National Peanut Board makes early case for most prolific brand Twitter account of 2016

ATLANTA: A tweet for every day of the year? And all in one day?

It’s only the first week of the year, but the National Peanut Board is making its case for the most prolific brand account of 2016.

The organization used its just-launched Twitter handle to introduce its new brand voice, posting 365 tweets predicting a year’s worth of upcoming trending hashtags and pop culture moments involving the nut.

Golin, the National Peanut Board’s AOR for marketing, advertising, and PR, created all 365 content pieces and manned the group’s Twitter handle, @PeanutsHere, posting one tweet every two minutes for 12 hours.

Ryan Lepicier, the board’s SVP of marketing and communications, called the tweets "the Farmer’s Almanac of social media." The content, consisting of a combination of line-drawn illustrations incorporating peanuts and peanut butter, is a play on news, trends, and real-time tweets from 2015.

@PeanutsHere will replace the Twitter handle @PeanutFarmers as the National Peanut Board’s official page at the end of the month.

"Before, we were speaking as the voice of the National Peanut Board, the organization that knows everything about peanuts," said Lepicier. "And now, with the launch of the peanut Vendor character, we are speaking through a brand persona that is witty, fun, engaging, interesting, and a little salty; this is something people will want to follow and hear more from throughout the year."

The account is meant to be the consumer-facing voice of the National Peanut Board using the voice of "the Vendor," explained Lepicier. The goal of its content is to engage consumers, attract fans, and generate awareness.

The board particularly sees Millennials, whom Lepicier referred to as "one of the largest and most vocal groups on social media," as an opportunity market, so it is trying to tap into their passion and sharing power to make the snack more relevant to consumers. The account had 2,709 followers as of press time, while @PeanutFarmers had 3,877.

"With this campaign, we are tying peanuts into all areas of life – sports, music, food, and pop culture," said Lepicier. "There is something there for everybody [on the vendor’s page], regardless of your interests. Much like peanuts and real-time events, the campaign is meant to be shared and enjoyed with everybody."

The organization’s plan is for the Vendor to start using Instagram later this month, and for the persona to be incorporated into the National Peanut Board’s website by spring.

Golin has worked with the National Peanut Board since it was formed in 2000. Until late last year, it only managed PR for the organization, but in November it took over marketing and advertising responsibilities after the group ended its relationship with Lawler Ballard Van Durand.

"We stood back earlier in 2015, and said let’s look at what we are doing in terms of paid advertising, PR, and trade outreach, and see if we are on the mark," said Lepicier. "So we asked out agencies to come up with new ideas."

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