Brand in Focus – Cadbury

After doing a little searching for our next ‘Brand in Focus’ – it was quickly decided that Cadbury (UK) would be the nominee due to a slightly unique status across social media platforms.  The Cadbury web site promotes its social media pages on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.  What immediately caught my eye were the number of fans and followers on each.  Cadbury’s Twitter page has ~185K Followers at the time of this writing and their Facebook page has 518K Fans.  However, their Google+ page has over 3.1 million Followers.

Cadbury’s own web site heavily promotes the G+ and Twitter feeds, as you can see in the image below.  The G+ page has also been heavily supported and used as an example of one of the better/stronger pages out there on the network.  Given this, let’s start there.

Cadbury's web site provides the Google+ & Twitter feeds

Cadbury’s web site provides the Google+ & Twitter feeds

Google+:

Cadbury’s ‘About’ page on Google+ is detailed and organized.  They are optimizing the information available to them and pointing followers in the right directions.  In the ‘Story’ section, they let you know that they are not going to offer full customer support on G+, but provide the appropriate link for others.  They have set up their own Community that has amassed over 90K members, to strengthen engagement.

Cadbury's Google+ Community

Cadbury’s Google+ Community

The ‘About’ page also provides links to Cadbury’s individual brands’ Facebook pages and their own YouTube page – more on the latter in a bit.  Skipping over to the brand’s Photos section on G+, you will find a good number of shared photos.  You will also notice that many of the pictures have hundreds of +1’s and a number of comments.  This is all about the engagement the brand has built on the platform.

Scrolling through the brand’s posts on G+ you will find a colorful array of pictures included within each update.  Each post catches your eye and each receives hundreds of +1’s.  Cadbury is using relevant hashtags for holidays and events (Christmas, Halloween, and Wimbledon, for example) in order to improve visibility in search, and have created their own hashtag (#CadburyKitchen) to promote specific posts about recipes and linking to their Google+ / YouTube Hangouts!

#CadburyKitchen search on G+

#CadburyKitchen search on G+

Overall, an impressive showing on Google+ and based on this deeper look, it leads us to add an additional section to the analysis …

YouTube:

Given the amount of promotion the brand provides on its Google+ page, I’m surprised that Cadbury’s YouTube page is nowhere to be found on their web site.  With over 1,600 subscribers and 1.8 million videos viewed, Cadbury is certainly using the platform enough to warrant a link on its own web site.

Cadbury downloads their ads to their YouTube page, but what really caught my attention is the relatively extensive use of Google+ Hangouts.  Again, this is all about engaging your consumer base and creating brand ambassadors.  The example below is a Hangout with Shanaze Reade, who Cadbury sponsored in the 2012 Olympics.

A second Hangout example that Cadbury started in 2013 was their #CadburyKitchen Hangout with celebrity chef Eric Lanlard.  The video has been viewed almost 100K times and hasn’t received a single “thumbs down” on YouTube.  I would be shocked if the brand didn’t create more #CadburyKitchen Hangouts in the future.

One last thought: I wonder if it would make sense for the brand to leverage the #CadburyKitchen hashtag and create a Google “Helpout”.  This seems like a logical next step for helping others in the kitchen.

Facebook:

The first thing that caught my attention on Cadbury’s Facebook page is that it does not post the same pictures or content between G+ and Facebook.  Facebook Fans are getting their own, unique content.  Each post from the brand receives hundreds, if not thousands of “Likes”, and a number of comments.  What I like about their efforts on Facebook is that Cadbury was taking the time to respond to “negative” questions and comments:

Cadbury's Facebook post from 1/2/14

Cadbury’s Facebook post from 1/2/14

Cadbury's responses to Facebook comments

Cadbury’s responses to Facebook comments

Per above, to start off 2014, Cadbury posted a picture of their Crème Eggs.  Some posters questioned whether or not the product was “seasonal”, claiming they were available on shelf all year round.  The brand’s page manager quickly responded to these comments to help clear the air.  This can get a bit frustrating sometimes, but Cadbury’s team handled these professionally.  You will see similar situations in a number of Facebook posts.

Two additional items caught my attention on Cadbury’s Facebook page that I viewed as positives:

  • I always enjoy when a brand drops in the history behind its story in their respective ‘About’ page on Facebook.  Cadbury has done so by adding ‘Life Events’ on this page, with background information on how and when the brand was started and subsequent product launches and key events.
  • While we are one to two weeks post-Christmas, the cover photo used on the brand’s page is seasonal and likely to change soon.  The photo itself though is colorful and branded well, but more interesting, has the “#UnwrapJoy” hashtag.  Cadbury had a series of posts leading up to the holidays where they showed gifts fully wrapped in wrapping paper, asking Fans to guess what each picture was.  Later in the day, they would post each ‘gift’ unwrapped – a simple, yet effective way to get people engaged.
Cadbury's Facebook Cover Photo - #UnwrapJoy

Cadbury’s Facebook Cover Photo – #UnwrapJoy

Twitter:

While you see some overlap between Facebook and Twitter pictures/images, again Cadbury is delivering unique content to its Twitter followers vs. other networks.  Impressive!  While a search on Facebook for the aforementioned #UnwrapJoy hashtag provided little, searching for this on Twitter shows that consumers were willing to use the hashtag, in turn helping promote the brand.  (This may also further illustrate how far hashtags have to go on Facebook vs. Twitter…)

#UnwrapJoy search on Twitter

#UnwrapJoy search on Twitter

Cadbury is more than willing to retweet other Twitter users’ messages that are sent to the brand.  When someone sends them a picture of a relevant item (desserts, their product, etc.), they will either RT it or add a comment and share said picture with their Twitter Followers.

Two items that I found of interest scrolling through several months of tweets from the brand:

  • Cadbury uses the #Unwrap… hashtag for different events/promotions.  Prior to #UnwrapJoy, they used #UnwrapGold for a separate promotion.  This (#UnwrapXXXX) feels like something that they could continue to use to strengthen the branding for various events or times across the year.
  • National Chocolate Week was October 14-20 in 2013 in the UK and National Chocolate Day was October 28th in the US.  I was a little surprised at the limited attention this received on the brand’s Twitter feed, most specifically the UK holiday.  In fact, National Chocolate Day in the US didn’t receive/garner a single comment or mention on the network.

Overall Summary:

Cadbury caught my attention with the wonderfully branded color schematic across social media and has been referenced by many as a brand that has hit a homerun with their strategies implemented on Google+.  It is certainly one of the few brands out there that can boast a stronger G+ following vs. Facebook and/or Twitter.  The team that runs their social media platforms is doing a terrific job in building engagement with their consumer base and they are responding to questions and concerns openly on each network.

What is your take on Cadbury’s branding and digital marketing strategy across platforms?