When it comes to social media marketing, most people aren't thinking exactly about food manufacturing and retail businesses. The first examples that come to mind are those famous viral ads promoting "fun" products. Therefore, engaging consumers through social media can seem a bit challenging for manufacturers and even retailers, however, it's well worth doing it.
In this guide, we explain how to create an effective and comprehensive social media strategy to get the results you've been looking for.
Let's get right into it!
Step #1: Understand where you are
It's important to understand the activity currently occurring on your Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
You'll need to conduct a social media audit: an important way to see what is and what isn't working when it comes to social media. Start by reviewing and analyzing your current online presence and see whether it's consistent across the channels. Next, check out your competitors, both the big ones and the newcomers. After that, carefully review your SEO results.
Step #2: Define your objectives
All your objectives should be driven by your company's priorities. Therefore, start at the top with what your food manufacturing business is all about. Then, find out what the overall marketing plan is. Next comes the digital marketing strategy and finally the content strategy. When you've got all that info, you're ready to set some qualitative and quantitative objectives. Also, they need to be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-framed. And don't forget to include some BHAGs: Big Hairy Audacious Goals.
Step #3: Identify your audience
Knowing your audience, their demographics, motivations, interests, and preferred channels is essential. Check out any data you have, maybe even talk to some of your existing customers, and do your market and online research.
When you've gathered all the data, turn it into some personas - not just wooden descriptions from the demographics, but create some real people, and tell their stories. Capture what gets them up in the morning, how they think, and their interests.
Step #4: Choose the right channels
Be cautious about jumping to one or more channels just because everyone else is there. Choosing the right channels and the right number of channels to use will mean a more efficient and effective social media marketing strategy.
Think about what will suit your food manufacturing company's purpose and who your audience is. Think about what each channel is for and why people use it. Think about what type of content suits your organization and what you can create. And, of course, think about how much it's all going to cost.
Step #5: Create awesome content
Keep in mind that good content is not good enough. In order to cut through the noise and the sheer volume of content, your content has to stand out. You need to understand the content categories of creation, curation, and co-creation, as well as the content formats. Your content has to entertain your audience, educate them, or inspire them. Whatever type it is, it has to add value to the target audience.
Step #6: Be social
It's called social media for a reason! How you interact with your audience can make a huge difference in their engagement levels. Figure out who you might be able to work with: influencers, other brands, maybe some media outlets. Remember to get in there and talk with the people who are looking at and commenting on your content. Being social will get you much better reach and build your audience. So impress them and keep them interested.
Step #7: Implement the strategy
The best strategy in the world won't give you results if you don't implement it. Developing the strategy into an implementation plan to ensure the work is actually completed correctly and important deadlines are met will make all the work on your strategy worth it.
Once you've started creating relevant, valuable content, you'll need to work out your paid advertising. It's really crucial and it will amplify what you're doing to a bigger, more targeted audience. You'll get a bigger return on your investment and better data and insights on your performance.
Step #8: Analyze for improvement
Test, measure, analyze, reflect, repeat. One of the main strengths of social media marketing is the availability of clear data and analytics on what to do. This data allows you to continually go back to all the other elements and improve your strategy and your results. You'll need to find and analyze the metrics that matter. It's not just about "vanity metrics" - likes, followers, views, and reach. You'll also need to research engagement, traffic, sales, subscribers, and sentiment.
These steps will help your food manufacturing business succeed in the world of social media marketing. By following them, you'll develop an effective social media strategy that will help you achieve great results. Remember that all the steps presented above are connected to each other. That means that choices made in one step will affect the other steps. It's important to realize this connection and to hold all the steps together.
Tip for new food manufacturing companies
If you've just launched your company, a helpful tip is to focus only on 2 to 3 social media channels or networks. The reason for that is because you'll grow significantly faster if your company is one of the best ones in its market or industry on, let's say, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter than if you are mediocre across 10 different platforms. Hence, you'll drive more business and stand out.
If you do it right, social media marketing for food manufacturing companies is valuable for content promotion, brand building, and lead generation. Think strategically, stay engaged, and reap the benefits.