5 reasons social media is a foodservice game-changer
Social media is culturally ubiquitous, allowing manufacturers to connect with operators everywhere. However, some B2B companies still aren’t using it to its fullest potential.
While trade shows, email marketing, paid search, ads in publications, and an abundance of other marketing tactics are certainly important, we encourage you to rethink how social media fits into your marketing mix.
1) Meet operators where they’re at
Busy planning menus, engaging with guests and distributors, training employees, coordinating schedules, and more—it’s easy (if not an understatement) to say foodservice operators are on-the-go. They’re most often checking in on their phones. Social media allows you to connect with operators in their everyday lives.
- An INside tip: Social media makes it easy to target specific audiences based on demographics, interests, and followers. You’ll have to put a couple dollars behind it, but the investment is worth it.
2) Showcase your team and products in an authentic way
Beyond the standard brochure, social media is the perfect opportunity to create a voice for foodservice manufacturers. Be strategic, show what makes your company unique in the industry, and don’t be afraid to let your personality show by sharing behind-the-scenes stories. Work you’re putting into product development, the chefs behind the recipes, and your sales team engaging with operators are all examples of content to leverage.
- An INside tip: Depending on the content you share; social media creates a platform for your company to show expertise and be positioned as a thought leader. (Also, people love looking at appetizing food, so be sure to share lots of those tasty pics!)
3) Engage in two-way communication with operators
Simply put, this is HUGE. Getting ideas and content out into the cyber-sphere like recipes, product how-to’s, merchandising ideas and more creates a platform that operators can interact with. Not only do operators get to share their thoughts, they can ask questions and give critical feedback. Encourage them to post about how they’re using your ingredients or how they serve your products!
- An INside tip: Use this communication to further other areas of marketing by determining what content operators respond to. Be thoughtful, engaging, and show your operators love by responding to questions and comments in a timely manner.
4) Leverage Video Content for Better Engagement
In the fast-paced world of social media where attention spans are fleeting, videos are a powerful tool for communication. They facilitate storytelling, product promotion, and the sharing of experiences, fostering meaningful connections and higher engagement. Video content holds particular significance for B2B marketers on social media due to its ability to convey complex information in a digestible and engaging format. In the B2B landscape, where building relationships and trust are paramount, videos can provide a human touch by showcasing personalities and expertise.
- An INside tip: Creating compelling video content doesn’t have to be expensive. DIY approaches and incorporating creative storytelling enable cost-effective video production. Additionally, user-generated content and authentic, unpolished visuals can resonate well with audiences, emphasizing that the value of a video lies more in its message and authenticity than in the production costs.
5) Build a community of engaged operators
Social media creates a space for operators to learn from each other, stay up-to-date with the latest food trends, ask specific questions on prep, and more. By encouraging operators to engage with your posts, and by featuring actual operator stories, you not only will further your reach but also create a stronger operator community.
- An INside tip: Encourage operators to follow your company on social platforms at tradeshows and events. Establishing the initial face-to-face connection will increase operator loyalty.
All in all, social media is an efficient, affordable, and successful way for foodservice manufacturers to market to and reach new and current audiences. Its platform encourages ingenuity and playfulness—so, be flexible and willing to test ideas! You never know the impact a single post might have.
Looking for ideas to get started? Contact us to take your social media strategy to the next level.