Every spring, we know that there will be an excessive amount of rain, the weather will begin to warm up and the Girl Scouts will be walking around selling Girl Scout cookies. Girl Scouts today, however, are improving their sales technique and taking things down the technological road in order to keep up with society’s ever changing needs. Now, the organization enlists Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram for everything from long-term recruitment efforts to timely contests and promotions.
The Girl Scout organization has used pop culture moments, primarily when Luis Suarez’s bit an opponent during this year’s World Cup, to broaden the brand’s appeal beyond moms and volunteers to the general public and increase sales.
The Girl Scouts, led by social media specialist Kayla Santalla, posted a 13-second video with a play on the “Suarez bite” in June. The video, which has been viewed more than 9,100 times on YouTube, shows a Samoa cookie biting a Thin Mint, two of the most popular and longstanding cookies in sales throughout the years.
The clip was produced in a day and posted to social media. The video attracted one million media impressions during one night and was featured on ESPN and ABC. “It’s a way of leveraging digital assets that we create for social, creating a buzz around it and then pitching it to get essentially placement without paying for an ad in a prime time like the World Cup,” Santalla said.
As far as the actual sales are concerned, the Girl Scouts allow their consumers to use mobile payment and even created an app that locates nearby places where consumers can buy cookies. During “cookie season” the organization runs app install ads on Facebook and Twitter targeted at markets that show potential sales based on what they’ve been able to sell there in the past. The girls have been able to generate revenue around $1.8 million a year because of their movement to include social media throughout their sales and the year as a whole.
The organization has yet to go fully digital and allow the direct purchase of cookies online in order to preserve the customer interaction between the young girls and their sales, but it could be not much longer in the future until we can buy our cookies online and I don’t think anyone will complain about that.