Is Godiva’s social media a little too vanilla?

I never understood how some people don’t like chocolate. There are few things in life that I love more than the taste of this delicious treat. I also whole-heartedly believe that chocolate is the answer for any bad day. Bad breakup? Chocolate. Failed a test? Chocolate. Monday? Chocolate.

So what makes one chocolate brand better than the other? I’ll admit I consider myself a bit of a chocolate-addict. I’d eat it all the time if my body (and my bank account) let me. But because most good things in life are bad for you, chocolate is a treat and not an everyday occurrence. Choosing which chocolate to indulge in that day can be a serious decision.

Godiva is one of the first brands that come to mind when I think of luxury or premier chocolate. It is a personal favorite of mine because I’m a sucker for chocolate covered strawberries in pretty packaging (who isn’t?). While I love Godiva’s chocolate and the pretty packaging that comes with it, I had never really thought to follow them on social media. I mean, I crave chocolate enough already without having it pop up on my instagram feed. So where does Godiva stand on social media and how are they engaging with their customers? Let’s take a look…

When it comes to Godiva’s current target consumer, middle-aged women, their marketing tactics are doing fairly well. However, according to Michelle Chin, the company’s head of marketing in North America, the brand needs to concentrate more on millennials. And what better way to do that than with social media?

Just glancing at Godiva’s instagram, one can see they do a great job at creating a sense of lifestyle for the customer. Pictures showcasing their different products can be seen with pretty views around the world. The brand also does a great job at taking advantage of bloggers as brand representatives for their products. Godiva is also making an effort at appealing to the millennial through witty captions and incoming trends. For example, Godiva even posted about the Pokémon Go movement.

Appealing to the millennial consumer is more than just how your brand looks, however. Consumer engagement is super important when utilizing a social network. Unfortunately, Godiva is lacking behind its competitors on that front. While their Instagram is decent, their Facebook page just repeats the same thing as their Instagram, which can get kinda boring. Their Twitter account is even worse since they only post every once in awhile. While their Pinterest and Youtube pages have a lot of great content, those consumers who only go on Facebook or Instagram probably aren’t seeing them. To be honest, it seems to me that their social network is just pretty average.

How can they learn from their competitors? Lindt leverages their social media in a way that is engaging and fun for the consumer. Their Twitter account is consistently posting about contests and giveaways for the customer to participate and share with friends. They also include quotes by other forms of media and what they are saying about their brand. For example, including a quote from Glamour indicates a recommendation of their brand from a major influencer as well as engagement with readers of that magazine.

Ghirardelli also uses their Facebook to create content that appeals to consumers. On any given day I cannot count how many recipes and videos of baked goods I see on my Facebook timeline. Ghirardelli is taking advantage of users sharing with other users. They post new recipes, DIYs, crafts, etc. on their Facebook, Pinterest, and Youtube. They even encourage their twitter followers to check out their pinterest. This is great for increasing traffic on each of their sites.

Check out this great video they posted on how to turn your strawberries into footballs (because it’s tailgate season, y’all).

Godiva, Ghirardelli, and Lindt are just some of the premier chocolate brands that are out there. While these high-end chocolatiers have plenty of competition from less expensive brands, such as Hershey’s, they also have to compete with each other. Social media can be a great tool to help a brand differentiate itself from the competition. It can be the deciding factor for which brand you choose to #treatyoself that day. Now excuse me while I deal with this sugar rush…

This post was created as part of the Global Luxury Management Program at the NC State Poole School of Management. All thoughts and opinions are my own.