Social Media Marketing Perplexes B2B Marketers
Social media has profoundly and permanently changed the way we communicate. Nobody would argue that it’s caused dramatic shifts in how we interact with each other socially as well as professionally. The use of smart mobile devices has facilitated interaction on social sites and has become ingrained in the culture of digital natives, as well as many digital immigrants.
There’s no point in debating the use of social media as a marketing tool, but how to use it effectively for business-to-business (B2B) marketing continues to perplex marketers. Even the most skeptical audience, scientists, has embraced it as a communications channel.
In “Online collaboration: Scientists and the social network,” Richard Van Noorden observed, “Although scientists have a propensity for privacy and are opting out of engagement on traditional media with companies, they are adopting social media channels as their central communications modalities to connect with their entire sphere of family, friends, peers and even brands.”
Advantages of Social Media Marketing
Products and advertising can be found across all social media platforms. The most useful for B2B marketing are YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. With social media marketing, advertising is targeted at your specific demographic, inherent in the platform selection. Targeting implies selecting specific criteria to reach your audience. Social media marketing uses the data collected from network members to help brands target advertising. Social media platforms also offer the benefit of integrated analytics to enable the analysis of your efforts.
Because of all the data collected by social media platforms, advertisers can tailor ads or content very effectively. Audience and advertiser are able to meet on a common ground and share interests. The “social” aspect of marketing on these platforms is not lost on the audience, since the format allows advertisers to go beyond promotional messaging and generate socially relevant content. Many companies’ mission statements can be reduced to “We Make the World a Better Place,” and frankly, social media platforms provide the space and opportunity to serve up evidence of these altruistic claims.
Social Media & Food Safety Testing Products
There are several dynamics in play when marketing food safety products using social media:
- Safe food is a necessity. People expect that their food is safe, that it is labelled correctly, and that it has been tested and inspected for safety. Processors and producers, by law, have to ensure the safety of the products they market. To engage your audience, your content should tell the story of the human element of testing, and you should connect that to your customer’s mission.
- Food is necessary, and has a social element. Weave testing performance into the story of the need for food to be tested in order to be safe.
- Food safety is a community. There are 1,162 groups on LinkedIn related to food safety. There are communities of scientists whose work is either directly related to food science or that touches food science in some way — for example, nutrition or meat alternatives. Engage with groups on a professional level to help customers get to know you and your brand.
Social Media Sites for Food Safety: Examples
|Food Safety Magazine||https://www.linkedin.com/company/food-safety-magazine/||Food Safety.gov||https://twitter.com/foodsafetygov?lang=en|
|Food Safety Professionals Organization||https://www.linkedin.com/groups/3086951/||USDA Food Safety||https://twitter.com/usdafoodsafety?lang=en|
|FSMA - Food Safety Modernization Organization||https://www.linkedin.com/groups/3882091/||Food Safety News||https://twitter.com/foodsafetynews?lang=en|
|Foodservice Professionals in Colleges and Universities||https://www.linkedin.com/groups/2082653/||Food Safety Weekly (Food Quality News)||https://twitter.com/foodqualitynews?lang=en|
|Global Food Safety Consultant Network||https://www.linkedin.com/company/gfscgroup||Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)||https://twitter.com/ift?lang=en|
Three Simple Rules
While social media marketing is available for everyone to use and enjoy, it still requires planning to be effective. Here are three simple rules:
- Consider your audience. Though this rule is not specific to social media, you should consider the needs and personas in your audience when selecting the channel, platform, messaging and content.
- Consider your context. Make sure that your posts or content are contextually relevant. Most of the time, it’s common sense where to place your content if you want average results. For above-average results, think of yourself as a member of your audience and consider what you want them to do once they are exposed to your content. Create the path that brings them closer to you!
- Consider your metrics. (Impressions, shares, conversions, tags, mentions, views, etc.) Besides direct interaction with your audience, analytics are built into the social platforms, and you won’t want for a lack of data. What the data tells you, and how you use it influence these metrics, and can generate leads and increase conversions.
Scientists and the social network – Richard Van Noorden, Nature, August 13, 2014 https://www.nature.com/news/online-collaboration-scientists-and-the-social-network-1.15711
HubSpot Social Media Marketing https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/social-media-marketing
LinkedIn Food Safety Groupshttps://www.linkedin.com/search/results/groups/?keywords=food%20safety&origin=SUGGESTION
If you need help with a social media marketing plan, contact us for a 30-minute consultation.