May 12-14, 2020
Marriott Marquis Atlanta
sumo oranges

A Sweet Formula for Breaking Through the Noise

By: Fred Haberman, Co-Founder + CEO of Haberman

July 22, 2019

The signal-to-noise ratio in social media today has never been greater. Certain voices break through, but if you’re not tweeting from the White House or riding a wave of well-earned publicity by winning a World Cup (congrats, USWNT!), how do you get your message to successfully reach your audience? Our agency recommends learning from a sweet formula employed by our client Sumo Citrus.

For Sumo Citrus, purveyors of a seedless mandarin, breaking through the noise on social media was a study in leveraging influential advocates, finding the right social platform and employing strategic storytelling. Here’s their winning formula:

Recognize influencers’ vital position in the social media universe. Sumo Citrus sought out brand believers—either existing advocates or the recently converted. They found a loyal fan in Eva Chen, who was already sharing her love for the brand on Instagram. (She also happens to be the director of fashion partnerships at Instagram, with 1.2 million followers.) Supplied with Sumo Citrus mandarins while they were in season, she shared updates with her fans and followers. The hashtags #InfluencedbyEva and #CitrusInfluencer started trending. Chen’s large audience, combined with her natural affinity for the brand, ensured that people took notice and began posting fruit photos themselves.

Sumo Citrus strengthened other existing advocate relationships by inviting a group of influencers to their California groves to learn the Sumo Citrus story. This allowed for more thorough firsthand storytelling.

Focus on social channels that offer your ideal output. Sumo Citrus is a photogenic fruit with visual appeal, so the brand focused much of its paid resources on Instagram. Instagram cemented the connection between fashion and fruit in the summer of 2018, when influencers and their followers began pairing the two in their content. And with more than 500 million accounts sharing images on Instagram daily, it made sense for Sumo Citrus to be highly present in this conversation. Instagram ultimately played a critical role in the success story for Sumo Citrus.

Have a good story to tell. The single most important element to breaking through all social noise is having a relevant and valuable story to tell. Sumo Citrus is unique among citrus fruits, and so is its story. Their mandarins are only available for a short season: mid- to late-winter. It’s that sense of urgency—of not wanting to miss out—that helps make the Sumo Citrus story compelling.

As you consider how your brand can break through the noise, remember to leverage advocates, build momentum within relevant conversations and communicate value on fitting platforms.

Learn more about Fred and his Haberman team.

At The Social Shake-Up

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