Why the Hershey Chocolate Company is Embracing Instagram


They aren’t just selling a brand, they are selling a way of life. That’s because the Hershey company has been around since 1894 and — needless to say — have sold a lot of candy bars. In one expertly placed photo, a group of kids sit with an adult. However, these aren’t just any kids; they are the children of Hershey employees. They’ve donned special hats for making chocolate. These hats don’t let anything in, but more importantly they don’t let any follicles fall into the precious ingredients that have been making delicious chocolate for more than a century.


We all have our favorite candy bar. Maybe you like @ReesesPBCups, @Twizzlers, @HersheysKisses, @Jolly_Rancher, and @Brookside _Cho. Yes, we use Twitter handles. More surprisingly, however, is how pretty much every candy bar that’s been through more than a hundred years of human history have Twitter handles. That’s because your favorite chocolate is now advertising on the web.


Yes, they use Twitter, and yes, they use Pinterest; but now they are also using Instagram. On Instagram participants upload simple pictures of their everyday life. We laugh together and we share together. And it comes at a time when many of us have become much more isolated as polarizing politics has become more of a battle and less of a discussion over the years.


Now, most families have people who support both sides of America’s political parties. They are very diverse nowadays. What brings families together though is chocolate. So how do you sell chocolate on a photosite like Instagram? You do it by selling what people love most about chocolate. You sell that everyone loves chocolate no matter their political agenda — unless you’re severely allergic or something. You sell that chocolate as something that can and does frequently bring us together while polarizing opinions have a tendency to tear us apart.


In another photo you see a group of happy employees setting up a display case and look like they have just shared a collective laugh. That’s because they’re involved in the chocolate business, and chocolate makes people happy. Happy customers make happy people, and happy people make more people happy. That’s how the chocolate advertising business works. You don’t have to taste a bite of chocolate to become happy. Most of us are lucky enough to have tried a bite of delicious Hershey chocolate. And seeing a happy person eating a piece of chocolate delivers that sensory feeling that we are eating it ourselves.


The thing about Instagram is that it works off an algorithm. This algorithm is more attentive to those who have a high number of likes (this is why many people choose to buy Instagram likes). That means the happier you make fellow Instagrammers feel the more they will engage with your content, and thus, more people will see your photos. So, you don’t just need to see a person eating chocolate, you need to see the happiness that comes from eating the chocolate. That builds more happy people who are more happy being in pictures that followers then click on. That leads to more people buying candy bars. Seems like a lot, huh? That’s just how it works.


Really, advertising companies just need to find happy people doing what makes people happy. What makes people happy is eating chocolate. Chocolate = Happy. At least that’s what Hershey says — and they are the chocolate experts! They’ve been in the chocolate selling business for more than a century. Our guess is they know a thing or two about selling and marketing chocolate. They are using the web, and more specifically, Instagram, to sell their bars.


So, they know how powerful marketing on Instagram can be. What is it though about photos that tells the story of Hershey? Well, Hershey is chocolate, but it is also people. People who toil and work so that you want their candy bars. They know their chocolate is delicious, but their job is to make you know. More and more they are using Instagram marketing to do just that. That’s why Instagram is the new wave of advertising. A click on Instagram means a candy bar has just been sold and delivered to make people more happy. And a chunk of chocolate being eaten is like seeing a happy smile being made.