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June is National Candy Month and there’s no better way to celebrate than profiling a popular jelly bean brand.

The Jelly Belly Candy Company has been making sweets since 1869 and is now well-known across the world. With over 100 jelly bean flavors (and many other sugary confections!), the brand holds tasty marketing potential. In fact, their playful persona falls perfectly in line with the evolving world of social media marketing.

Jelly Belly has social sharing buttons for Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Google+ on their website. Their YouTube page features playlists such as “Jelly Belly Tours” and “Advertisements,” with potential for increased link and text SEO. Their Google+ has over 700 +1’s, but little engagement. And the Jelly Belly Pinterest page? We’ll dive into that later.

Taking the above information into account, we determined that the Jelly Belly channel that best illustrates optimized social practices is Facebook. With over 500,000 likes and consistently high engagement, the candy brand makes the most of their flavorful following. They often keep their copy simple and focus on the images – which is a smart strategy, considering that 44% of users are more apt to engage with brands on Facebook if they post pictures.

Brands from every industry can take these three lessons from the candy maven: Offer value, encourage engagement and have a sense of humor. We illustrate these social media marketing best practices below, with help from the star of the show – Mr. Jelly Belly.

Offer Value. The underlying goal for any brand on Facebook is to make users want to visit their page. What do you bring to the table? The “incentives” offered will vary, but are typically along the lines of coupons, exclusive deals, recipes, tips or helpful information – anything that will make a Facebook user “like” your page or interact with content. Jelly Belly does this by way of product enhancement. They spotlight fun jelly bean pairings, crafts and recipes that incorporate their product to cultivate creativity.

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Encourage Engagement. Facebook has a plethora of brands trying to reach consumers – posting boring content such as, “Look at my new product,” is not an effective tactic. Instead, craft an interactive strategy, keeping in mind your target demographic and brand voice. Social media isn’t geared toward direct sales so much as building brand visibility and buzz. Facebook presents a great way to share content and engage fans, as shown by Jelly Belly’s candy-loving cat.

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Have a Sense of Humor. “All work and no play makes _____ a dull brand.” With LinkedIn and Google+ taking on the more professional, educational roles in the social sphere, Facebook has a little lighthearted wiggle room. Humorous content typically does well on the network, with consumers turning to Facebook for entertainment along with social connection. Jelly Belly demonstrates their ability to let loose below. Who wouldn’t want a jelly bean-filled cocktail?

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The Jelly Belly Facebook page successfully exemplifies three social media marketing best practices. However, as mentioned above, their Pinterest page has definite room for improvement. Although they do have 16 boards, there isn’t regular activity or engagement on the network. It’s surprising that a brand of their caliber only has 447 followers, as the site (sometimes referred to as a “digital cookbook”) presents a huge opportunity for their industry. Influencer outreach is one strategy that could greatly improve their Pinterest presence.

What do you think of Jelly Belly’s social media marketing?

To learn more about our social media marketing solutions, contact ZOG Digital today.

  • Tomi

    Thanks for your kudos! We’ve put a lot of effort into defining what engagement means for our fans, and it’s gratifying when they respond. Along with way we are rewarded with things that make us laugh, too. We’re working on Pinterest — we just got started some months ago — hopefully we’ll see more action there in the near future.
    Sweet regards,.
    Tomi Holt
    Director of Communications
    Jelly Belly Candy Company