Social Media Lessons from Hershey's Chocolate World

Recently I visited Hershey's Chocolate World in Hershey, PA, and I came away with appreciation and a number of valuable take-aways on how Chocolate World increases social media power, particularly with user generated content.

Social Media has power for all businesses.  However, to expand and use the full power take creativity and strategy.  I came away from a visit to Hershey's Chocolate World impressed with a few of the ideas I saw being implemented. Interested in learning more about what I saw and learned? Let's dive in...

Listen Now:

Subscribe:  Halftime Mike on iTunes

Android users via RSS

Listen on Stitcher.

badge itunes lrg Growing Business Online: Identifying your Ideal Customer

How Hershey's Chocolate World Increases Social Media Power with User Content

Watch Video

Hershey's takes a "we and" approach to social media.  Meaning they do a good job with self-publishing on social media and being active with engaging and sharing but they do not rely on this solely.  They have a strategic strategy in place to easily empower visitors to share their experience on social media.  This is the "..and" approach I'm talking about.

Hershey Chocolate World knows that if they share a post, they can reach their fans and followers on a decent basis.  To magnify their impact, however, they get visitors to share.  Hershey's makes this easy by doing the following:

Creating User Generated Content Experiences

Hershey's Chocolate World is intentional about creating an environment to share and encouraging users to share.  They had signs in the facility to recommend taking photos and sharing to social media.  As well, they outlined the specific hashtag to use in multiple places.

Bottomline:  Make is easy to share.  Give instructions.  Don't assume users will share without being told too!

Clearly identifying and encouraging use of their Hashtag

As noted, Hershey's was intentional about using their hashtag and they had signage in multiple places to remind and educate visitors to use it.  The #chocolateworld tag is simple to remember and it then pulls together all the content shared under that tag.

For the screenshot below, I simply searched the hashtag on Instagram and it returned all the results.  This is a great way to showcase user content and by having users include it in their posts, a company gets the added benefit that the followers of the user posting may go visit the hashtag and connect more as well.

Snapshot of Print Ad with Hashtag

Adding a Digital Photo Experience to Print

One unique thing that Hershey's did well was to offer a print memory book and include with it a digital option.  They had photographers and cameras at various points on the tour where your group picture could be taken.  At the end of the tour you were presented with the printed book ready to purchase!

To have the print version immediately ready was amazing but even more so, they included a website link to the photos online.  This again is a brilliant way to encourage social sharing.  Perhaps a visitor didn't have their camera and take photos.

No problem!

Hershey's took photos of you for you and all you have to do is go to the link on and you can share them to social media!


Building Multiple Photo "Sets"

As shown above, Hershey's created Photo Sets which were specific environments setup for photo taking.  Nothing exotic about them that others could not do in their store, restaurant, or event space.

It's all about taking some time, creating a space, setting up the area, and encouraging with signs that photos with a hashtag be taken!


  1. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!  This is just a sample of the goods I deliver to help you get on track, think through your key online changes and what you need to do this year to succeed.
  2. Identify your "one thing."  What's the next single thing you need to take action on that you learned today?   Share below!
  3. Join me LIVE!  I'm live every Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern Time on Facebook.  Find the show at

Other Resources:

  • My complete guide to Digital Marketing in 2018 including Facebook and social media lead generation online...  Game Plan Book >>

Help Spread the Word!

Please let your Twitter followers know about this podcast.
Simply click here now to post a tweet >>.

If you enjoyed this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast, please “go over to iTunes,  leave a rating, write a review, and subscribe!

Thank you so much for your support!

Why the Halftime theme Mike? 

I’m an Indiana Hoosier native where basketball is the top sport. Every team heads to the locker room at halftime to evaluate the first half and create an updated plan for the second half. That plan includes adjustments based on reviewing what worked and what didn't. The “halftime” is a key review point where the game stops, the team pulls away to huddle in the locker room away from the fans, and they come out prepared and ready to succeed in the second half.

That’s what this podcast is all about, taking the time to pull away for a bit to evaluate, learn, and set some strategies for your business to succeed in the second half. Join me by subscribing and let me be your “business halftime” to help you find great success going forward!

Subscribe: Halftime Mike on iTunes | Android users via RSS | Listen on Stitcher.

Catch all the episodes of Halftime Mike by signing up for inbox delivery below!

Need help planning your Social Media and Online Marketing?  Contact me!

Blog Categories

Recent Posts

Search Site
© 2012-2024    Contact   -   Privacy
magnifier linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram