How relevant is social media to marketing premium foods? Very.
Social media provides a personal and interactive way to engage your customer in brand awareness. In fact, TheBigMoney.com recently rated the Top 50 brands with the best use of Facebook, and food and beverage companies represented a significant portion of the list – Coca-Cola ranked No. 1 and Starbucks took No. 2. http://bit.ly/7ewLTY
Why is social media bringing such a draw from the food industry?
“First and foremost, we want to be a part of the conversation,” said Laston Charriez, vice-president of consumer and shopper activation for Sara Lee Corp. in an interview with Food Business News. “Learning, educating and providing our consumers with added value content that sparks engagement and conversation is all very important.” http://bit.ly/50R4OA
But what exactly is social media? Does having a Facebook page or Twitter account for your company equate a successful social marketing campaign? No. It is essential to keep in mind that targeting just one social media outlet does not create an effective marketing campaign. When used correctly, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, company Web sites and blogs should all work together to provide you with a cohesive brand strategy.
“We leverage social media as an integrated strategy in which we will engage several channels, ensuring they work together for meaningful engagement and excitement for our consumers,” said Charriez. “We don’t look at the use of Facebook as a social media strategy; it’s simply one channel out of many used to engage consumers.”
There are several ways premium food companies are using social media to market their brand:
- Engaging in an open conversation, which allows consumers to feel a closer connection to food companies than ever before.
- Offering tailored coupons, specials and discounts based on consumer interests and regional location.
- Providing customer service to consumers in a format that is engaging and inviting.
The one downfall to investing significant amounts of time and money in a social media campaign is the current inability to measure against traditional marketing strategies. In an industry where ROI reigns supreme, social media has yet to lend itself to effective tracking and measurement tools. Counting followers, fans, clicks and comments seems to be the current standard for gauging success.
Engaging in social media may seem like a risky road to travel, but it is our recommendation to be a player rather in a spectator in a conversation that can’t be controlled. Inevitably someone will talk about your brand and wouldn’t you choose to be there to talk back?