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Putting potatoes on the online map


Potato Council report to aid industry in social media marketing

Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Mumsnet the social media landscape has grown rapidly in recent years. Potato Council, recognising the huge marketing opportunities these channels provide, has researched the best ways to communicate positive messages about potatoes and published the results in a cutting-edge report.

As well as being used by Potato Council to shape its own online activity, the report entitled Social Media Marketing in the UK is also available to assist the potato industry with marketing planning.

Part of Potato Councils marketing strategy is to target younger consumers who are eating fewer potatoes than their parents, and social media has an integral and positive role to play. Using social media helps deliver positive messages to the target audience instantly and as its findings reveal, consumers are inherently more trustful of recommendations made by online friends or fellow community members.

Caroline Evans, head of marketing and corporate affairs for Potato Council, said: Online marketing has become a very important tool, but correct targeting is crucial. We commissioned this dedicated social media research project to enable us to identify the most relevant sites and applications for our core messages and ensure that we are investing our resources most effectively. The findings are incredibly informative and should prove beneficial for the whole industry.

In 2010, 30.1m adults in the UK (60 per cent) accessed the internet every day or almost every day nearly double the estimate in 2006 of 16.5m. This report plots the online landscape; showing where potato-based conversations are taking place and the sources of information ranked highly by consumers and focus group findings.

This has influenced Potato Council marketing activity, most recently partnering the Mumsnet forum to stimulate discussion around potatoes and provide recipe inspiration.

The results were impressive; a significant number of posts were added to the forum which showed that potatoes hold much interest with mums, along with a page of potato tips and meal ideas. Sponsored content also generated over 50,000 page views in one month and an incentivised survey provided insight into potato consumption and mealtimes. Using these forums for discussion and research extends the reach of key messages about potatoes, as well as giving new insight into the target audience of 25-44 year olds.

Caroline added: Online tools are also being used to enhance and support our more traditional PR led campaigns. For example, our consumer website has received over 1.4m views of the recipes in the last year. We also use a range of targeted online approaches; working with bloggers, creating video content and engaging consumers through social media channels.

The report is available free for levy payers to help them maximise return from investment in online marketing activities.

To request a copy of the report, please contact Potato Council marketing by emailing


Potato Council, supporting the potato industry, is funded by potato growers, purchasers and processors. Potato Council is a division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (


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