Social media: Love it or hate it, it’s here to stay
For an organization like the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC), social media (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Reddit – yes, there are quite a few) plays an important role in helping us communicate directly with consumers across the country and around the world. And maybe more importantly, it helps consumers form and develop a meaningful relationship with Idaho potatoes, building longstanding trust and loyalty.
In addition to one-on-one communication, the IPC’s social media presence has proven invaluable in increasing traffic to the website — the IPC’s command central for all potato and industry-related information. It also helps us better understand who our customers are — their age, gender, location, interests, etc. — analytics we use to help shape our marketing initiatives. Social media also allows us to keep an eye on the competition and trends in the food/commodity worlds.
Social media stats
Here are a few statistics that help explain the enormity of social media:
- More than half the people on earth use social media
- 74% of Americans use social media
- More American women (78%) than men (69%) are active on social media
- The average time spent on social media each day is 2 hours and 25 minutes • 81% of Instagram users say it helps them research products and services
- 73% of U.S. users visit Facebook dailyIPC social media presence
The IPC slowly built its social media presence organically (very little paid advertising), which has resulted in exponential growth today. In the last year alone, we’ve increased the total number of social media followers by 50,000.
We attribute this growth to relevant, engaging and creative content. Here are a few examples of our most popular posts:
- Thank a Farmer. People love to see where their food comes from and, especially, meet the people who grow it. IPC followers are introduced to a new Idaho potato farmer and his family every month. They’re encouraged to link to the IPC website to learn more, including the farmer’s favorite way to eat an Idaho potato.
- Contests/Giveaways. Based on what we’ve learned, everyone loves winning Idaho potato swag. We host several giveaways each year to help keep consumers engaged. Prizes have included a bottle of Frites by Idaho perfume and tickets to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and New Year’s Eve Idaho Potato Drop. We’ve even given away stays at the Famous Idaho Potato Hotel. However, the prize that always generates the most participation is fresh Idaho russet potatoes.
- Collaborations with Influencers. The IPC has developed amazing partnerships with popular influencers such as Over The Fire Cooking, A Cook Named Matt and My Bizzy Kitchen, who promote Idaho potatoes to hundreds of thousands of followers.
- Cross Promotions. Working with other brands like Chobani, Spiceology and Litehouse Foods help us highlight recipes and cooking techniques, as well as food holidays, retail and foodservice promotions, etc.
- Recipes. With close to 2,000 recipes on the IPC website, we love to whet people’s appetites with delicious ways to enjoy potatoes.
Keep your eyes peeled for some fun social media posts this spring and maybe … a surprise giveaway!