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Robby Harrington is the Social Media Marketing Manager at Sprouts and he creates content that is truly one in a melon (see what we did there). Not only does Sprouts know about healthy food, but they also have a fun and engaging Instagram presence. Read on to learn about how Robby creates food-focused content, connects with their audience on Instagram, inspires customers on a daily basis and more!
Hi Robby! Please introduce yourself.
Originally from Minnesota, I moved to Phoenix after high school to escape the insane cold. Before working at Sprouts, I worked for five years doing B2B sales and talent recruiting for various staffing firms. In 2013, because of my passion for fitness and exercise, I completed coursework and became a Certified Personal Trainer through NASM. It was also around this time that the opportunity to work at Sprouts doing recruitment and HR presented itself and I felt that it was a perfect fit given my interest in healthy living, as well as my experience. It wasn't long after I started at Sprouts, where I worked as a Talent Acquisition Specialist, that I realized the aspects of recruiting I enjoyed most were actually marketing. I was responsible for advertising jobs through various channels, including web ads, mobile display ads, traditional radio, Google Ad Word campaigns, direct mailers and social media. I enjoyed the challenge of writing copy for the various placements and working closely with our in-house design team to create artwork, and I also enjoyed crunching the numbers to determine ROI for the various channels. In 2014 a job opened up in marketing for an Interactive Marketing Specialist, and I jumped on it. In that role, I assisted the social media team with copywriting, content creation and creating large, cross-channel campaigns. In 2015, I was promoted to Social Media Manager where I lead our social media content, advertising and social listening strategy. While it can be stressful and overwhelming trying to keep up with the ever-changing world of social media, I truly feel that I have the dream job. I love that every day there's something new to explore and I enjoy working with the team to create fun, engaging content that our fans love. If we're not in the studio working with our in-house creative team to create stunning photos, videos and GIFs, we're planning our next big campaign.
What is Sprouts' mission? What makes it stand out from other grocery stores?
At Sprouts, we believe healthy living is a journey, and every meal is a choice. We love to inspire, educate and empower every person to eat healthier and live a better life. This isn't just a mission. It's our passion. From our first Sprouts store in Chandler, AZ back in 2002, to operating more than 280 stores across the U.S. today, we pride ourselves on our unwavering commitment to providing customers with affordable, healthy foods and friendly, knowledgeable and engaging service every day.
Sprouts is one of our favorite grocery stores on Instagram! It's so clever and funny. How do you come up with new content to create and share on social media?
Whether we're featuring a new item or partnering with a brand, we try to keep the content relevant and relatable to customers. We're inspired by song lyrics, current events and the joy that comes from our loyal customers! Most of all though, we love a good food pun and geek out when we think we've come up with something fresh and new that no one has thought of yet.
Has social media helped you connect more with your customers and why is it so important?
Social media allows our team to connect more with customers. Not only can we see the fun creations that our customers make with products from Sprouts, but we also get to interact with them in a fun environment. We always aim to promote Sprouts in the best way possible with fun and engaging recipe ideas with ingredients found in our stores. We're always looking for ways to get boost our presence on Instagram and of course- get more followers! We recently accomplished a big goal, having 100,000 followers, and we would love to double that.
What are your top 3 tips for creating content that engages and inspires your customers on Instagram?
- Take time to get inspired – Whether you're on your social media or simply out and about, inspiration is everywhere! Take the time to make note of fun and new ideas that can be incorporated into your content.
- Aesthetic – Develop a steady theme that flows throughout your feed so followers can recognize and associate themselves with. We're in love with our rainbow grid!
- Have fun – Don't be afraid to be silly and out of the box.
What advice do you have for those who are creating food-focused content on social media?
Everyone loves a good food pic! Always be on the lookout for new food trends- they're popping up all the time and do something that makes your content stand out and that displays your unique personality. Your followers will be appreciative of your up-to-date content.