Ep 005 - Building a Passionate Community Around Your Brand with PJ Hamel, King Arthur Flour


US brand King Arthur Flour is really nailing both social media and its online kindred spirit ‘content marketing’.In this interview, I chat with PJ Hamel, who is part of the company's web team and involved in a lot of its content creation and online community activity.  PJ has been with the Vermont-based company for 22 years. She sheds light on the approach King Arthur Flour takes when it comes to social media and content marketing, and provides advice to companies wanting to go down a similar path.TY-PJH-KAF.jpgKey Takeaways:

  • King Arthur Flour has been using social media for four years, kicking off with Facebook. However, the company has been active building its online community for over 10 years.
  • Connecting with customers and helping them connect with one another is critical because that's what builds a community.
  • Social media is a door that people walk through to get to your content.
  • King Arthur Flour's social media and content marketing strategy is to make "warm and human connections" with anybody interested in baking - first you become friends with people, earn their trust and then give them a reason to want the product you're selling.
  • Big companies don't need to be faceless, just make a smaller team of people that are willing to make friends and put their names and faces out there on the social web.
  • Mastercard is an example of a big company that is using social media well: they monitor all the time and are quick to respond to people.
  • Being large isn't an excuse for not having good social media.
  • Smartpak sells supplies for horses and has "really got inside the horse lover's head" - it is a good example of a brand using Facebook well (definitely worth a look, their Facebook page has over 250,000 likes).
  • Trust, trust, trust - you have to build trust with consumers!
  • Be on as many social media channels as makes sense because you never know when a channel is going to take off.
  • The basis of social media is to "treat people well and they'll keep coming back".
  • Pinterest drives a lot of traffic to the King Arthur Flour website - "it's very viral".
  • You don't have to devote a whole team to social media, you just have to have a few people that love doing it and are willing to spend time making it happen.
  • Advice to companies thinking about social media: Figure out what your story is! There's something about your business you feel passionate about - tell your story, share it with people! Don't worry about writing something that's perfect - tell it like you would to your mother or your next-door neighbour or your best friend.