The VPM Blog

Social Media Saved the Twinkie

Posted by Piper.vpm on Jul 17, 2013 5:10:11 AM

For those of you who previously raided store shelves and are now hoarding expired Twinkies, breathe a sigh of relief -- or maybe kick yourself depending on how much you paid for your alleged last Twinkie.

Hostess is back.

Not only are they back, but they’re making 'the sweetest comeback in the history of ever,' or so says the tagline of their new ad campaign. With the help of this campaign, the new owner plans for Hostess products to reach 160,000 stores by the end of this year.

Can they do it? After all, Hostess gave us a heart attack (which could also occur from eating too many of their cakes) when they announced they were shutting down due to bankruptcy just seven months ago. As much as Americans cherish Hostess treats, the company still went under.

So how can we trust that they are actually going to make this great comeback? Well, simply put, because they say so. Kind of anyway.

As evident with their bold tagline, the company decided they are making a comeback, and they’re seeking out every possible way to let consumers know. That’s the key. Hostess knows that Americans crave their snack cakes, but Americans aren’t fantasizing about Twinkies and Ho Hos 24/7 (most of us anyway). Hostess must put themselves back on the consumer’s radar, they have to find a way to break through the millions of advertisements that have become white noise to the public.

And that’s just what they’re doing.

Hostess is engaging customers both on and offline in ways that catch people’s attention.

Online, they are utilizing social media to it’s full potential. The Hostess Facebook page can be found full of funny pictures with clever captions about the anticipation and excitement surrounding Twinkies’ shelf debut.

On Tuesday they posted this picture with the caption, “The History of Ever is filled with great leaders. But only one is filled with creme.”

Hostess Facebook Ad

Simple, but effective as 2,029 people liked the post. Not to mention that Hostess replied to every comment on the picture. And also every comment on the entire page.

That kind of personal engagement with consumers is how to turn them into loyal customers, and it can be found on the Hostess Twitter as well. The entire @Hostess_Snacks feed is filled with conversations between them and fans.

Hostess is also using their Twitter to promote and share another comeback tactic called Feed Your Cake Face. This is a website entirely dedicated to sharing Instagrams and Vines of people taking their first bite of a newly released Hostess cake. People see this as an opportunity to have fun and bond with their fellow Twinkie lovers, so they gladly participate and then share it on their social media pages, where their friends see it and engage in Cake Face, sharing it on their social media sites where their friends who... well, you get the picture.

Another website Hostess created for this comeback is Snack Spotting which provides a map of all locations selling Hostess products. Instead of driving around from store to store with rising anxiety levels in hopes of getting their hands on a Twinkie, people can instantly find their cherished treat. Hostess makes it easy for people to get to their products. Genius.

It may seem like Hostess has taken over the internet. But don’t worry, they’re all over the streets, too.

Throughout the week leading up to the release date, Hostess street teams were handing out “Prepare Your Cake Face” shirts and “I saved the Twinkie” buttons in major American cities. This effectively caught people’s attention because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love free stuff? And the t-shirts were a great offline link to the online Cake Face community. Well played, Hostess.

Now that the Hostess treats have been released, a Twinkie food truck tour has begun. What could be better? The truck will start in New York City and make its way to Los Angeles, stopping throughout the country to pass out free Twinkies. Okay, can food truck tours have groupies? Because I wouldn’t mind following them cross-country.

Even the Hostess mascot, Twinkie the Kid, is likely to be spotted throughout the tour and made his first appearance this past Monday on The Today Show.

The best part is, all of these offline ventures make for rich content to fuel their social media sites.

Hostess is making themselves known everywhere. They are engaging everywhere. Their clever, hard-to-forget tagline is everywhere, cementing themselves a spot in consumers’ busy minds.

How a company utilizes social media can can make or break their success. Hostess is the perfect example, they went from bankrupt and shut down to executing ‘The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever’ by effectively using social media to engage with customers and get their message across -- it doesn’t hurt that Twinkies, Ho Hos, and CupCakes are so delicious either.

Now go out, satisfy your nostalgia and get your Cake Face on!

###

Author: Piper Donnelly is our Summer Editor, Word-Smith and Communications Connoisseur here at Verge Pipe Media. Verge Pipe Media assists public institutions, enterprises and the non-profit sector with Imaginative Inbound Marketing strategies + campaigns. We also have a development team chock full of Marvelous Mobile Migrators, poised to help transition our clients into a mobile + social world with custom software, iOS and Android mobile apps.

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/Hostess

Topics: Inbound Marketing

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