WENATCHEE, Wash. — The Pear Bureau Northwest still promotes pears through newspaper and magazine ads and in-store efforts but it is increasing its use of social media.
It has more than 47,000 followers across various social media platforms with a 15 percent increase since mid-November, Kevin Moffitt, bureau president, said at the North Central Washington Pear Day at the Wenatchee Convention Center, Jan. 22.
The educational meeting for growers was sponsored by the Portland-based Pear Bureau and Washington State University Extension.
“Engaging pear consumers on social media is a relevant and useful marketing tactic for us,” Moffitt said.
It enables the bureau to target consumers and engage directly, answering their questions and asking their opinions to make the bureau’s marketing more effective, he said.
“Online you need to have a conversation with consumers to get and keep their attention, interacting with them and growing your voice and product awareness through their recommendations to others,” he said.
Facebook has over 1.1 billion users worldwide. The Pear Bureau has just over 42,000 likes on Facebook compared with 41,000 for the U.S. Apple Association and 22,000 for the Idaho Potato Commission, Moffitt said. Whole Foods has 1.5 million and Fred Meyer has 147,000, he said.
The bureau’s most active Facebook followers live in Chicago, New York, Portland, Atlanta and Los Angeles.
The bureau posts recipes and serving suggestions and holds trivia contests to promote pear varieties. Most of its Facebook followers are 25 to 54 years old and 66 percent are women, he said.
The bureau has 4,888 followers on Twitter, again mostly women 25 to 54, compared with 1,538 for U.S. Apple, he said.
“Twitter may seem like a pretty big waste of time,” but there are 650 million active users worldwide and it ramps up discussions on recipes, selection and ripening, Moffitt said.
In December, National Pear Month, the bureau posted to Facebook and Twitter daily reaching more than 1.7 million users, he said.
The bureau has 70 subscribers and videos viewed more than 101,000 times on YouTube, has 454 followers on Pinterest and 92 on Instagram, he said.
The bureau’s website, usapears.org, is the world’s largest for pears with 214,000 visitors since July 1, a 58 percent increase over last season, he said. The most popular pages are recipes, varieties, ripening tips and nutrition facts. Most of the visitors live in large U.S. cities. The bureau has websites in Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, German and Arabic. The Spanish one receives about 48,000 visits per year.