In 2014 the Buy California Marketing Agreement announced they were looking for a social media firm to manage their program. We were completely intrigued by the idea of connecting Californians to the people who grow their food using social media.
Thinking through the process of how to build a social media program, we knew we needed a source of streaming content to feed into the social media channels, to keep people interested and coming back. We decided the best way to do that was to create a blog that we could update weekly with recipes and posts on whatever is in season at the time. So, when people are seeing pomegranates spring up in the stores and at farmer’s markets, we’ll be offering the recipes on how to use them. Makes sense, right?
We also wanted our social media program to include an element that would encourage Californians to actively participate and be a part of spreading brand awareness. We decided the best way to do that was to create a very simple hashtag program that anyone could get behind. We suggested that every time someone posts anything grown or produced in the state and uses the hashtag, #CAGROWN, we would commit to donating a pound of food to a food bank. To date, we’ve seen the hashtag used over 40,000 times – and had a lot of fun seeing how much people enjoy their CA GROWN food and wine!
What we didn’t know at the time was that a major retailer would get behind this program and promote it using our signage in nearly 300 of their California stores, all we had to do was supply the signs. And the program was a natural fit to highlight a beautiful relationship that already existed before we came up with the concept. The relationship that farmers have with the food banks. In 2015, California farmers donated 145 million pounds of food to food banks in the state and across the nation (if you didn’t already love farmers, how about now?).
We love creating social media programs from the ground up, or ramping up an already established program. If your company or organization is interested in hearing what we can do to elevate your message, please send us an email, or call us, tag us or tweet us.
Here are links to our California Grown program: