Ferrero Social media strategy

Company background

Ferrero is a large company that was founded in the 1940’s by an Italian family. It is known for the branded chocolate and other sweets it produces, especially the hazelnut spread Nutella, and is the third biggest chocolate and confectionary company in the world. The founding Ferrero family was the first italian manufacturer after World War II that turned its company into an international group. After seeing the success that they generated in their home country, the founders decided to open it also abroad, becoming in the following decades globally well known. Today, Ferrero products are eaten all around the world and statistics came out showing that the total amount of Nutella jars that are sold in one year could cover the Great Wall of China 8 times.

RESEARCH on Social Media Strategy

Since the company is a such large organisation, it is interesting to discover how the social media part of marketing is managed. The strategy at Ferrero is mainly based around customers, who choose the directions that are taken and who are the main focus of conversations for the group. We can summarize the main objectives of Ferrero’s Social Media strategy in 3 points:

Managing locally: An important issue that the company has to face is how to manage all the different brands under Ferrero Company. They decided to implement a strategy that supports regional markets’ action on social networks but also wanted to let them have some autonomy. Each of the markets have autonomy, therefore each one has his own social media page (ex Facebook page), but then they all have the access to the main Ferrero Page so that customers know to what “family” the product corresponds. This strategy requires a lot of effort since Ferrero owns 25 different brands, spreaded in different countries, like Tic Tac, Ferrero Rocher or even Kinder chocolates. Therefore, there is the need of an enormous research to follow all the markets the company acts in.

On-growing fans: All the individual pages of the different brands are very popular and it appears that all the products of the Company are highly demanded by everybody. Even though the company didn’t mainly focus on growing the number of fans, some research have shown that they increased exponentially every year. This was a result of the love their products created in customers, which lead to a huge loyalty towards the goods.

Return on engagement: Instead of focusing on ROI (return on investment), the company focused on Return on Engagement.

SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY

In order to implement its objectives, Ferrero uses different tools that allow them to be successful on social media. We will focus on some platforms that are not as known as Facebook or Instagram for example, but could prove to be as effective as those better-known tools to reach the objectives of big companies like Ferrero. For example, in some less developed countries like India, the brand is known but not really settled. With some of the tools that we will introduce in the following lines, Ferrero could raise the brand awareness of its products and start to penetrate the market, making the brand as known as it is in developed countries or regions.

Video-Sharing

Video-sharing has increased in popularity significantly in the last years. Nowadays the majority of people don't visit video-sharing sites just for entertainment, but use them to get information about products, companies and brands.

  • Social media video strategies require a lot of time and effort, but we could affirm that they are one of the most effective. It is very difficult to convey to the public the exact message you want to delivery, therefore, we have to focus a lot on the target market research in order to understand the needs and the wants of our customers and potential customers. Videos must be short but effective, therefore, we will have to hire experts that could create specific message written exactly for each type of target group
  • Ferrero should implement the video sharing strategy because nowadays video is becoming the new content of marketing thanks to its engageability and to the content they transmit to the public
  • One of the main problems we will face is the high cost, therefore we will have to focus in creating a cost- effective social media video. In order to create our “low cost” video.
  • The video sharing sites we will have to consider for our campaign will be:
  1. YouTube: it is the most visited video sharing site in the world. It is owned by Google and uploaded videos can be 15 minutes long. In the best scenario, the videos can be viewed by 133 million users per month. Youtube could be a perfect platform for Ferrero because it gives a lot of options and then the videos can be published on many other platforms such as Facebook and WordPress.
  2. Flickr: it is a photo sharing platform that recently has started to also host videos. It is owned by Yahoo and its videos could be up 90 seconds long. Ferrero should use this platform in order to grow his fans because Flickr attracts over 20 million visitors per month.
  3. Vimeo: it is a growing platform, that today has 9 million visitors per month. The advantage is that uploaded videos can be of any length. Ferrero should use this site because it gives also the possibility of having statistics that track the capabilities.
  4. Dailymotion: it is a still unknown platform by many social media users, but is said to be the next popular video sharing site. It already has 8 million visitors per month. Ferrero should use the site for his higher quality and better playback than the competition like YouTube
Podcasting and RSS
  • RSS is a tool that informs users of some type of social media that an updated format of one of their points of interest has been published. This tool is often used by social influencers that want to inform their audience that they published a new blog or an audio/video data for example. Being in an standard XML format, which was designed for “simplicity, generality, and usability across the internet”, RSS files are adapted to a variety of machines, ensuring that the shared file is compatible with the program used by the audience. In the specific case of podcasts, RSS is applied by podcasters to distribute audio files to their fans so that they don’t miss any new upload. The podcasts can then be listened to on any type of multimedia device, like iPods, iPhones or other MP3 players, and often consist of a public figure talking about a topic interesting for his or her audience. For example, one of the top Podcasters in the UK was a football themed podcast called “The true Geordie podcast” in which a football fan invited some guests and they discussed some popular and actual themes in the footballing world.
  • Ferrero could certainly use the podcast tool to approach the market in less developed countries, where their products are not as known as in Europe or in the US, for example in India. Being in audio format, podcasts are easy to access and don’t necessarily require users to possess next level technology like a laptop or computer which often are too expensive for the asian population. A device that allows to listen to data shared on the internet is enough to get the message by the user.
Forums

