Social media marketing

Keeping your Business Social

Importance of Social Media in the Food Industry

Social media marketing is now considered more important than traditional print advertising in the food and beverage industry according to the Grant Thornton International Food and Beverage report, ‘Hunger for growth: Food and Beverage looks to the future’. The report revealed that nearly half (49%) of all food and beverage industry executives say social media is a top method of attracting and retaining customers compared with 46% for print advertising. A company website is viewed as the most important at 78%.

Over ninety percent of food industry executives agree that social media has completely changed the way consumers interact with their brand. Once thought of as an “extra” in marketing departments, social media is now a must-have, and one of the best ways to get results. It is estimated that over twenty thousand companies have a Facebook page for their business. With close to a billion people on Facebook, there is the ability for companies to target nearly any consumer group. The marketing department in Sainsbury’s 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.

Smartphones is where most social media interactions happen. An increasing number of consumers are using smartphones and tablets to access product information while eating in restaurants and shopping in supermarkets. According to Scoop Business, 58% of people aged between 36 and 65, and 61% of younger adults, research products online, using smartphones or tablets, before going to a restaurant or when shopping at supermarkets.

In February 2010, Proctor & Gamble, makers of Old Spice, launched “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign with an online commercial starring former NFL player Isaiah Mustafa. He is shown towel-clad in his bathroom as he tries to convince female viewers to purchase Old Spice body wash so their men will be just like him, or at least smell like him. The commercial premiered on YouTube during Superbowl weekend and has since received more than 26 million views. Five months later, Old Spice decided to take things to the next level; they wanted to engage and communicate on a more personal, intimate level, and so “The Response Campaign” was born. On the morning of July 13, 2010, Old Spice posted a simple message to Facebook and Twitter causing the campaign to become a viral sensation. For two days, Mustafa, answered queries on Twitter via YouTube—producing more than 180 videos in real-time. The result from the campaign was phenomenal being the fastest growing and most popular interactive campaign in history. The results were:

  • Twitter following increased 2700%;
  • Facebook fan interaction went up 800%;
  • Traffic to Oldspice.com increased 300%;
  • And with more than 75 million views, Old Spice became the no.1 all-time most viewed branded channel on YouTube.

Case study from Zones of Social Media Marketing.

Timing is also important in Social Media. Posting and being available when your customers/ fans are online is important. You want to catch people during their downtime. You might need to get them early in the morning during their commute or “settling in” time at work, during lunch or in the evenings. It is also important to understand the timing may be different for their specific customer base or industry. Experimentation is recommended.

1396036121-post-smarter-best-times-use-social-platforms-infographic

From Entrepreneur.com

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Why Your Event Needs a Blog

An event blog is one of the most valuable marketing tools you have at your disposal. Creating a blog for your event gives your company character, personalises your brand, and encourages customer loyalty and interactivity.

Event blogging is an effective easy-to-use platform for connecting with and sharing relevant information with customers and is the first step in branding your event.

Blogging should be a vital part of your event marketing strategy as it helps keep you connected with attendees and makes connecting with potential attendees for your next event easier.

You can use your blog to create a place to talk about the details of your event, announce performers and can be used as a place to offer more insight into the history of your event.

7% of businesses have acquired a customer through their company blog

Use your event blog to show people what you have to offer. Your blog gives potential attendees a strong idea of what your event is about and who the organisers are. Make sure the tone of your blog is the correct representation of your event.

Blogging and branding go hand-in-hand. Every post you publish to your site builds brand awareness. Make sure your website is kept relevant by regularly updating it with interesting content. Make sure that the content that you are writing reflects the character of the event and is of interest to the attendees that you are promoting to. A blog with no focus will not attract readers.

Companies that blog get 55% more web traffic and 70% more leads

Writing an event blog will allow you to include keywords that your target audience will search for and find in your website. Keywords are an essential part of Search Engine Optimisiation (SEO) which can lead to increased website traffic. Google search gives preference to recently updated, original content that is relevant both in keyword and geographic area to the search performed.

A recent survey by HubSpot has shown that companies who write a blog get 55% more website traffic and 70% more leads. In addition, 57% of companies obtained a customer through their blog.

Through writing a blog for your event you can gain a valuable  insight into your audience and how they are using your site. Blog analytics allow you to track readers click-through-rates, monitor shares and comments and what time of the day or day of the week is most popular on your website.

The most important part of keeping your event going is to regularly put out interesting content and a blog is one of the most critical ways to do this. Continue to blog after your event has ended, this will help hold on to the customers that you already have and will help brand your event until the next event takes place.

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How to Promote an Event with Social Media

Using social media to promote your event can act as an efficient way for you to connect with attendees from anywhere in the world.

Social media is one of the most interactive and cost-effective tools to promote your event. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter have the potential to reach out to a large number of attendees.

Platforms like Pinterest and Flickr might also be right for you for promote your event on. And don’t forget video on platforms like YouTube.

Here is a run-down of some of the best platforms that you can use to promote your event and the reasons why they are so valuable:

Blogging:

It puts character to your event Blogging-Stats-01-1024x731

Small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads. (Social Media Today) Blogging on your website will show readers that you’re more than just a business. It will allow readers to see your festival in a more personal way. Blogging can show character and allow readers to get a feel for the personalities working behind your event.

Blogging creates fresh content on your website

Blogging is a great way to create fresh content for your site and will help to attract traffic. Writing posts in areas of interest to your readers will help build a following of regular readers for your website. If you have advertisers on your site, blogging will help raise the number of clicks on adverts and will allow you to increase the amount of money you can charge for advertising on your site. Regular blog posts will also help with search engine optimisation.

Check out WikiHow’s guide to keeping fresh content on your blog.

Readers will be able to subscribe to and share your blog posts

You should choose a unique topic to write a blog post on with the idea that every reader will want to pass it on. Writing share-worthy content is a great method of pull-advertising; you write the blog, readers do the rest (Brick Marketing). Writing blog entries that appeal to your target market is a great way to get your name out there and show potential attendees that you understand their interests; this can reassure them that your event is a suitable event for them.

Facebook:  

FbBuild a community around your event
A Facebook page should be set-up for your event and relevant information posted regularly. Creating a group surrounding your event will prove to be an effective way for you to build a local community. Flexibility and focusing on the details are key essential to building customers (HooteSuite).

Provide information to attendees

Use your event’s Facebook page to highlight important information on your event. Some information might include location of the event, price of tickets or entry fee, the schedule of the event and a link to your website.

Create publicity through photo and video sharing

Everyone loves to see themselves in a video or photo. Photos and videos get more attention and help your message stand out in News Feed (Facebook).

You can also generate publicity from the people who attended your event and those who follow them on various social media channels through them sharing your video or photos. Anyone who is a friend of someone you tagged can see the photo and will hopefully want to learn more about your event.


Twitter:

Make use of real-time tweetingtwitter_on_paper_1

Sending tweets out to your followers can keep everyone updated on what’s happening, as it is happening. Twitter is a great tool for keeping people connected with your event and allows you to promote it in real-time.

Find out what people are saying by using hashtags

Hashtags make it easy to track tweets and see what others are saying about your event on social media platforms. Use a designated keyword or phrase that is relevant to your event and encourage fans to use it (Small Business Trends)

YouTube, Flickr and Pinterest 

Youtube infographicBe visual, get exposure!

Include videos and photos of before, during and after your event and upload them to YouTube, Flickr and Pinterest for added exposure.