On the show today, we have Lauren Shafer of Michele’s Granola, and we’re talking all about social media, and how to find what works for your brand.Using Social Data

Michele’s Granola is a fast-growing brand that makes delicious, small batch granola products you can find in stores across the country.  Since joining the company, Lauren has grown into her role of marketing manager, where she leverages the social media data, to constantly improve how Michele’s Granola communicates with their customers.

In this episode, you learn…

  • Why your current approach to Facebook and Instagram is probably too similar
  • What brand partnerships can do for you on social that influencer marketing doesn’t
  • How to organically get more positive reviews on Amazon

And plenty more.

Listen to the Interview on iTunes >>>

To learn more about Michelle’s Granola, check out their website here.

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Show Notes:

Lauren Shafer’s background is in Fine Arts, with her career beginning in Art Nonprofit and Sales.  It wasn’t until later that Lauren realized she was ready for a big change.  She had always loved food and health, and was actually back in school getting a certificate in Health Coaching when she started with Michele’s Granola.

Her strong marketing and sales knowledge quickly came into play. The girl responsible for social at the time, actually wasn’t onsite.  And with Lauren believing that such an important part of the brand was the story, she was already acting as a coordinator between the current social media manager and where all the granola magic was happening.

Upon taking over as Marketing Manager, continuing to tell this story to the customers remained most important to Lauren.  The story is something that sets the brand apart.  And, that the customers want to know.  One of the most important things to consider for social: know what excites you, and know what excites your customers.

Michele’s Granola doesn’t outsource any of the baking or packaging, because they want every batch to be made and packaged by people they know and love.  And Lauren knew this was something their customers could definitely get behind.

So, she aimed to find a way to successfully tell this story on social to all their existing customers, and potential customers, while not just retelling the same story, day after day.

There’s a sweet spot here.  You want to make sure you’re telling your story repeatedly, so a new customer can see it today, who may not have seen it yesterday.  But, you want to tell it in a different way.  A way that isn’t repetitive, but still circles back to cover your key values.

That being said, Lauren also learned that what customers get excited about on one platform, may not necessarily be true across all of them.  She had been managing Facebook and Twitter when she realized that they needed an Instagram.

Lauren started their Instagram and initially began posting the same photos she was posting on their Facebook: the day-to-day, inside the bakery shots.  It didn’t take long for her to realize that what the people want on Facebook was not necessarily what the people want on Instagram.

While Michele’s Granola Facebook fans loved seeing the people behind the food, the Instagram community was not equally engaged.  So, Lauren shifted gears and started flooding the feed with more aesthetic photos of the food itself.

Instagram is a very visible medium, and her followers were looking for pictures of the food looking good.  Which was no problem.  Now, Michele’s Granola’s Instagram page is filled with photos of bright colored bowls and breakfast toasts utilizing the granola as an ingredient.  And, one of the things that performs best on the page, reposting how fans are using their granola.

Luckily, with the introduction of Instagram Stories, Lauren’s still telling these followers her story.  She says she loves the feature because she basically uses it as a “behind the scenes” tool, so Foodies of Instagram can get the content they want, with a little bit of story on the side.

But, these efforts aren’t of nearly as much value without some analysis.

Using Social Data

When measuring social data, analytics are key.  And Lauren’s mostly utilizing the analytics tools native to Facebook and Instagram.  Primarily engagement and reach.

While she’s definitely checking every day, she says that once a month, she sweeps through and does a thorough analysis in order to determine which posts are resonating the most, the least, and which days content seems to perform best.

By measuring social data, Lauren is able to tailor Michele’s Granola’s social strategy.  Part of which is partnering with other brands.  Lauren initially thought takeovers were going to perform best for them.  But, quickly switched directions after realizing how successful their partnered posts and giveaways were with other, likeminded brands.

Michele’s Granola has a pretty big following on social, and it’s all organic.  Lauren also has a knack for organically generating more positive reviews on Amazon, too.

She makes sure to give personal shout outs thanking those leaving positive Amazon reviews on their Facebook page.  Lauren says that she knows their stuff is delicious, everyone at Michele’s Granola knows how great it is, but it always holds a lot more weight when it’s coming from a third party, outside of the company.

One of Lauren’s biggest pieces of advice is to just be authentic.  And, that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  She’s a huge planner, and if you want to be successful, you really have to take the time to stop, sit down, and plan.

For more on Michele’s Granola, check out their website at www.michelesgranola.com.

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