Buzzworthy: How Peanut Butter & Co. Uses Sweepstakes to their Advantage


Nowadays, a strong online presence is not only a key marketing strategy but a great way to keep consumers abreast of what’s new and fully engaged. That’s why we’re introducing Buzzworthy, a Hubba blog series in which we’ll be delving in to some of our favourite brands and what makes their approach to social media particularly noteworthy.

When they’re not making our sandwich dreams come true, Peanut Butter and Co. are killing it on social media. With over 96k followers on Instagram and Twitter combined and almost 150k likes on Facebook, Peanut Butter & Co. is constantly finding new and interesting ways to keep consumers engaged. Peanut Butter & Co. had its humble beginnings in 1998 as a restaurant in New York’s West Village. There, founder Lee Zalben steadily cooked up new and interesting flavours of peanut butter until eventually, retailers started to take notice. Today, you can find 16 ounce jars of delicious USA grown peanuts come together in a variety of flavours that are soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, kosher and (for the most part) vegan in retailers nationwide.

We spoke to Peanut Butter & Co.’s Marketing Director Jennifer Dombkowski to know what their social media strategy is and why it keeps consumers flocking to them like bees to honey.

Hubba: Which social media platforms can we find you on?

Jennifer: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+. We dabbled with the idea of going on Snapchat or Periscope but we haven’t found the right opportunity yet and we don’t want to go out there for the sake of going out there.

H: What strategies do you use for each platform? Or is it the same one across the board?

J: It depends on the platform. Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest are very visual. We have found that on Facebook and Twitter, we can share longer form content such as recipes and run more sweepstakes and promotions on those platforms whereas on Instagram [for example], unless it’s a really visual promotion, we don’t get the engagement we want.

H: Tell us more about your sweepstakes?

J: We run giveaways – we just finished up a giveaway promotion for ‘Peanut Butter and Jelly Day’. We were giving away a makeup palette that was peanut butter and jelly-themed as well as a jar of peanut butter. We’ve had smaller [giveaways] like that to larger ones that include in-store activation as well. We partnered with an entertainment property called Home ( which is family animated film) and we did an in-store promotion to drive consumers online and did a lot of social activation to get people to enter to win a trip. We’ve given away trips in the past -sometimes as often as once a quarter – it really depends on the partners and opportunities that come up. For the holidays in 2015, we gave away a vacation! That sweepstakes was 25 days long.

The sweepstakes definitely drive engagement and they also drive web visits but the biggest benefits to a sweepstake is learning more about our consumers and being able to then reach them through different means, whether it be through direct mail or our e-newsletter.

H: What role do you think social media has played in your success?

J: Our marketing budget is over 60% dedicated to digital [which includes] social media. We really find that drives the business more than print or traditional television ever could. It’s much more cost effective and the amount that you can target is paramount.

H: What advice can you give to an upstart brand when it comes to building a social presence?

J: I would look for partners or avenues to help amplify your voice or your presence. Whether it be reaching out to bloggers on your own and asking them to post to grow awareness [on your behalf] or a commerce site where you can get a lot of exposure to consumers or even looking for like-minded products you can partner with that can help amplify your voice to your consumers.