The company became the first FMCG brand to sell a product via the social network earlier this year when it made a limited-edition flavour of tomato ketchup available exclusively through Facebook.
Although there aren’t any break-out figures to track the sales uplift in ketchup sales as a direct result of the Facebook shop, the results were enough to trigger an increase in spend on the social network.
Brand manager Lucy Clark says: “The Facebook activity seeded a lot of the interest and awareness of the limited edition and increased overall brand perception. We’ll consider replicating that model further down the line.”
Heinz is also planning a 20% hike in spend on Facebook advertising for next year, as part of plans to ramp up its social media strategy, according to Clark.
It has kick-started its social media strategy with the launch of a Facebook-led campaign to promote its summer sauces during the BBQ season. The campaign centres on a Facebook app, featuring BBQ recipes and weather updates to help people plan their BBQs. People can also enter prize draws after they Like the page, by uploading a photo of themselves at a BBQ. The campaign also includes Facebook’s Sponsored Stories and home-page ads.
The Facebook activity is part of a wider £5m offline marketing campaign, including TV and radio, which began in May, and will run until the end of August. Heinz worked with social media agency We Are Social to develop the Facebook app.
Clark says social media channels have become instrumental in its overall marketing strategy as a way of overcoming the brand’s main challenge, which is to spark new interest in an already well-established brand like Heinz Tomato Ketchup.
“It’s hard to drive new interest in a brand that’s so well-established, and social media is geared towards invigorating people and driving excitement and engagement through awards and other initiatives – we want to keep that going,” she says.
Heinz launched its first Facebook page last October as part of its first major digitally led Secret Ingredient campaign. It worked with supermarket giants Asda, Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s and Tesco on the seven-figure campaign, which used celebrity-fronted videos to convey its message of repositioning the brand as a cooking ingredient rather than a condiment.
It saw 110,095 unique users visit the site, with an average dweel time of 8 minutes, 5 seconds, while its Facebook fans grew to 20,000 in the first few months of the campaign.
This story first appeared on New Media Age. For more digital stories and analysis’ from NMA click here now