Tropicana’s Recipe for Social Success

Author: Michael Torres

Guest post written by Michael Torres, Senior Director of Communications, PepsiCo

Listen, in no way is what I’m about to say am I suggesting that everyone should stick their proverbial heads in the sand, ignore emerging trends and pretend the world of social isn’t evolving, expanding, contracting and ever-shifting. In fact, it’s the contrary and WE should be making it our mission to fully understand the shifting tectonic plates and prevailing winds of the social/digital ecosystem.

That said, I truly believe many of us are too quick to jump for the new shiny penny when there is so much more to be mined and done better with existing social networks. For instance, the analytics and insights of Facebook over the last year have gotten so much better in helping brands understand what they are doing there now creating the ability to go deeper in a meaningful way and zero in on how the platform can support ROI.

Additionally, right or wrong, philosophically I’m very much context first in my approach so for me it’s not as much about jumping on every trend because they come and go. Instead, the filter of success that I find effective starts by identifying and understating where the high-brand value target consumers are interacting, conversing and exchanging. Then it’s all about listening to what’s going on, understanding and evaluating contextually whether there is a mutually beneficial connection point. Net-net, what’s good for one brand might not be at all good for another.

So, to that end and to the ever growing arsenal of social networks, I find I’m constantly reminding myself that the map is not the territory — meaning each trend or social platform requires individual assessment and understanding and weighting of the opportunities and challenges to help support the business. And as much as it’s always fun to jump in head first as an early adopter, doing so without any strategic evaluation creates dilution and distraction from what is working. There really is great value in going really deep to fully realize the potential of a meaningful presence on a couple of platforms vs. disparate phantom footprints across many platforms that lack the strategic lens of deployment.

At the end of the day, integral to continuing the success we have achieved as a team is remaining vigilant and rigorous in our approach. However, if we were expanding our social presence, two trends we have on the radar that we’d want to explore in helping to tell our story are:

  • Vine – Wow! Hot and all the rage, yet how does one make a meaningful 6-second looping video that connects, engages and sticks? That is the question and the key to unlock success. If a picture is worth a thousand words, than a looping video is priceless… if done contextually correct.
  • SnapChat – One of the newest ways to share a moment, which in turns gives people the power to control how long friends view your messages on a smart phone. Control…now that’s an interesting prospect and it will be interesting to see if food/beverage companies/brands adopt it.

About Michael: As Senior Director of Communications, Michael Torres’s primary responsibilities are to provide strategic business and marketing communications counsel for all Tropicana, Naked and specialty beverages. Before joining PepsiCo, Torres held several leadership positions at the Anheuser-Busch and Anheuser-Busch InBev.

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