It’s What’s on the Inside that Counts…Especially for Chocolates and Social Media

What TV commercials make you dream in chocolate? Is it the vivid imagery of chocolate drizzling into the shell of a Lindt bonbon or the crisp sound of a York Peppermint Patty snapping in your ear? Both these commercials instantly make my sweet tooth scream for sugar!

Why are these commercials effective? Because when it comes to chocolates, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Chocolate and social media have this in common- the actual content inside the platform either gives us a sweet sensation of bliss, or can leave a bitter taste in our mouth.

Godiva Chocolatier uses their social media platforms to entertain, tempt, and engage with their clientele. Godiva is a leader in the luxury chocolate industry with the goal of creating the “ultimate chocolate experience that inspires passion for [their] brand around the world” (Godiva). Godiva’s primary channels of communication are Facebook and Instagram. They also have used Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest heavily in the past to promote products. View a collection of their content on Pinterest here.

On Instagram, Godiva engages with their followers by posting tempting pictures of their products daily. On most days, they receive high engagement. They average between 2,000–7,000 likes on their photos and have between 20–200 comments on each photo. On Instagram, they only share professionally created content, which is fitting because Instagram users typically share only their highest quality photos.

On Facebook, Godiva posts a mix of professionally created content and content curated from other sources. Some of their photos are similar to the professional quality of Instagram, but others include photos of girls holding Godiva chocolate ice-cream, with chipped fingernail polish while travelling. These more casual photos make the brand feel more personal, like a Facebook friend. I appreciate that they also post once a day on Facebook, but their photos and text are never the same as their posts on Instagram. These posts typically garner between 2,000–5,000 likes. The impressive reach of their communication though is demonstrated by their Facebook shares. Most posts have over 100 shares and one recent photo had over 12,000 shares, increasing their reach exponentially! (shown above)

Overall, their social media connections are the strongest of all of their competitors, as shown in the chart below. I defined their competitors as the most popular global luxury chocolate brands as supported by these websites. Godiva has the most “Green” social media channels. Green boxes indicate that they have the most followers in the category.

Social Media Followers for Top Global Luxury Chocolate Brands

From this information, I have identified a few key areas for improvement with their social strategy. First of all, Godiva has an extremely high amount of Twitter followers that they aren’t utilizing. I am assuming that they garnered many of these followers during a huge social media push they had last Valentine’s Day with social media competitions. However, there have now only been three Twitter posts in the last six months since these promotions. Since Godiva went to the trouble of obtaining these followers, they should delight and entice the customers to crave their chocolate by posting images on Twitter of their delectable treats.

In addition, they have a significant amount of YouTube followers that they aren’t maximizing. YouTube followers are strong connections, because whenever a channel posts a new video, followers are directly emailed the videos and encouraged to watch them. Some of their most successful videos, posted a year ago, showed fabulous chocolate making tutorials, demonstrating that the quality inside their chocolate really counted. An example of a video to imitate is shown below.

Overall, when evaluating the social channels of Godiva and the 4 primary competitors, I found consistency between posts that had high levels of interaction. Put simply, top posts shared one quality: YUMMINESS.

Pictures of bonbons oozing caramel, strawberries splashing in chocolate, ganaches with luxurious centers, and ice-creams dripping in chocolate get the most attention. It is clear that customers prefer to like, share, and interact with photos that show the heart of what they are craving: the chocolate. Social media posts boasting beautiful golden boxes and candies formally packaged do get some responses, but are incomparable to posts that showcase the true decadence inside each piece of chocolate.

Quality content is the heart of social media success. Similarly, it is clear that the quality of the chocolate inside the fancy boxes is what really counts.

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.