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By Ned Hancock, Chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission

Before the words “global pandemic” ever entered our radar, Americans’ usage of social media was growing. Nearly three-fourths of us visited online social media websites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram1. That is up from less than half of us a decade ago. As we explore new ways to connect amidst the current reality, experts suggest the numbers will only increase further.

While the use of social media isn’t new for the Department of Citrus, it is a timely topic to address today as we all seek to contribute to industry efforts to share the message of the health benefits of Florida Orange Juice and drive sales among consumers. The FDOC posts regularly on a number of social channels in order to engage its audience in different ways. Each channel has its own purpose and requires a unique delivery.

At times, the message is simple and direct: “Add some vitamin C to your cart.” This type of post is useful for those who have seen our messages before and just need a little extra push to purchase.

At other times, the message may be a little less straightforward: “Looking for a fun indoor activity that also builds healthy habits? Make a Traditional Blanket Fort! It keeps kids entertained and provides the space to make lasting memories. Enjoy your family time, and don’t forget to include Florida OJ—full of vital nutrients like vitamin C.” When sprinkled in amid the other messages, this type of post provides an opportunity for connection with consumers by delivering content that is timely and relevant to them.

Most of the time, though, the focus is on educating consumers on the health benefits of OJ: “Want to get through cold and flu season? Power your immune system with nutrients like vitamin C found in 100% Orange Juice.”

Regardless, the goal is always the same: give consumers a reason to choose us.

Many of FDOC’s social media posts are targeted directly to lapsed buyers, meaning only those who fall within the parameters set by FDOC will see content that has been designed for them. These posts can only be shared by those who receive them. The FDOC works closely with Facebook and Instagram to ensure the posts are performing well and resonating with the correct audience.

However, there are also posts that live on the social channels that are viewable by all. This is where you come in. I encourage you to take a moment to share these posts on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest with your friends and families. Our research shows that one of the top reasons consumers don’t buy orange juice is because it’s not top of mind. The simple action of sharing a post could be just the reminder someone in your circle needs to add OJ to their shopping list.

For those of us who may not be as familiar with the ins and outs of each social channel, Edible provided the below breakdown along with how they are used for Florida Orange Juice:

To further help the industry engage with the FDOC social media channels, Edible compiled a list of resources at https://www.floridacitrus.org/grower/industry-resources/[SR1] . As we approach National OJ Day on May 4, we will continue to update the industry on ways to share FDOC posts and campaigns with friends.

While social media is one component of the FDOC’s campaign to drive sales of 100% orange juice, the e-commerce program is the core and continues to show strong results.

Since its launch in January, the program has led to $2.58 million in attributed sales of 100% orange juice across Instacart, Walmart and Amazon at an average Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) of $4.09. The campaign has reached 195 million consumers, which exceeds the original campaign goal.

Of course, the foundation of it all remains the research all messages are built upon. FDOC’s Scientific Research Department is monitoring and analyzing newly published nutrition and health-related research daily in order to help strengthen messaging, advise future research needs, and inform media and influencer outreach.  Additionally, SRD closely monitors the progress of FDOC-funded projects and works with the Global Marketing team to communicate published results as soon as they are available. As a recent example, upon the publishing of results from the FDOC’s OJ hydration study at the University of Kansas, SRD worked with the Global Marketing team to share a news release with registered dietitians, update the Florida Orange Juice website, and develop consumer messaging for social media channels.  The Florida Orange Juice website has sections that focus on nutritional facts of 100% orange juice as well as health benefits. These include links to research on specific health conditions and systems in relation to orange juice. SRD updates these sections frequently as new research is available and includes links to study abstracts and full articles when allowed so that health professionals, consumers, and members of the industry can review the study, if desired.  These activities integrate with FDOC’s marketing and public relations communication strategies and help position FDOC and SRD as a reliable and credible resource for OJ nutrition and health-related information. 

As always, reach out to FDOC staff with any questions you may have.

Stay safe.

  1. Pew Research Center. (2019). Social Media Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/social-media/.

Originally published in the Florida Citrus Mutual Triangle