• Bianca Gurgel

How I Used People-Centric Content To 2x Social Following For A Food Brand In The Higher Ed Sector


Context

One of my challenges as a Marketing Manager for Compass Group Canada at the Simon Fraser University was to leverage the new SFU Dinning student-facing Instagram account (@sfudining).


My goal was to grow the accounts following with strategic content and ultimately use the channel to promote the marketing initiatives of Compass's dining brands on-campus.


Approach

I built an editorial calendar focused on audience growth that included sharing daily relevant content (e.g., menu updates, fun/relatable posts, behind-the-scenes stories, etc) and student-only giveaways in partnership with established brands such as Tim Hortons and Pepsi.


The target market (students, 19-25) was already spending a significant amount of time on Instagram. My strategy was to meet them where they were with people-centric, fun and lighthearted content. My ultimate goal was to transform the account into a source of dining news, promotions, updates, stories and useful information for everyone in the SFU foodie community.


As part of my overall growth plan I also conducted daily outreach to relevant accounts. Another powerful tactic was geo-tagging the posts and using location-related hashtags to reach a local audience in the Burnaby Mountain area.


Below are some of my posts for the account (photography and copywriting were done by me).


Valentine's Day Cookie Decoration Event.


Women's Day Staff Highlight.


Menu Updates.


Holi Festival Team Photo.


Results

In 3 months of purely organic efforts, I was able to more than double Instagram following for the account, leverage posts' engagement rate by 165% and content reach by 212%.


This project was a great learning experience for me and I am very proud of the results I was able to achieve in such a short time and with no advertising budget.

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