There’s no denying that the supplements industry is a hard market to penetrate, but every successful company has to start somewhere.
In today’s digital age, even a new player to the supplement game can cultivate a loyal customer base with the power of social media. There are no “secrets” per se, but there are certainly better methods. We’ll be taking a look at several tried-and-true methods that have helped numerous supplement brands dive into crowded waters and make a big splash on social media.
5 Tips for Making Your Supplement Brand a Social Media Hit
Get Fans and the Community Involved
Have you heard of the Pareto principle? There are several definitions for different contexts, but for our purposes, it’s the idea that 80 percent of profits come from 20 percent of customers. This small percentage is a brand’s most fervent fan base, so by taking the time to interact directly with these people, getting them involved, and helping them feel like they’re part of “something bigger” further cements their relationship with your brand.
This is something that Quest Nutrition does really well. On their Instagram, they often crowdsource their pictures from other users and then make sure to call them out in the description.
Inclusion is an age-old way to make your brand more personable and actually turn your following into active followers and evangelists, rather than passive, fair-weather customers.
Leverage Stars and Influencers
Even though more customers than ever before are aware of what social media influencers “do”, the potential value that comes with choosing the right influencers is still there.
Certain athletes and social media celebrities have such a dedicated following that by associating them with your brand you have access to their following as well. Bigger companies can afford to snag big-name stars, but one strategy is to actually identify influencers who are on the rise, rather than ones who are at their peak. Although they’re a big company now, Optimum Nutrition invested in Steve Cook, who wasn’t as big as he is now, and built much of their social media branding around the guy. And yes, it could be a gamble sometimes, but even a very loyal small following is worthwhile.
Now, when working with influences, it’s important to remember that the FTC does have rules in place when it comes to making sure that the consumer is in the know when a post, tweet, or endorsment is sponsored or paid.
Identify A Specific Audience For Your Product
When you start a brand, you can’t always predict whom you will resonate with the most. It may be that something you thought was made for bodybuilders would actually catch fire with another demographic. In many cases, this happens from insufficient research and testing, or even completely by accident. (We see it a lot with flavoring, for example.)
For example, the protein market is filled with big players, but Kodiak Cakes found a niche with their protein-centric line of pancake and waffle mixes. They have other non-protein products, too, but they found that many recreational weightlifters and figure-conscious people have really caught on to the pancakes (because, really, who doesn’t love pancakes?). They’ve since capitalized on this market by highlighting a myriad of visual, tasty-looking recipes and ideas for their high-protein mixes on Instagram.
Look Outside the Obvious Markets
When a manufacturer makes pre-workouts or other energy products, most often they look to market to the typical audience: people who work out and need a boost for said workout. That’s some tough love.
Cellucor and Gammalabs looked outside of their obvious markets and discovered that tons of people – from video game players to students – look for focus and energy-centric products, just as much as fitness folk about to hit a PR do.
A photo posted by Gamma Labs (@gammalabs) on
Made Something Theirs and “Fun”
Of course, the most important thing for any brand is to sound organic and like an actual human being. This involves thinking like your target audience would.
Quest Nutrition makes use of clever hashtags (#oatemgee, #cheatclean, #onaquest) to solidify their brand messaging, but also appeal to the ideas of light-heartedness and fun that social media often are. By engaging in the daily conversations, they discovered “chunk porn,” a play off of “food porn” where people unwrap their Quest bars, find particularly tasty-looking nuggets in their bars, and share pictures of them.
The main idea here is that they took something that their users were talking about, made it theirs, and turned it into something fun.