PEEPS Social Media Breakdown

With Easter just around the corner, the nation’s thoughts collectively turn to one ideology; that an oversized bunny will go out of its way to deliver baskets of candy to the children of the world. If you’re one of the lucky ones, or unlucky ones depending on your taste in candy, then your Easter basket is probably going to be filled with the seasonal, sugar-coated, chick-shaped marshmallows known as PEEPS. An Easter staple for sixty years, PEEPS is the brainchild of Just Born, a candy manufacturer founded by Russian immigrant Sam Born in 1917. Born moved the company to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1932, where it has stayed until today. 
PEEPS were created in 1953 after Just Born acquired the Rodda Candy Company and its marshmallow chick line. Besides these marshmallow wonders, Just Born also makes Mike and Ikes, Hot Tamales and Zours. So how well does this sixty year veteran marshmallow-making company handle the new opportunities in social media marketing? Let’s find out in this week’s social media breakdown.
Content Quality
The PEEPS Facebook page is filled with tons of engaging content from PEEPS-themed questions, to contests and even crafts. While the content that PEEPS produces is top-notch, nothing beats the photos created by PEEPS’ die-hard fan base.  A visionary bunch, PEEPS’ fans have recreated everything from the French revolution, to the Papal conclave, to scenes from living on the streets… the Sesame Street that is… using PEEPS.  While PEEPS doesn’t have a dedicated Twitter account, its sister brand PEEPS & Company does. Here, fans of the retail store can receive updates on new PEEPS products, quick access to PEEPS-related news articles and even PEEPS-centric recipes
To help celebrate PEEPS’ 60th birthday, PEEPS created the “What’s Your PEEPSonality?” custom Facebook page.  Through a series of questions related to their PEEPS-eating preferences, PEEPS fans can determine which PEEPS best fits their personality. Its custom “Shop Gifts” Facebook page lets PEEPS fans browse the PEEPS retail store without having to leave Facebook, perfect for fans that are looking for ways to take their favorite candy from the kitchen to the putting green. 
Tired of simply eating your PEEPS like an average Joe? Turn them into household decorations! Check out PEEPS’ dedicated crafts Pinterest board for inspirational ideas and seasonal projects. If you’re all out of hot glue, don’t worry, just head over to PEEPS’ official reciPEEPS (Get it?)Pinterest board for new ways to dress up that sugary bird. Ever heard of a PEEPSicle? Me neither, but it sounds delicious. 
Ranking: 4 Toasts
Audience Engagement
As of March 22, the PEEPS Facebook page had over 260,000 likes and almost 112,000 people talking about the company. Not too surprising considering that Easter is coming up. One of the most popular recent posts is an image of two PEEPS “jousting”, which got over 19,000 likes, over 3,000 shares, and over 1,000 comments. What’s PEEPS jousting you ask?  Apparently, PEEPS jousting is when you take two PEEPS, stick a toothpick in each, and put them in the microwave, so they expand and poke into each other. As we mentioned earlier, while PEEPS doesn’t have an official Twitter account its sister-brand PEEPS & Company does. Its Twitter account has over 9,000 followers, and they have published over 4,600 tweets since the account was created.
PEEPS just created its YouTube account last month when it put out its first TV ad in over a decade. The account only has 3 videos, and each video is a version of the new ad.  The most popular version of the ad is the first extended cut, which has over 17,000 views. To date 38 people have subscribed to PEEPS’ YouTube channel, not too shabby when you consider the account is only a few weeks old. 
The PEEPS official Pinterest account has 3 boards, 136 pins, and 189 followers. Not to be outdone, the PEEPS’ sister company PEEPS & Company also has an official Pinterest account with 14 boards, 151 likes and over 1,600 followers. The board with the most pins is Fun Ideas, which has lots of recipes and suggestions for different ways you can incorporate PEEPS into your daily life. Although, honestly,can anything beat the wonderment that is PEEPS jousting?
Ranking: 4 Toasts
The PEEPS formula is straightforward: one part marshmallow, one part sugar and two parts cuteness. That hasn’t kept PEEPS from amassing a giant following of sugar-crazed PEEPS lovers. So how does a candy manufacturer show some innovation and better serve its customers? By opening its very own retail locations. PEEPS fans in Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Maryland must be jumping for joy (either from joy or from the sugar rush) at the thought of wall-to-wall PEEPdom. The stores offer all different kinds of PEEPS and PEEPS-themed products like apparel and accessories. You can also buy PEEPS’ sister candies like Mike and Ikes, and Hot Tamales.
While corporate innovation is important, an innovative social media marketing plan can go a long way towards boosting a brand’s public image. Case in point, PEEPS regularly sends candy donations to US military personnel. Local non-profits can also request candy donations to cater their events. All-in-all it’s a pretty sweet deal for everyone involved. The company also gives back to its hometown of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania by hosting a free annual PEEPSfest. The festival comes complete with music, arts and crafts, movies, s’more making and photo ops with the PEEPS Chick.
Ranking: 3.5 Toasts
Thrill Factor
While some of the greatest thrills found through PEEPS’ social media marketing channels come from dedicated fans making giant sculptures and recreating movie posters from PEEPS products, PEEPS themselves doesn’t shy away from injecting some thrill of its own into its publishing. Every year, Just Born encourages media outlets to host PEEPS-themed diorama contests by promising to supply the winners with prizes. First prize is a hand-blown glass PEEPS chick with Swarovski crystal eyes, along with packages of PEEPS and other Just Born candy brands. The second place prize is a PEEPS tote bag, baseball cap and Just Born candies. Last year’s Washington Post contest’s winner was a diorama of the Occupy DC movement, which was appropriately titled “Occu-PEEP DC.”
Ranking: 4 Toasts
Just Born does a great job giving its die-hard PEEPS fans exactly what they want on social media, especially on Facebook and Pinterest. The company has been doing a lot of innovation lately, as is evidenced by the appearance of its first TV ad in 10 years. However the company has yet to truly take the PEEPS brand digital, creating and executing a social media marketing plan with true impact. What about a PEEPS themed game for smart phones, an iPhone app for PEEPS jousting, or a PEEPS aging timer for all the fans that like to eat their PEEPS stale? There are lots of possibilities for the company to explore with this beloved brand. One things for certain though, at least three people reading this have already committed their Friday night to trying out this PEEPS jousting thing.  Good luck, my money’s on green. 
Ranking: 4 Toasts
Have a suggestion for how PEEPS could improve its social media presence? Leave a comment below and let us know. Follow us on Twitter @SocialToaster to stay up to date on all the latest happenings from SocialToaster.
About the author:

SarahSarah McNew Razzaque     Twitter

Chief Product Officer - SocialToaster