Like many companies, gourmet food brand Bella Cucina realized the importance of Social Media within their marketing mix but felt their program wasn’t working as hard as it could for their business.

Research has shown that of all companies participating in Social Media, only 27% of brands are doing it successfully. Bella Cucina had the luxury (and sweat equity) of having a well-defined brand and content that is both well-written and engaging. Content was not the issue.

The challenge they brought to the team at Guest Relations Marketing was a very focused one – to grow their social media community numbers. Despite well-written posts and a very engaging subject (Italian cooking), Bella Cucina’s social media sites had failed to grow in Followers and Fans.

Thus, the challenge was on. The goal? To grow Facebook Fans by 50% and Twitter Followers by 70% – in one month. Take a look at how we did it.

A Snapshot

To accomplish the goals established for Bella Cucina’s Social Media Program, we wanted to not only grow the communities, but to fill the communities with a targeted consumer who could be a potential long-term customer of the brand. We defined these targets in both demographic and psychographic terms. Quality and quantity were important factors.

We implemented such tactics as online listening, targeted following and using our current community base filled with Supporters and Zealots as a base for generating more like-minded friends to join via word-of-mouth and referral.

We built two promotions that played a part in generating increased readership, participation in discussions and further referral:

The “Artful Entertainer” promotion centered around people writing on the Facebook Wall their secret to artfully entertaining their guests. Winning participants received a gourmet gift basket filled with Bella Cucina products, enabling us to showcase the product as a benefit.

The “Grazie Gifting” promotion was purposely an unpublicized tactic that interacted with one Fan or Follower each day of the month and thanked them for being a community member. Winners received a complimentary product, beautifully packaged and delivered to their home with a thank you note. This promotion led to positive word-of-mouth and referral among people who wanted to share their gift, as well as those who wanted to get in the action for a chance to be selected.

Facebook advertising was the only paid media outlet used to promote the Social Media channels and promotions.


By identifying and activating the Zealots for Bella Cucina and lifestyle interests, we were able to encourage community growth by way of targeting, engagement, word-of-mouth and referral. Engaging the existing community and giving them reason to share information with their peers was key to the success of this campaign.

The results exceeded our original goals:

Facebook Fan growth of 105% (exceeding goal of 50% growth)

Twitter Followers growth of 117% (exceeding goal of 70% growth)

Single-market  (Atlanta) Fan growth of 21%  (market of flagship retail store)

Visits to Facebook Page increased by 60%

Engagement increased by 21% within the communities

Referral on Twitter was 8.5 times greater

We know that targeting Zealots is the surest practice of marketing – whether you are trying to build your customer base or affect sales. Following this holiday promotion, Bella Cucina has committed to an ongoing social media program with Guest Relations.

Visit us online at Guest Relations Marketing to find out more about how we can build more Zealots for your brand.