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5 Creativity Boosts for CPG Brands on Social Media

Although brands in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry are some of the most recognizable names around, it can still be challenging and time consuming to come up with creative ideas for social media posts on a regular basis.

This often leads to CPG brands using social networks as overly promotional, one-way communication channels that basically act as digital flyers and provide little to no incentive for consumer engagement.

Here are five ideas for how you can inject more creativity in your next social media campaign.

Contests that bring offline behavior online

Social media contests, such as a simple “retweet to win” campaign on Twitter, are a quick and easy way to gain new followers and increase engagement. However, CPG brands are in a unique position to tie offline behavior to an online experience by adding a social layer to in-store promotions or campaigns.

Benefit Cosmetics, for example, partnered with beauty retailer Ulta to run a contest on Instagram that encouraged users to share a selfie after a visit with a brow expert at a local Ulta store. Using the hashtag #browbestie, the consumer would enter to win a year’s worth of brow service as well as $250 in Benefit products. This contest achieved three things: it got people to engage with Benefit on social media, it showcased and promoted the in-store experience, and it rewarded the community for an online behavior that came naturally to them.

To increase the creativity of how your social contests are executed and displayed, consider a solution like Hootsuite Campaigns, which offers 16 different types of social campaigns including user-generated voting galleries and hashtag campaigns.

Find real-time marketing opportunities

According to McKinsey Global Institute, “generating insights by engaging directly with consumers on social platforms or by observing what they say about products and features can cost as little as one-fifth as much as conventional research using focus groups or surveys.”

Closely monitoring social media opens the door for real-time opportunities to extend the creativity of your marketing campaigns. Recently, the potato chip brand Lay’s launched the third year of their “Do Us a Flavor” campaign, which crowdsources new ideas for potato chip flavors from consumers. Four of those submissions are then turned into actual products, with the winning flavor staying on shelves for one year.

This year, Lay’s spent the campaign searching social media for interesting submission ideas and conversations on Twitter and responding with short YouTube clips such as this one:

By using social media mentions as real-time marketing opportunities, Lay’s was able to add a new element to their overall campaign that was timely and relevant, while also creating a positive brand experience for the consumer. To find these mentions and opportunities, use Hootsuite Search Streams to filter social conversations by keyword, language, or geographic location.

Feature user-generated content

According to Crowdtap and Ipsos MediaCT, millennials are spending over five hours per day consuming user-generated content. The same study noted that use-generated content is viewed as 40% more trustworthy than information from traditional media sources, which shouldn’t be surprising to anyone familiar with the power of word-of-mouth marketing.

Featuring user-generated content helps solves the problem of being stuck for content ideas or having limited in-house resources, and has the added benefit of helping build a strong community by making consumers feel valued by the brand.

Starbucks tapped into the creativity of their consumers in their recent “White Cup Contest” which encouraged consumers to decorate a Starbucks cup with customized art, post a photo of it to social media, and use the hashtag #WhiteCupContest. The result was almost 4,000 entries in three weeks, and a winning design that was printed as a limited edition reusable cup.

When running your own campaign that features user-generated content, consider using a solution like Hootsuite Campaigns to showcase the entries on a microsite, a Facebook page, or your own website. You can also display them on any device, from tablets and TV monitors to jumbotrons or screens at live events.

Collaborate more efficiently with agencies

Working with an agency can be one of the most efficient ways of investing in social media, especially when it comes to executing paid social media campaigns. Agencies can provide fresh eyes, a much needed dose of creative perspective, and proven expertise in managing social campaigns from start to finish.   

For organizations who work with agencies on strategic campaigns but still manage the daily activity on their social media accounts in-house, clear communication and effective collaboration across both teams is essential.

With a solution such as Hootsuite, all teams can monitor social engagement from one dashboard and have visibility into all content scheduled. Through Hootsuite’s Content Library, both agency and in-house teams can securely share access to approved brand messaging and images and track which content pieces  are being used. Having a centralized dashboard for shared assets and communication will help simplify workflows, creating room for more creativity and innovation.

If your agency partners use other technologies to manage your campaigns, there may be an opportunity to get creative in how they integrate with your social networks. The Hootsuite App Directory contains over 150 applications and integrations that both your in-house team and agency partners can use to better work together, including Brandwatch, Shoppost, Influitive, Tailwind for Pinterest, and more.