Forums are online discussion sites where one can hold conversations and share ideas in the form of posted messages. In online forums, people are able to share their ideas and thoughts about any topic in the world. One of the best examples of an online forum is Reddit, as it allows users to share information and what they think on certain topics.

  • Ferrero could be largely benefitted from an online forum, as its consumers and fans can talk about all the things they like from the brand and their thoughts on new ideas or changes. Not only will it allow Ferrero to see what its consumers think about the brand and the product, but they will be able to take such information as feedback for future changes. Also, it could use forums in order to reach more people, as anyone can go online and visit the forum and learn more about the brand and its products. Also, it will form a united fan base, in which people will help each other.
  • Consumers can also share their favorite recipes, the way they consume the product, and help other users. It would help the company extend its grasp on the market and would allow the brand, and the specific products, flourish and develop with the help of consumers and the overall fan base.
Folksonomy and collaborative tagging

Folksonomy, also known as collaborative tagging, is a system that manages keywords, tags created by customers to label different products and services with the purpose of easing future searches of those same or similar items.

  • Folksonomy will enable Ferrero to have a better understanding of their customers’ desires and needs as they can track the language that users associate to their various products and brands. This would increase brand awareness in countries where Ferrero is still not a large part of the market, such as India.
  • Also, in order to penetrate the market in less developed countries, Ferrero could use tags to create stories that would establish a connection between the brands and the people from those nations.
  • As an example Ferrero could use a number of different hashtags for each of its brands and then identify the most used ones for advertisement and campaigns online. This way they can create a connection between the products and the customers to create engagement, one of Ferrero’s main focuses.

In synthesis, the implementation of video-sharing, podcasting and RSS, Forums, and Folksonomy and collaborative tagging in FERRERO's social media strategy would enable the Italian manufacturer giant to further stregthen its brand awareness and also settle in markets of less developed countries.

Sources:

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XML
  • https://www.nutella.com/en/uk/did-you-know
  • http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-an-internet-forum.htm
  • http://www.threadwatch.org/node/1206
  • http://computer.howstuffworks.com/internet/basics/video-sharing.htm
  • http://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-mediavideo/
  • https://searchenginewatch.com/sew/howto/2327748/5-brilliant-ways-to-use-hashtags-insocial-media marketing
  • http://www.dataversity.net/social-tagging-and-the-enterprise-does-tagging-work-at-work/
  • http://searchunifiedcommunications.techtarget.co /definition/podcasting
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS

Credits:

Created with images by kazuletokyoite - "Nutella, mon rêve" • 524193 - "ferrero chocolate gold" • lookcatalog - "YouTube" • brainblogger - "My Podcast Set I" • Eva Blue - "reddit sticker - 3" • WikiImages - "scrabble bananagrams play"

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