You probably have seen the “Girls Don’t Poop” video. If not, click the embed above before you continue reading.
Poo~Pourri rode those laughs — and a fortuitous post by Huffington Post — to a viral hit last September. It got millions of views within hours and now has more than 26 million.
“I think it’s key for people to understand that we didn’t set out to make a viral video,” Poo~Pourri CEO Suzy Bátiz said. “We wanted to launch a direct to consumer campaign. It just so happened that people liked it and shared it. It actually got shared a little faster that we thought.”
It was one of many pleasant digital marketing surprises for Bátiz and her Addison, Texas-based startup. With an idea spawned in her bathroom (obviously), Bátiz launched Poo~Pourri in 2006 with $25,000 of her own money.
After years of online and grass-roots marketing and placement in boutiques and other small retail outlets, it has grown into a multi-million dollar small business. This time last year Poo~Pourri had fewer than 20 employees; now it has closer to 50 and part of the reason for the rapid growth is a social media effort that has accelerated in the last 12 months.
The company’s sense of humor plays very well on social media, but it wasn’t taking full advantage until Nicole Story joined the company as creative director last April. Before Story, Bátiz said, they most just posted specials on Facebook and dabbled on Twitter.
“Knowing that Poo~Pourri is a sharable product — people often experience it for the first time because a friend gives it to them,” Story said, “I was really curious to see if we could translate that word of mouth into the digital forum.”
Now Poo~Pourri fires on all social channels — Facebook (36,000 likes), YouTube (25,000 subscribers), Twitter (5,800), Instagram (2,000), Pinterest (1,500) — and definitely doesn’t take itself too seriously:
In honor of National Honesty Day, we have a confession to make… doo you? #NationalHonestyDay pic.twitter.com/fCL2TaL0Dz
— Poo~Pourri (@PooPourri) April 30, 2014
After the YouTube video took off, the Poo~Pourri team looked to amplify its organic results. Beyond its popular YouTube ads — “We get feedback on social that you are one of the only ads I don’t push ‘skip this ad’ when it comes up,” Story said — they experimented with both Facebook and Twitter ad products.
“We are still learning a lot,” Story said. “That’s been a really fun part of it. It’s been neat to see the different views if you were to run the same ad on Facebook and Twitter and how they differ in engagement and results.”
One Twitter campaign definitely stood out. Looking to drive holiday sales, Poo~pouri targeted user interests and user handles with a week-long promoted tweet effort.
Poo~Pourri was very pleased with the results. The promoted tweets drove $73,000 in sales from more than 1,100 transactions (94% of which came from new customers). “New customer acquisition was just through the roof,” Story said. “We found too that their basket size was 50% higher.”
Story said Twitter’s measurement tools made it easy to adjust the message during the campaign, identify what was working and what wasn’t, so they could do more of the former.
Needless to say, Twitter ads are still in Poo~Pourri’s marketing mix.
“I find our Twitter followers like to have a lot more fun,” Story said. “I think we generally have a younger audience on Twitter than on Facebook. They are a little more tech savvy. They are a little more open to going there, if you know what I mean, taking that extra step and I think they appreciate that humor from a brand. It’s something you don’t see every day. I think we surprise and delight people.”
Bátiz, the CEO, agrees, although she said she’s had to adjust to more uncertainty with Twitter. “I’m used to situations when something works, let’s just go,” Bátiz said. “I was always telling the team, ‘well that worked let’s just pour more money into it.’ It was interesting to know that on Twitter it has to constantly be changing and engaging.
“That was a little shocking to me. On YouTube, if something works, you can put a lot of money behind it and go really deep and broad and run with it and I expected the same thing from Twitter and to see that your initiatives have to constantly change to keep the people engaged was a totally different experience than I’ve had before.”
Poo~Pourri isn’t resting on its YouTube laurels either. Last month it released another video ad — Second Hand Stink — targeted at men. Two weeks later, it has more than 2 million views: