesting online. Boards are equivalent to what earlier Facebook users knew as the “wall” (now the “timeline”?), with the difference that boards can be grouped into different categories. They can be public and shared with friends, or they can be secret, with only the user having access to them. Users can follow other users or just follow the content of their board.

With this brief introduction to Pinterest, I started browsing companies in the chocolate industry. I have a particular interest in Pacari, an Ecuadorian chocolate company that has received several times the award for best chocolate in the world. Despite the excellent quality of their product, they are not as popular internationally as they could be. I compared them to a more renowned brand, Godiva.

While Pacari has only 79 posts and 48 followers, Godiva has more than 800 posts and more than 6.7k followers. Pacari has three boards, where they post photos of their products — or rather, the package of their product- and articles from their blog related to chocolate. Godiva has 31 boards covering special occasions –the Chinese new year, Valentine’s day, Easter, Truffles, its social program, etc. Moreover, Godiva has a very appealing presence with several professional pictures of their products, their stores, and recipes done with such chocolates. While there are huge differences in the size, scope and reach of both companies, Pacari could learn from Godiva’s presence in social networks, particularly in Pinterest. Given the greater prevalence of women in the network, Pacari could develop more useful content to attract new followers. They could post more appealing pictures of their products, share recipes of dessert made with their chocolate, and develop different themes for their board based on upcoming events and holidays. It could also start following “Pinterest personalities” with accounts covering chocolate, dessert and chocolate-based art, as Godiva does. Finally, Pacari could start following back some of its followers, making them feel important and generating a reinforcing loop that draws them back to check the content Pacari publishes online.