Social Media has once again proven that it is a must for companies who want to augment their brand exposure. In the food industry, this feeling is met no differently. A recent survey done by Forrester Research showed that over 90% percent of food industry executives argue that social media has completely changed the way consumers interact with their business and brand identity.
Once thought of as a bonus in the marketing departments, social media is now a must-have in today’s marketing niche, and one of the best ways to convert visitors into customers. It is estimated that approximately 20,000 businesses have a Facebook page for their products/services. With almost a billion active users on Facebook, there is the ability for companies to target nearly any consumer group. And we’re only talking about Facebook. There is also Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Digg, Google+ and others, and they all are growing in importance for companies wanting to create dynamic and interactive online brands.
This is precisely the reason many food companies have started to look at their social strategies more carefully. For example, the lead digital marketer from Sainsbury’s, a British grocery chain, claims that social media has been a great way for the company to reach out to their consumers via a more “holistic approach.” The ability for the company to have an “open dialogue” with customers gives Sainsbury’s a way to improve their business, thanks to direct feedback from customers via social media.
In all cases, and regardless of industry, it’s more than clear that social media plays a vital role in the consumer and brand identity and even helps with online reputation management. It helps spread company news, while still keeping the company approachable in the eyes of their consumers. Moreover, companies who keep their social media accounts interactive and active, either via contests or other campaigns, usually have the best rapport with their customers and the ability to build their online reputation faster than companies that are inactive in the social media space.
Cadbury, for instance, held a special campaign called “Spots v Stripes” during the 2012 Olympics that was promoted via social media. The campaign reached over 120,000 people who participated in their specially sponsored events. This may be just one example of how a food industry based business has created a viral marketing campaign with social media, but it certainly is not the only one.
As social media continues to grow in importance, it will invariably become more and more important for brands in all industries to be engaged with consumers online. If a social media strategy is not already a necessity in the food industry (which I would argue it is), it will be soon enough for any business that wants to stay relevant in today’s marketing world.
Source: Fast Casual
Do consumers rely more on social media interaction than face to face?
The relationships you create on social media is big part of the face-to-face contact, just carried out through the media of Twitter, Facebook or others. Businesses need to understand that we’re talking about a conversation that needs to be fresh, innovative engaging and more importantly argumentative— you want your reader to click on your link right after they’ve read your post. Yes, it remains very important to have the right interactions face-to-face, but the skills of the social Web can assist you make that face to face appointment. Top 10 List recommends that everyone trains front-line employees to handle social media both with skill, politeness and an understanding that their words and actions matter – not just in person, but on the web as well.
Can a company (small or big) survive in business today without taking part in Social Networking on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest?
They absolutely can survive, but it’s not something that Top 10 List recommends. Retailers of all sizes need to be where their shoppers are, and today, increasingly, shoppers are on the web. Ignoring it means missing a huge communication and community vehicle, which could end up costing you shoppers.
Two other important points to consider: First, a retailer may choose not to participate on the social Web, but that does not necessarily mean they are not present on the social Web. The odds are very strong their customers and associates are talking about the company. So the only voice missing is the company’s own. Second, the social Web allows a big company to look small and local, with personalized messaging, and it allows a small company to look big by spreading out a message.
Where do you see the future of social media in the next five years? The next 10 years?
Without getting too dramatic, we believe that we are seeing a drastic change in how people and companies communicate and build community, so I think social networking and social media sites are here to stay, whether we like it or not. After all, people are social animals and this technology merely enables all of us to easily connect at a whole new level.
But we also know that change is a part of life in any area involving technology. Our networks are certainly going to become more mobile and possibly even more convenient than smart phones. Think of developments like Google Glass that stream information right as you speak. The big change I am hoping for is clear evidence of how all this networking builds sales, profits and loyalty.
And let’s not forget that even in the age of hyper-connectivity, customer service and face-to-face communication still matters. The technology is a tool that we need to use properly, but we still need to create great experiences.
Have a Business?
There are no better digital tables to gather around when chatting about food than social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
Every day of the year, food is a hot topic on social sites…so your brand needs to be to the fore.
An enticing social site campaign can aid the launch of new products while special offers and competitions will drive sales as well as building the fame of your brand.
You can also use social media sites and social networking opportunities to build and manage strong relationships with your customer base.
The Wisdek team is highly experienced at creating and delivering mouth-watering and succulent social media campaigns that will produce the best ROI.
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