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Apr 14 2010
Last week I was at the BlogWell conference in Cincinnati where David Witt, Manager of Brand Public Relations for General Mills shared how General Mills is creating conversations with influencers through social media.
David shared some specific insights from the launch of the Fiber One 50-Calorie Yogurt from April 2009 – March 2010.
The Fiber One snack bars launch showed that online conversations were the second most important driver of sales (after being on shelf). Generating and encouraging online conversations worked better than any other marketing tool (other than of course, having the product available to buy). While David couldn’t share a specific ROI from the conversations, they know with certainty that conversations drive sales.
David also shared a chart that shows that conversations and sales are highly correlated – sales grew when there were more conversations and declined when there were fewer.
David said that having clear objectives & strategies was important to be able to measure success. For Fiber One the objective was to build awareness and position the Yogurt as a great dieting tool. They planned to leverage Hungry Girl (a well known weight management blogger) as the spokesperson. The goal was to drive trial and conversation.
Tying your metrics to your goals and strategies is important so that you know what success looks like. You can also develop more strategic campaigns.
What Fiber One Did
Fiber One used a lot of different social media tools in different ways to create a comprehensive social media strategy.
When General Mills created the blogging network of My Blog Spark one of their key elements was disclosure. My Blog Spark already had guidelines similar to the new FTC guidelines. My Blog Spark requires bloggers to disclose that they get product for free and if they get a free flipcam. They also request that bloggers do not make product claims that can not be substantiated.
The key to working with legal is to ask them “what is needed for you to say yes?” and engage them. The two key areas are product claim liability and disclosure.
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