How Social Media Sold 1.5 Million Doughnuts in 5 Weeks

STEEL London’s social media campaign “Superstar Doughnuts” for retailer Greggs wins Gold at Digital Impact Awards for ‘Best use of digital in food & beverages sector’

London, 29 October, 2012: Digital marketing agency STEEL London has won a gold and silver award at the prestigious Digital Impact Awards for their social media campaign ‘Greggs Superstar Doughnut Awards’ for the UK’s largest food brand, Greggs.

The campaign aim was to drive awareness and sales of a new range of doughnuts using social media – a first for Greggs. The idea was to mobilise Greggs’ fans by entertaining them to such a degree that they naturally spread the word and became powerful brand and product ambassadors. STEEL brought the Doughnuts to life through social media by turning them into superstars on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. They led ‘real’ lives, with jobs, friends, back stories and they competed to be crowned ‘The Greggs Superstar Doughnut of the Year’.

Despite being executed within a very limited budget, the campaign won gold for ‘Best use of digital in the food & beverages sector” and silver for ‘Best use of digital in the retail sector’ at The Digital Impact Awards.

The judges explain: “STEEL approached the Greggs campaign via the most difficult method – creating a viral social media campaign – and it succeeded. This shows good innovation and in-depth understanding of the product, the audience and social media.” The campaign contributed to Greggs reporting “sales up by 4.6%”* and in just 5 weeks it generated:

1.5 million Doughnuts sold
13 million impressions across Facebook and Google Search
150,000 visits to greggs.co.uk [+13% MoM]
47,000 YouTube views
21,000 visits to the Superstar Doughnuts campaign hub
11,000 new fans on Facebook
6,000 new email sign-ups
4,000+ Twitter followers and over 600 conversations
1,000s of Doughnut vouchers claimed on #DoughnutDay
1 unsolicited song written by an MTV-nominated artist
*Source: The Times

Moray Twaddle, Marketing Manager, Greggs says: “Our Superstar Doughnut campaign provided us with an innovative and effective campaign that created record levels of engagement across our digital audiences and complemented our in-store campaign activity. We wanted to do something different to generate awareness of our new range of Doughnuts and position them as fun and relevant products, so that people would reappraise Greggs’ sweet offer. We certainly achieved these aims – and had a lot of fun as well.”

Andy Hinder, STEEL’s CEO, says: “The success of our campaign is stark evidence, that when done right, social media has the power to have a direct and positive impact on sales and improve financial results without breaking the bank.”

Andrew Thomas from the Digital Impact Awards, says: “This year’s awards saw a 54% increase in entries and all entries were of an incredibly high standard. So for STEEL to have won both Silver and Gold for the ‘Greggs Superstar Doughnut Awards’ campaign means they showed real creative flair, strategic insight and strong execution skills.”

The full campaign case study will be published in the next quarterly issue of the Institute of Direct Marketing’s Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing, available in November.

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