Five ways Chobani is fueling its earned media success

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From Vines that will blow your mind to a “talking about this” percentage on Facebook that most social media marketers only dream of, Chobani is finding great ways to get people talking about its brand, thereby earning media and creating advocates– the holy grail of social.  And here's why:

1. Chobani puts the story at the center

At Chobani, everything begins with its product and its story. Its tagline around “#tastereal” captures the brand in a hashtag, and everything it does goes back to that. From its design and branding to the ingredients of the product, the message of being “real” is obvious and it is fueling its success as a storyteller.

2. Chobani's owned channels are cohesive and updated frequently and with a purpose

Chobani's owned channels, including a blog, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and YouTube, drive home the “real” message, and reinforce everything the brand stands for. The brand's voice across social media is cohesive, has wide appeal and makes you want more, follow it on other channels and come back every day. It found a great balance of using all of its platforms to tell its story and it doesn't use any two platforms in the same way.

3. The brand's authentic content elicits an emotion (mostly smiles and salivation)

My partners and I talk a lot about the creating shareable, snackable and spreadable content (puns intended in this case) and Chobani is doing just that. The content fueling its owned channels is as authentic as it gets. It is original, on message, timely, quirky, and always looks delicious, yet easy to make. When it isn't posting gorgeous visuals created by the brand or Vines that rival video animation, its featuring user-generated content, including a full section on Chobani.com featuring images using the #tastereal hashtag. Talk about showing fans the love.

4. Chobani has an ongoing two-way dialog with fans and followers

On July 21, out of the 50 tweets Chobani published, 84% of them were @replies. Much of the two-way dialogue with the brand is sparked by the content they create, but it also comes naturally from the community, and the community managers at the brand don't miss a beat. Their replies on Twitter show the brand's personality and reach a diverse group of followers that love to hear from the brand.

5. Experiences with the brand are not limited to online only

Next time you are in New York, get to the Chobani store in SoHo. It combines everything they do well online and puts a face, texture, and taste to the brand. Walk in you're cordially addressed by one of the employees, handed a menu featuring fresh ingredients and Chobani mixtures. Any questions you have are answered as if you are the most important person to the brand, at that moment. The result for me was the below image, a delicious mixture of low-fat Chobani, peanut butter, peanuts, concord grape jelly and fresh grape.

Chobani's earned media strategy starts with a great story. Spend the time crafting that story, and think about how it comes to life – both online and off. The extra time you spend in this phase will open up the doors for amazing content creation, partnerships, dialogue with consumers and growth opportunities.

Disclosure – In April of 2013, Chobani sent me free product to review for my personal blog, FitCity. The #tastereal spoon, featured above, was included in that mailer.

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