Never Stop Connecting with InfluencersFebruary 6, 2013
By Ken Beaulieu, vice president of marketing and communications, ANA
Sartori CMO Chad Vincent views social media as the “great equalizer” for companies with a limited marketing budget. When he joined the company in 2010, after serving as chief branding officer at Fiskars, he immediately scanned the blogosphere to not only see what people were talking about, but also determine whether they were a good fit for the brand. “It’s all about finding the influencers and enthusiasts for your brand,” Vincent notes.
Vincent led the effort to launch a company Facebook page to connect with customers and consumers through conversations and small competitions, and had Sartori’s website remapped to make it more consumer-friendly. He spends a few hours each week with a small social media team to discuss unique ways to drive engagement on Facebook.
“For example,” Vincent says, “one of our cheese-makers created a pink peppermint cheese. It was pretty bizarre, but it was incredible. So we posted a picture of the cheese on Facebook and ran a competition. The person who generated the most “likes” was sent some of the pink cheese. And for every like, we donated $1 to breast cancer research. We ended up with a couple thousand hits in three or four days, and people were really talking about it. It was engaging, and it helped generate awareness for our sell-in. It’s just a matter of trying things, having fun, and seeing what works.”
The bottom line, Vincent contends, is that companies need to give brand teams the freedom to reach out to, and communicate with, influencers. “So much of our awareness comes from this,” he says. “It’s just of a matter of working the relationships and making sure it works for both sides.”
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