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Andy’s Answers: How Cargill used social to drive product sampling

Cargill has big ambitions for sugar substitute Truvia, but it’s going to take changing a lot of eating and purchasing habits — from business-to-business partners and end consumers.

This is the challenge facing Chris Obray and his team. And at our recent BlogWell event, he walked us through a small portion of Cargill’s overall plan to use social media to actually get people sampling the product. Here are a few of his recommendations.

  • Find your advocates to introduce you. Cargill partnered with Her Campus — the No. 1 online magazine for college women, by college women — to do photo contests, giveaways and weight-loss challenges, all leading up to local events and opportunities to sample Truvia.
  • Be conscious of your bias. Obray loves Foursquare and originally planned a check-in contest as part of the project — but found a significant portion of college women avoid location-based networks, because of stalkers or ex-boyfriends — so he and his team substituted a photo contest instead.
  • Certain platforms drive certain behaviors. In planning this social strategy, Obray and his team broke each social network down by its ability to support awareness, consideration, product trials or post-purchase follow-ups.

Watch Obray’s case study. Slides are available.