Lessons from growing All Time Plastics from 0 to 137,010 on Facebook In A Year
And how it can help you create your Social Media playbook
All Time Plastics is a legacy homeware brand that manufactures food grade plastic products. The company has been in operation for more than 50 years, with a presence in 42 countries. It counts global retail giants like IKEA, TESCO and Amazon among its clients.
Bonoboz is a full-service digital marketing firm that enables businesses to grow their online presence and achieve their digital goals. In the past, Bonoboz has helped SMEs more than triple their reach & engagement rates on social media networks.
What was the brief?
All Time Plastics did not have any digital presence.
The immediate purpose for the company to hire Bonoboz was to build a sizeable digital presence with the following objectives:
1. Although in the plastics business for over 4 decades, All Time Plastics was focussed primarily on their export business with little or no push online for the domestic market. The immediate objective was to address this gap. Their target audience was women across India over the age of 25.
2. The objective of the digital campaign was to create awareness of the brand and build a community around it. The purpose was to build engagement around the new products that the company was launching.
Setting up the campaign
Buyer personas played a pivotal role in defining the strategy of the campaign. Together with ATP’s marketing team, 5–6 buyer personas were created based on their understanding of the market. These buyer personas were then distributed among the entire marketing team, which included designers, copywriters, and strategists. This was important to develop a consistent tone for the brand.
Using this foundation, the next step was to create an extensive content strategy. Thematic plans were created to engage users. This not only included monthly plans but also important dates, such as festivals, holidays and important product launch dates.
The important step in the planning stage of the campaign, was, however, deciding on the primary social media channel. Although Facebook’s organic reach had waned, it still represented the largest social media network in terms of reach. Since the goal of the campaign was to raise awareness about the brand, Facebook was chosen as the primary social network for promotions.
It is important to have an extensive content strategy before you begin executing the campaign. The strategy should ideally have visual story boards that are shared across the entire team so that everybody is on the same page. This is the stage of planning which does not bear immediate results, but is critical in the long term success of any account.
To target women, we started off with posting food hacks and recipes on Facebook. The strategy worked decently, given that we were building a following from scratch. We also asked friends and family of everyone linked to All Time Plastics to like and share the page. ATP’s Facebook page got about 1,470 page likes in the first 3 month — all organic.
Predictably, 99% of posts had images, which goes to show the efficacy of images in pushing engagement rates on Facebook. We had not built in interactive formats such as GIFs or videos yet.
We focussed on content that was likely to be useful to the audience.
Observe their daily routine and think how you could initiate a conversation with them if they were stranger. In our case, food tied in with home ware and kitchenware, and most women are interested in useful kitchen hacks and recipes. Make sure your content is useful though, otherwise it will be ignored.
We also started activity on Instagram by this time and made sure we cross-posted to get the most of both audiences. The synchronization resulted in 500+ new likes on Facebook and also started a short stream of Instagram followers.
Synchronizing your social pages can help you reach a wider audience. It also helps you save time. However, the synced platforms should have a similar content format. Syncing Twitter and Facebook, for instance, does not work is not as effective as syncing Instagram and Facebook.
The Masterstroke — simple contests done right!
By this time, ATP had also launched their online store and catalog. It was time to amplify the content-audience fit that we had developed.
To promote the company’s online store, we launched a treasure hunt on Facebook. The idea behind the treasure hunt was to get people to visit the company’s website and browse through their range of products. Facebook ads were used to promote the contest, and this is where segmentation came in handy.
The target audience defined earlier was broken down into relevant segments and a feedback loop was set up to continuously optimize the campaign.
The treasure hunt resulted in a whopping 10x increase in Facebook likes on ATP’s page. By making sure we were regular with announcements, timelines and terms & conditions, bloggers and influencers showed a keen interest in future marketing collaborations after the success of the campaign. Winning the trust of this community was an important point in our journey since it set up the foundation for influencer engagement going forward.
A hit contest can go a long way in accelerating your digital growth path. Cost per like and cost per engagement plummet when you have an engaging contest lined up. Supported by a solid, well-planned promotion plan, contests can do really well for most customer facing brands.
Since almost everyone else is doing it, it is important to get your targeting and messaging to be crisp to attract participants. It is also important to show social proof after the successful completion of a contest. Another important point to note here: make sure you pick the profile of winners that match your ideal customer profile.
Social proof of winners, especially those that resemble your actual customers (and not just contest hunters), helps build long-term trust and following. This is something that cannot be bought no matter how big your digital spend budget is.
We also started experimenting with more content formats like GIFs that saw a big spike in our page engagement.
Iterating and Creating a Playbook
Subsequently, we launched an All Time Home Chef contest.
The contest was run on Instagram and Facebook. People were asked to post pictures of something they have cooked at home and are proud of. They were asked to tag it with hashtag: #AllTimeHomeChef.
The campaign increased engagement with company’s Facebook page by 15%, with average likes per post around 4,000. Even comments started running into the 100's.
We knew we were onto something here.
If something works for you online, do more of it. It seems like the simplest strategy to follow but very few brands follow it religiously.
We found ourselves building a playbook of small learnings and strategies that worked — right from strategy to implementation to creative language.
Learnings along the way
Although it seems like a long time back, the initial plan was to use Pinterest as a primary channel to drive engagement with their key demographic: women. However, we found it difficult to engage users on these platforms, and along with the excellent ATP team, were able to shift course in time without getting disheartened by a false positive.
We also quickly learned that simply relying on content to build engagement isn’t going to work. Organic engagement rates were being reined in by Facebook, and we knew we had to combine our content efforts with the amplification of paid ads.
Once we had cracked the code to driving engagement from our community, our client had the confidence to back up our efforts with reach. Engagement is the holy grail in the social media world that everyone is after, and once we started seeing signs of this, we started moving to other establishing reach.
What was even more heartening to see was engagement levels also increasing.
Digital marketing is a lot about trial and error.
While data and automation can help, people have their idiosyncrasies and you never know what’s going to click. It is important, thus, to keep trying out new ideas, until one works. It is also important to have clear timelines for these ‘experiments’. The timelines shouldn’t just include the timeframe but also a clear budget. Data should be crunched from every ‘experiment’ that you run and insights should be gleaned, which should then be used to fine-tune future campaigns.
Today, ATP stands on a strong foundation of social media presence and is within range of the top brands in the consumer plastics space in the country and we are happy to have gotten the opportunity to lead it.
Originally published at Bonoboz Marketing Services Pvt. Ltd.