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How Del Monte Foods finds social-media success

3 min read

Social Media

Today’s Q & A is with Doug Chavez, the leader for digital marketing at Del Monte Foods and one of the featured speakers at the nearly sold-out IAB Marketplace in New York on April 5. Chavez will be participating in a panel titled “Whose Job (and Budget!) is it Anyway?” where he will discuss how to structure a team for social-media success.

As a strategist and practitioner, what advice do you have for brands trying to get a social-media plan up and running?

  • Start with clear communication objectives and an actionable business strategy around which to build your social plan. It sounds really simple, but it’s easy to get caught up in a great social-media idea that might not be the right idea for your brand or business.
  • Focus on ENGAGED participants, not raw fan counts. For example, our Milk-Bone Facebook group has a level of engagement that brands with significantly higher fan counts would envy.
  • Finally, encourage participants to participate more. Use social as a forum to ask questions [and] share photos and fond memories.  Sometimes people want to join the discussion but need a little extra help determining how to participate.

How have you structured your team and their efforts for social-media success?

We remain focused on the communication objectives and business strategies that drive our brands. We also are brand-centric; with the goal of getting all of the marketing teams actively involved in their social-media presences versus contracting it out.  We definitely don’t subscribe to the idea that social should be siloed from the outbound marketing efforts.

What steps have you taken to ensure ROI is a key component of your social-media campaigns?

In my view, it is the key component. We focus on measurable outcomes such as coupon downloads, contest participation and measurable brand evangelism. At the end of the day, I want people to look at our efforts and not only say how impressive and innovative they are but also how effective they are.

What have been the most effective social-media platforms/networks for your campaigns? Which channels do you suggest CPG brands utilize to try and engage with their audiences?

With CPG and high-volume brands, you need to have a critical mass of activity in order to show impact.  We focus on large platforms like Facebook and Twitter, coupled with niche social-media presences that attract highly engaged participants. For example, a site like FoodBuzz attracts very engaged cooking enthusiasts, which is a great place for brands like Contadina and College Inn to participate in the discussion.