Go, Goya! Although the country’s largest Hispanic-owned food company became serious about social media relatively late in the game, it has managed a quick catch-up.
In fact, since the company launched its social strategy about this time last year, it has increased its site traffic 188 percent and expanded reach on social media, including Facebook fan base growth from 1,600 to 162,000.
According to Technomics’ 2013 Hispanic Foodservice Consumer Trend Report, Hispanic buying power is climbing, and is projected to increase 50 percent by 2015 to reach $1.5 trillion. Goya’s plan: to leverage social media to help it reach and convert new customers.
“We were shy at first of being directly involved in social media,” said Joseph Perez, senior vice president of Goya Foods, in an interview with CMO.com. “We were of the thinking that social media wasn’t the right medium to reach our target audience, but on the contrary, food and recipes are some very popular topics of conversation in social media. And so we came to realize that we need to be there—helping people find the food recipes and solutions they're looking for.”
Goya attributes its change of social heart to its digital agency of record, Flightpath, which manages the company's social media outreach on a campaign level and takes care of the day-to-day community management.
According to Michelle Kelarakos, Flightpath's social media strategist who handles Goya’s community management, social media was a no-brainer for the brand.
“Just simple things like posting recipes, interacting, and directly talking to individual consumers has led to this massive growth on Facebook,” Kelarkos told CMO.com.
Looking at Goya’s Facebook presence, however, one wouldn’t be able to tell that the company is new to social. Its posts are visual, with photos of food and useful how-to videos for at-home cooks. Goya also has a Twitter and Pinterest presence. The strategy on these two platforms is similar to that of Facebook: to share recipes in the form of photos and videos, and, of course, to drive traffic back to the company's Web site to view its recipe content.
The strategy seems to be working. The company reports 8 million Twitter conversations about Goya in one month alone (measured from Aug. 30, 2013, to Sept. 30, 2013), and it has accumulated 800,000 views of its Pinterest boards in one year.
According to Perez, another facet of Goya’s digital success has to do with its integrated approach to marketing. Whether its offline or digital, Goya’s approach is to surround customers wherever they are. Multifaceted initiatives have included successful implementations of rich media, social media, mobile optimization, promotions, contests, sweepstakes, and email campaigns.
The company has been busy developing a range of digital offerings, which include a comprehensive online recipe catalog and a mobile site with recipes, product details, and interactive shopping lists for on-the-go users.
The strategy has always been and always will be to personalize the consumer’s experience with Goya, enabling the brand to meet its goals of increasing brand visibility online and driving product sales, according to Perez.
“It’s the marriage of everything—the online/offline integration—that has brought us to where we are today,” Perez said.