Pulses Successfully Harness the Power of Social Media

Andrew Jacobs, London GPC IYP Oversight Group / FAO IYP Steering Committee / UK Pulse Promotion Group

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Pulses Successfully Harness the Power of Social Media


I used to think Social Media was mainly for my kids. I tried Facebook and found it banal and a waste of my time. Twitter didn’t appeal (but that was before Donald Trump promoted it to his vehicle for communicating direct with his public). Instagram, Flicker, Linked In – what’s the point ?

BUT due to the spearheading role Social Media has played in International Year of Pulses (IYP) campaign, I have completely changed my opinion and now recognise Social Media is EFFECTIVE, LOW COST and an essential way to communicate in the modern world.

One of the central themes of IYP was to “Create Awareness” about the benefits of increased pulse production and consumption. GPC’s KPI was to get the message out globally to 20-40 million people. Promoting the use #IYP2016, #LovePulses, #PulsePledge, #Legumbres, #PulseFeast, # ????????? , #?,#AIL2016 #légumineuses, #PulseRecipes, #LoseWeightWithPulses and other hashtags, we stopped counting when we surpassed 700 million “impressions” (total audience who had access to our posts), that’s X 20 greater than our KPI.

Our Social media campaign generated 8.4 million “engagements” (total number of likes, shares, comments & website visits). Nobody connected with managing IYP could have believed we would engage with over 8 million potential customers.

A wonderful legacy of IYP 2016 is the www.pulses.org website, the most authoritative, informed and thorough website on Pulses, which gives the public free access to over 400 recipes (many with supporting videos), 700 digital images, various other videos and loads of helpful content.

Let me mention, Gourmet Gurus in the pulses.org website is rayed as one of the strongest elements of the site … more than 30 of the world’s leading chefs were persuaded to donate their favourite pulse recipe to the campaign.

A lesson for me was when, with 36 hours to go before our London Falafel Festival in May 2016, we had 150 tickets still left to sell at $30 each = potential lost revenue of $4,500. We agreed a targeted Facebook advertisement which cost $1,200 and had 450 punters apply for tickets within 12 hours (potential revenue $13,500) so we had to put 300 on to our Wait List.

An investment in $1,200 social media advertising to produce revenue of $13,500, or a multiple of X 10, is another illustration of the power (and speed) of Social Media, when well targeted.

Every business, every campaign needs to embrace Social Media
– it’s relatively inexpensive, its fast and it is capable of producing stunning results. We acknowledge the wisdom of GPC’s generous IYP Social Media sponsors – AGT Foods & Ingredients – for investing in the Social Media campaign. GPC’s IYP Secretariat – EmergingAg – understood the potential of Social Media and encouraged us to invest time and money in making Social Media work for IYP.

Congratulations to Dissident who designed and delivered a successful Social Media campaign for which they won the International Campaign of the Year in the CorpComms Awards, beating competition from multinational mammoths like Shell.

Global Pulse Confederation’s IYP Oversight Group is working now on an “IYP Impact Report” which will endeavour to measure the year-on-year growth in production and consumption comparing 2016/17 with 2015/16. Watch this space for the full report, it will make encouraging reading and show that we are well on the way to exceeding our initial ambition to increase pulse production and consumption by 10% by 2020. At the end of the day, that’s what all this effort has been about, “shifting the needle” on our category by growing our industry.

Social Media is not just for our kids, it’s for our businesses and for our campaigns. Embrace it, it is the world of the future, available right now, at modest cost when well designed and delivered.

Pulses Successfully Harness the Power of Social Media
Pulses Successfully Harness the Power of Social Media
Pulses Successfully Harness the Power of Social Media


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