Slim Jim attracted more than 200,000 men to its Facebook community in 2011 – but was confused about why this large audience wasn’t engaging with its content as much as was expected. Edelman realized building the foundation of fans was step one. Step two? Move the online community from casual postings to colossal conversation, including increased interaction.
Consumer insights showed the Slim Jim target is a guy’s guy suffering from “Spice Loss” – because of family and work commitments, he’s not able to enjoy the manly pursuits he once did. Slim Jim had his back and recognized this guy was tuned in to fraternal engagement that was always at his fingertips. From his PC to his tablet to his phone, he always wanted to be entertained.
Slim Jim unveiled a community manager – The Sultan of Snap – as the public-facing voice on social media through a series of weekly videos. Not only did he engage the target but was one of the guys himself.
Within 30 days on Facebook, Slim Jim quadrupled post views and more than tripled the amount of people commenting, liking and sharing its status messages. The brand also doubled its target demographic while growing its Facebook fan base.
This rapid growth soon led to a key milestone: hitting one million Facebook fans. Edelman asked the community how to honor the landmark. As Slim Jim fans love extreme sports and stunts, the Sultan soon found himself skydiving 13,500 feet – all captured in a video for the Facebook community. It received more than 2,600 views and won Slim Jim a 2012 Gold WOMMY Award in Social Media and accolades in Marketing Daily and PRWeek online.
A key part of Edelman’s strategy is using a converged media approach, where paid, owned and earned media are activated around key pieces of content to increase and deepen engagement. Knowing that the Slim Jim target spends a sizable amount of time online, Edelman posts and amplifies content during moments when the community is most active online or when consumer engagement is trending, for example, right before tip-off during basketball’s March Madness tournament. This basketball-themed branded content amplified with paid Facebook support delivered three times the virality rate of past paid posts.
A little heat went a long way in Slim Jim’s first year with Edelman. Based on a survey that went out to target consumers, these efforts resulted in a 75 percent positive brand affinity rate as well as a five-point increase in purchase frequency among fans. Edelman continues to find ways to entertain the guys online with engaging content including behind-the-scenes footage at top events and enlisting gamer Meg Turney to act as the brand’s gaming correspondent on the brand’s social channels. Now, with nearly 1,180,000 Facebook fans, Slim Jim is established as one of the guys. Maintain your spice level by following the brand on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.