Founded in 2011 in Justin Woolverton’s kitchen, Halo Top is a low-calorie, high-protein ice cream made with natural ingredients. Originally available in just four flavors, Halo Top has expanded to a whopping 17 varieties. Between 2015 and 2016, the company’s sales increased 2,500 percent, or just shy of $66 million. The product was available at select Whole Foods, specialty stores and co-ops until recently, and is now sold at stores like Kroger, HyVee, Target and Walmart. Even Costco sells a bulk 4-pint case (because you can eat the entire pint in one sitting, many consumers stock up).
Until recently, Halo Top hasn’t relied on traditional means of advertising to promote its product. So, what triggered this rapid growth? Social media and influencer marketing. Here are 7 lessons learned from the company’s success.
1. Develop a solid strategy
What are your objectives? What is your goal? Once defined, all social touch points must stem from these. Halo Top’s messaging is driven by a common goal of increasing brand awareness and customer loyalty through product promotions and consumer engagement.
2. Post relevant content
Once your audience is defined, post content they care about – but keep it on strategy. Be timely, on-trend and relevant to your audience. Halo Top does a great job of utilizing hashtags and curating content around recognized social trends. They have a clear understanding of their audience’s values, which drives the company’s communication tactics.
3. Develop your brand voice
Developing a voice that is authentic, consistent and unique is crucial to social media success. Who is your audience? What is your company culture and brand personality? College-aged, professional, soccer mom, retired? They all require different brand voices. Halo Top knows its audience is younger and social media savvy, leading the brand to communicate in a fun, on-trend way.
4. Engage with consumers
Be human. Consumers want a brand that is genuine, one that they can connect with and trust. Halo Top makes an effort to respond to every post they’re mentioned in, whether it be a comment, like or retweet. The pay off? Positive product reviews, user-generated content (#halotop on Instagram has over 100,000 posts), customer loyalty and a trustworthy brand voice.
5. Make it pretty
With the help of Crier Communications and Peck & Company, Halo Top’s creative direction is something to envy. Between their package design, website and social media accounts, all elements are “Instagram-worthy,” promoting increased social media sharing.
6. Tailor the message to each channel
People use different social media channels for different purposes. Make sure to tailor your message to the right audience at the right time. Halo Top uses Twitter and Facebook to respond to customer concerns and share company news. Instagram is used for sharing trends, promoting company culture and to announce product promotions.
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