An Era of Growth: How CPG Brands Are Using Social Media

Olivia Fitzpatrick
November 24, 2020

t is no secret that consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands have seen extraordinary growth in 2020. Everyday household products such as Lysol, Charmin, and Kleenex were shot into the spotlight overnight. McKinsey reports that, since the beginning of the pandemic, Amazon has seen 65% growth in grocery categories in the United States and 80% growth in key European markets. Due to heightened consumer interest, previously quieter brands have developed a huge social presence and strong brand voices across digital marketing channels. We dove into this growing industry to understand how top CPG brands are engaging these larger audiences, and what marketers can learn from the big players when it comes to creative and strategy.

Instagram

In contrast to the millennial lifestyle brands that immediately come to mind when we think of Instagram, CPG brands have taken a very educational approach to this channel. Feeds are flooded with informational, text-based product posts, “How-Tos,” or short video clips of the product in action. Recently, large CPG brands have also used Instagram to promote the ways in which their products are environmentally friendly or can be recycled, as sustainability is a growing value amongst consumers. Febreze is a great example of educational content, highlighting ways to use the product through adorable video clips that are simple and relatable.

cpg brands social media febreze Instagram video

Twitter

While Twitter might not be immediately top of mind when you think of CPG brands, it has actually become a channel for viral trends and brand building. Twitter acts as a place for brands to showcase their voice and their sense of humour, while joining in on relevant conversations. Over the past month, we have seen CPG brands participating in hilarious exchanges including: “The scariest thing about working for…” and “#Aldi30thBirthdayParty”. These trends have seen participation from brands like Pringles, KitKat, Marmite and Surf Laundry, all with cheeky replies that take brand voice to the next level.

cpg-brands-social-media-gymshark-pizzahut

Facebook

In contrast to Twitter, where brands go to show off their personalities, Facebook is used primarily by CPG brands to convey brand values. Be it an upcoming campaign for Pride Week, a discount for essential workers during the pandemic, or a month-long fundraising effort for Movember, CPG brands are using their Facebook pages for good. Recently, Tide Laundry Detergent joined forces with parent P&G to show support for important topics on Facebook including the BLM movement, healthcare workers, and championing diversity.

Pinterest

CPG brands are posting a similar style of content on Pinterest that they do for Instagram— often text-based posts with educational information on the product. However, Pinterest is a place for planners and shopping features are an integral part of this channel for brands. Food & Drink is the top category on the app and 77% of Pinners have discovered a new product or brand directly from Pinterest—a winning combination for CPG brands. Linking out to both their websites and retailers’ pages on practically every post is a core practice for brands so that consumers can shop their products at the click of a button.

YouTube

Once a home for CPG television adverts post-air, YouTube is becoming another interactive touchpoint with the consumer. Many CPG brands are now producing their own mini-series for the channel, complete with seasons and episodes. Similar to TV adverts, the content is often highly produced and ranges from quick, minute-long videos to 10-minute clips. Coca-Cola, for example, shot a series of episodes titled “One Last Summer” featuring friends making the most of their summer months in videos spanning 10 minutes or more. Pampers took a different approach, creating small 1-2 minute videos that gave tips to mothers before and after birth. Both approaches convey core brand values while producing entertaining and helpful content for consumers to take in.

Pampers' YouTube channel in an iPhone mockup

A Cohesive Strategy

The CPG industry has come a long way from the days of traditional advertising methods. Today, developing an authentic brand voice, conveying brand values, and educating consumers are key pillars in a cross-channel social media strategy for the industry. As new social channels emerge and current channels evolve, we eagerly wait to see how the top CPG brands will add their own style to the digital landscape. In the meantime, take a look at Dash Hudson’s Instagram Benchmarks to understand your performance and keep up with the gold-star CPG strategies for social media marketing.

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