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Solid Social Campaigns with a Strong Peeps-onality

Easter Facebook Engagement - Peeps, Hershey, M&M's

Brands have their loyal followers, their advocates and ambassadors. Certain brands are year-round staples and others are seasonally famous. Spring ushers in the Easter season with chocolates, sweets, treats, and PEEPS®. Yes, marshmallow PEEPS, the soft, sweet chickie marshmallows that you’ll find in your Easter baskets.

Are PEEPS just an Easter sensation? How much buzz and social engagement do they generate in comparison with some of their competitors such as Hershey’s® and M&M’s®? We have a sweet tooth for Yesmail Market Intelligence, so we put it to work and took a deep dive into the three brands’ Facebook campaigns and engagement.

To answer the question about the perceived seasonal popularity of PEEPS, we segmented all three brands’ posts into Easter-themed ones and general ones. For this purpose, we collected and analyzed Facebook campaigns deployed between February 1, 2015 and April 6, 2015.

The tale of the tape:

Perhaps not surprisingly, for Easter-related posts, PEEPS had the highest engagement rate - 5.38% of their entire Facebook following were ‘liking’, sharing, or commenting on their Easter posts. In turn, Hershey’s and M&M’s Easter-related posts performed abysmally, successfully engaging less than a percent of their following.

If we consider the general Facebook posts for all three brands in comparison to those of Easter, the engagement results are even more compelling. M&M’s Facebook engagement jumped to 5.28% while that of PEEPS dropped to 3.79%.

This interesting comparison beckons a question about both M&M’s and PEEPS social strategies: what can PEEPS do to translate their Easter success to their general Facebook posts? What should M&Ms be doing to garner engagement for holiday-themed promotions?

PEEPS were definitely on their Easter game and here are some of their wins:

PEEPS' highest Easter engagement posts are:

  • New recipes – Timely ideas for parties and get-togethers that can provide value all season long. Why stop at Easter?
  • New Product Highlights – Regardless of the season, this is a good strategy to keep ‘fans’ in the loop on new products

PEEPS' highest non-Easter engagement posts are:

  • Fun and Seasonal Wishes – Posts related to St. Patrick’s Day and the Spring Season
  • Games – Promoting new products and driving to stores

M&M’s could have taken advantage of the Easter promotion blitz by simply participating in it to a larger extent, especially considering the brand’s many Easter-themed products. Increasing the number of their Easter-themed campaigns could move the needle on engagement.

Here’s M&M’s highest non-Easter engagement posts are:

  • Iconic Characters – Pulling on people’s heartstrings by including the brand's most iconic characters with their messaging
  • Events and Seasonal Wishes – The Oscars, first day of spring, and Valentine’s Day top the engagement ladder, basically saying that chocolate is good on any occasion and just needs the right context. Why not Easter?

Was the brand engagement PEEPS experienced just a spring fling or the real deal? PEEPS’ numbers showed that taking the extra step by engaging your audience with timely and relevant Facebook posts, plus injecting Peeps-onality in replies can exceed your audience’s expectations and result in strong social activity.

Here are some sample posts that generated the highest engagement:


Non-Easter Theme:

Author Bio

Mark Quioc

Mark manages all the marketing efforts for Yes Lifecycle Marketing in Canada, including go-to-market strategies, lead generation, and content marketing. With 16 years of digital marketing experience, Mark has worked with various digital marketing companies and agency services, including BBDO Proximity, Torstar Digital, FSA Datalytics, Cornerstone Group of Companies, and He also loves basketball, watching his son play hockey, karaoke, Game of Thrones, Lost and Friday Night Lights. Last, but not least, he’s the second global ambassador of the Toronto Raptors, next to Drake.