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Deluxe helps Randy’s Pickles use social media to prepare for expansion [CASE STUDY]

Case Study: Randy’s Pickles

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Randy's Pickles and Deluxe Corporation


Business Overview

Cleveland Based Artisan Food Company Sets Sights On National Expansion

Ohio native, Andrew “Randy” Rainey hadn’t always dreamed of becoming a pickle tycoon. In 2012 while getting over a breakup, he began experimenting with recipes in his Grandmother’s kitchen and made his first batch of spicy dill spears. What started as a hobby grew into a full-time business as Randy left his job in real estate and teamed up with college buddies Pat Routa and Ryan Snyder. In addition to experimenting with innovative flavors and recipes, Andrew and his team made pickles the good old fashioned way – packing each jar by hand. Before long, Randy’s Pickles had become a mainstay at the popular market, Cleveland Flea, and began racking up awards like Cleveland Scene’s Best Of The Best in 2014. Randy’s Pickles has steadily increased their retail distribution from a handful of small boutiques to regional grocery chains. Currently available both online and in retail stores in six states, Randy’s Pickles has their eyes on the prize for nationwide expansion.


The Problem

Reaching New Customers In A Crowded Category

Though the brand achieved early success with their playful branding and inventive pickle varieties, sustaining growth on a national scale will mean breaking through a lot of clutter at the shelf to make it into shopper’s baskets. Domestic pickle sales are dominated by big brands and private label store varieties with Kraft and Heinz leading the way. As interest in artisan foods and supporting smaller manufacturers is on the rise, this presents an opportunity for Randy’s Pickles to position themselves as an alternative to the run-of-the-mill-dill.

“It’s really all about brand awareness. We would love to boost sales in our retail stores and online in the process.” – Pat Routa, Chief Marketing Officer, Randy’s Pickles


The Plan

Using Social Media To Increase Brand Awareness And Drive Retail Sales

The Randy’s Pickles team has a strong sense of how to connect with their consumers using social media. Their clever posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat have already resonated with local fans. To continue to grow their social following to scale with their retail distribution, it’s time to put some specific strategies in place to elevate their content and tie it to results.

“We want to try and be more consistent with the visuals we are using (which can be tough when we have multiple people posting and using our accounts) and the frequency in which interact with customers.” – Pat Routa

With multiple contributors posting on behalf of the brand, it’s important to have a clearly defined persona. Agreeing on a voice, tone, and posture for the brand will help ensure consistency and support brand messages regardless of who is publishing content. We worked to develop tools and processes that will help Randy’s Pickles stay on message and produce high-quality social content with increased frequency.

We helped develop recommendations for an ad strategy that would help grow brand awareness and encourage retail purchase. Leveraging the sophisticated targeting available through social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will help Randy’s Pickles reach their ideal consumer for much less investment than traditional advertising.


The Process

Refining Social Frequency

Identifying the optimal frequency for social posts can be tricky for many small businesses, it’s a fine line to walk between sharing often enough to keep your audience growing and engaged, and not so often that you’re oversaturating your followers. As busy entrepreneurs, Randy’s Pickles weren’t finding the time to be consistent with their post frequency across social networks. We worked to develop a target frequency for each network, and provided some suggestions on how to easily create a larger volume of content for posts without too much increased effort.

Facebook: Randy’s Pickles is currently posting 1-2 times per week. Our recommendation is to increase that frequency to 5-10 posts per week.

Randy’s Pickles Facebook Post Example

Randys-Pickles-Facebook-Post

Instagram: Randy’s Pickles has been the most active on Instagram, posting around 7 times per week. We recommend to keep up this frequency, posting daily if possible and avoiding more than two posts per day.

Randy’s Pickles Instagram Post Example

Randys-Pickles-Instagram-Post
Twitter: We recommend that Randy’s Pickles become more active on Twitter. Ideally, brands should aim to tweet 3-5 times per day, 7 days a week. Since that can seem overwhelming, we recommend starting with posts every Monday, Wednesday and Sunday in the evening. The average shelf-life of a tweet is only 18 minutes, so timing and frequency are crucial to retain your audience’s attention.

Randy’s Pickles Tweet Example

Randys-Pickles-Tweet

Targeting New Customers

According to their research, Randy’s Pickles has identified that men 50 years and older are the largest consumers of pickles. Progressive Grocer reports that women are the primary grocery shopper in two thirds of American households. Finding the sweet spot between their core consumer, and their core shopper through precisely-targeted advertisements will help encourage trial and sales.

“Nearly two thirds of Americans use social media, up 7% from 2015.” – Pew Research Center

We recommend that Randy’s Pickles use Facebook advertising to increase their followers, to promote their products and encourage online sales. A variety of ad types are available, our key goal is to test various messages and split test audiences to identify the top performing demographics.

Page likes: Page like ads help build your audience by growing your followers based on targeting you identify.

Clicks to website: These ads bring views to your website from Facebook. You can drive traffic to your site and enable a Facebook pixel to use in re-targeting and feature specific products they viewed in future Facebook ads.

Carousel ads: This format allows you to promote multiple products without creating multiple ads. These ads have been high-performing for mobile users, and allow flexibility to include multiple options for creative.

A split test is a marketing strategy where two elements of a marketing campaign are tested against each other to analyze which one can deliver the best results. We propose that Randy’s Pickles run some A/B tests on audience targets to determine which segment generates the highest engagement and the best cost per conversion.

Facebook audience tests
Women 18-34
Women 35-54
Women 55-65+
Men 18-34
Men 35-53
Men 55-65+


The Results

Increasing Social Reach Will Lead To Increased Sales

With a play book on how to amplify their organic social posts and a strong game plan on implementing social media ads, Randy’s Pickles is poised to support their increased retail distribution and grow their social following. Check back with us in coming weeks for additional details on how social media helped move the needle.


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