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Smart(er) Cookies

When a local Girl Scout council asks you to help sell a million boxes of Girl Scout cookies, you say yes. The Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana set this goal every cookie season, and this year they surpassed it by 200,000 boxes. Asher enjoyed creating and executing a social media strategy just as much as eating the “samples” of the new S’mores cookie. We helped GSNI-M reach over 338,000 potential customers on Facebook, an increase in audience reach of 306% over last year. Through backend analytics we gained insight into what type of user engages with GSNI-M and what type of content triggers engagement. The campaign’s success translated into more cookies sold and a few lessons learned.

Lesson #1: Just because you can measure it, doesn’t mean you should.

The measurability of digital content is a portal into understanding how your content performs, if you are reaching your intended audience, and if you are meeting your goals. But that portal can turn into a rabbit hole of irrelevant data if you don’t prioritize which metrics matter to you by connecting them back to your goals. In this case, the goal was to maximize and maintain awareness of cookie sales. With that goal in mind, we measured our success with metrics that told us how many people saw our content (reach) and how many times our content was seen by those people (impressions). Select two to four key metrics and track these across your social media campaign to evaluate performance.


Lesson #2: Knowing your audience is the first step to content creation.

One major factor in creating engaging social content is audience awareness. Do more men than women engage with your page? Is your reach skewed to 18-24 year olds? Use this understanding of user demographics and behavior to direct your content strategy. Facebook Insights revealed that 92% of GSNI-M’s most engaging fans were women and most fell within the age range of potential Girl Scout moms. With this insight we created content to entice engagement from two audiences: Girl Scout cookie lovers who wanted to spread the word about sales and moms who wanted to brag about their daughters on Facebook.


Lesson #3: Engagement increases organic reach but can stash away results.

Our most engaging post didn’t feature cookies but was an invitation for moms to broadcast that their daughters were selling cookies. This post was shared 216 times and reached 16,000 people. Because it was shared so many times, 60% of the engagement was invisible. When someone shares your content, two things happen. Organic reach is expanded, which is great, because business pages reach only as little as 2% of their audience organically. However, engagement beyond your original post may not be visible on the surface. And if you don’t use your tools correctly, your success could go unnoticed. Even by you.


Content is still king, and knowledge is still power. But the use of that knowledge, the ability to ignore extraneous metrics and zero in on the target audience and what motivates them…that’s how you move the needle.

-Author: Caity Rose

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