Capitalize on Seasonal Trends to Boost Engagement

Transforming Brands With Organic Content and Increased “Viral” Presence

As the leaves begin to fall and the temperature slowly drops, consumers have begun the search for products that will ease their transition from summer to fall. People shop for new wardrobes, cozy housewares, and hearty recipes that celebrate the return of autumn. Marketers and advertisers pay special attention to these seasonal trends so that their campaigns align with consumers’ changing environments and demands.

However, identifying the what and when of these trends leaves many questions for content marketers. In order to create effective digital marketing campaigns, they must also know the who and why. Fortunately, social media analysis offers an inside look into the consumer experience, answering all of these questions and more. Take the pumpkin spice latte, or PSL as it is affectionately referred to by its devoted fans. The seasonal beverage has developed a following in cafes and on social media, inspiring roughly 500,000 Tweets in the fall of 2013.

Content marketers can take advantage of customers’ anticipation of pumpkin coffee by developing a campaign that plays on coffee culture and hones in on their target audience.
Content marketers at Dunkin Donuts have the opportunity to boost consumer engagement by developing a fall campaign that focuses specifically on the pumpkin spice latte. In fall 2013, there were under 6,000 Tweets written about pumpkin beverages at Dunkin Donuts, leaving tremendous potential for growth of market share.
Interestingly, Dunkin Donuts has boosted their online engagement in 2014 with a new pumpkin themed hashtag, #pumpkinatdunkin. Between August 1st and September 18th, #pumpkinatdunkin has been Tweeted over 2,400 times, increasing conversation by 2,000 Tweets when compared to the same time period in 2013. While this is an improvement, content marketers can continue to improve their campaign strategy throughout the season, keeping up with subtle changes in trends and the social conversation.
While Dunkin Donuts has reached out to social media users with a catchy hashtag, learning more about the pumpkin coffee audience will allow them to expand their digital marketing campaign.
Interestingly, the majority of people talking about pumpkin coffee are women. They make up 66% of the general pumpkin coffee conversation and 69% of the Dunkin Donuts pumpkin coffee conversation.
Pumpkin Coffee Gender Text
In addition to gender, Affinities allows us to compare the interests of Dunkin Donuts fans to the general Twitter audience. Interestingly, the Dunkin Donuts audience’s interests in New England, sports, and traditional female topics distinguish it from the rest of Twitter. Dunkin Donut fans are 23 times more interested New England, 6 times more interested in hockey, and 5 times more interested in baseball than the general Twitter audience. They are also 22 times more interested in Real Housewives, 10 times more interested in being a mom, and 6 times more interested in cosmetics.
Pumpkin Coffee Affinities 1
When the affinities of Dunkin Donuts fans are compared to the general pumpkin coffee audience, a significant amount of overlap is apparent. Geographic and teen culture interests appear to be the main differences between these two populations. Dunkin Donuts fans are 3 times more interested in New England while the pumpkin coffee audience is 3 times more interested in Texas. Interestingly, Dunkin Donuts fans are 2 times more interested in being a mom while pumpkin coffee fans are 2 times more interested in Miley Cyrus, college football, and colleges and universities. In addition to regional differences, it is clear that young people contribute more to the general pumpkin coffee conversation than the Dunkin Donuts conversation.
Pumpkin Coffee Affinities Comparison
Our analysis of consumers’ affinities and interest segments aligns with the stereotype that young women are particularly fond of pumpkin coffee. This generalization has even developed into a popular joke, contributing approximately 70,000 Tweets to the pumpkin spice conversation in fall 2013. The humorous stereotype inspires people to tweet about their pumpkin coffee experience.

A creative content marketer could harness this energy, propelling their brand to new levels of social media engagement. Viral internet content often appeals to cultural references and humor to inspire Retweets and Replies. Brands can produce this content by learning about their potential customers and the content that produces the most positive engagement.

While content creation always involves risk, it can be minimized with interest segments. Digital content that uses humor must be written in the right style, use the right props, and have the perfect delivery. Looking at the colleges and universities segment, a key audience, we find commonly shared segments like MTV and Miley Cyrus. We can also explore top media that includes Vine sports replays and funny videos.
Segments Colleges and Us
Worried that a campaign directed towards college students will rub other demographics the wrong way? Diving into the being a mom interest segment will highlight other trends that you should keep in mind. People interested in being a mom are often interested in reality television, fashion, and entertainment news. Top influencers in the segment include Etsy, Dave Lackie, the editor of BEAUTY, and a variety of other businesses and bloggers. Keeping track of your audience’s interests, will help to ensure that your digital campaigns adjust to changes in audience interests and have something for everyone.
Pumpkin Coffee Being A Mom Segments
Targeting young social media enthusiasts will contribute to brand engagement across platforms. As video and image sharing platforms become more popular, branding is becoming more natural as products and logos are photographed and presented to friends and followers. Capturing consumers attention online, can increase customers propensity to post about their in store experience, further boosting online conversation.

Like a good cup of coffee, a good joke will inspire happiness and conversation, and this positive conversation will boost your brand engagement. Dunkin Donuts is a perfect example of how brands can take advantage of consumers’ cultural interests and demand for seasonal products. While a new hashtag helped to increase brand conversation, a more dynamic campaign has the potential to increase conversation substantially. Young womens’ affinity for pumpkin coffee has inspired funny memes, videos, and posts across social media platforms. Incorporating these ongoing conversations and culturally relevant symbols into a digital campaign will pay huge dividends as your new viral content spreads across social media. Combining seasonal branding demands with real-time content will turn your digital campaign into a success.

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