Newsflash: you’re not selling a consumer packaged good product. You’re selling a brand. And consumers are always looking for brands whose ethics and identities align with their own.
Especially in the oversaturated market of food and beverage, businesses need to find a way to stand out from their competitors.
And the best way to do that? Social media, of course.
When a consumer follows you on social media, they’re not just there to find out what you’re selling. They're also assessing your brand as a whole — making sure that you’re the kind of company they want to support.
Social media has a huge impact on sales in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. Nearly three-quarters of consumers who had a good social media service experience with a CPG are likely to recommend it to others.
So… what’s the magic formula?
How do you create a solid social media presence in the CPG industry?
Social media marketing is about creating a universe
Your social presence is about way more than showing off your products (although it’s good to do that too). It’s your chance to form a real connection with your customers, to open up a two-way communication channel, and showcase every aspect of your brand.
It is 2021, after all. Everyone and their dog is on social media, so brands need to step right up and be part of the conversation.
What does social media do that other ad channels can’t?
Social media is an authentic place to share your brand identity and your values. Better still, it’s an easy, relatively cost-effective, and dynamic channel for marketing experimentation.
These days, consumers want more than just product information. They follow their favorite brands on social media to learn about the people behind the company, as well. Social media ‘stories’ and ‘lives’ are a fantastic way to promote the team driving your CPG forward.
And let’s not forget that more and more people are buying their CPGs online through Amazon or other online sellers. It makes so much sense to reach them through their phones, tablets, and computer screens — right at the point of purchase.
The benefits of building your social media presence as a CPG
Now that we know just how valuable it can be to work on your social media channels, it’s time to get started! Here are 7 ways to squeeze the most value out of your social strategy.
Keep in contact with your customers
One of the best things about social media is the direct access it gives you to your audience. A recent study showed that 64% of people want brands to connect with their consumers –– so share content that prompts them to comment and reply!
It’s a lot easier to communicate with your consumers via social media than any other channel — and consumers report that social media is their preferred way for brands to communicate with them.
Gone are the days when people called a hotline or filled out an online form. Today, 67% of consumers say they use social media networks to seek issue resolution.
… And listen to what they have to say
Forget forking out a good slice of your budget on research and development (R&D). Your social channels are a quick and easy way to find out what your audience thinks and feels about your brand.
You can get real-time insights into what kind of content they’re engaging with, and you can use polls or question posts to determine exactly what they want to see from you.
Monitor your brand mentions across social channels then use the insights to inform your social strategy moving forward.
Build a connection
Social media is a chance to let your customers see how the sausage is made (so to speak). Every time you share content about your brand — whether it's a new product launch, behind-the-scenes footage on your stories, or a repost of a customer using your product — you’re building up a connection with your followers.
And when it comes down to it, that connection breeds loyalty, which in turn brings in more business.
Create a community
As a brand, you have an opportunity to create and foster a positive community within your customer base. In the past couple of years, we’ve seen brands speak out and take a public stand on issues that are important to them and their customers — usually via social media.
This is something that consumers truly love to see.
We’ve also witnessed a huge upswing in the popularity of Facebook groups. Brands will set up a community group for people to come together and discuss a huge variety of topics. It’s a great way to keep your company top of mind, even if they’re not actually talking about your products.
In fact, 78% of consumers want brands to use social media to help people connect. It’s a free and easy way to give your customers an online space to socialize with like-minded people.
Show yourself off to retailers and distributors
If done right, your social media accounts are the perfect snapshot of your business.
When you’re trying to impress retailers and distributors, having a flourishing social presence will help open a lot of doors. An engaged audience, a strong brand identity, and a backlog of fun and informative posts will go a long way in assuring investors of your market potential.
Plus, it will give buyers an idea of who you are as a brand, what you stand for, and exactly what your customers love about you!
Looking for inspiration? Then check out our guide: ‘10 Food and Beverage Brands Using Social Media to Increase Wholesale Revenue’.
Tailor your content for different platforms
Think about your personal social accounts –– the type of posts you share on Instagram is very different from what you’d be posting on LinkedIn, right? Of course. And the same goes for your brand. You don’t need to have branded accounts on every single platform, but consider what’s most suitable for your brand identity and your target audience.
TikTok is a great place to be if you’re marketing to Gen Z and if your brand already has a fun and youthful feel. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is ideal if you’re doing a lot of B2B marketing and are trying to get in touch with a more business-focused base.
Instagram is a great catch-all platform — it’s all about aesthetics and eye-catching content. You’ll find a vast range of customer demographics there, too. And Facebook, as we mentioned, is an excellent community builder.
Open up new selling opportunities
While online shopping has always been a growing industry, the global pandemic caused a huge boom –– online retail sales increased 32% year over year in 2020 and were up 39% in Q1 2021.
Social media shops can help you ride the eCommerce wave, making it all the more seamless for customers to check out online and buy your goods. Facebook and Instagram are still the biggest hitters, so start experimenting with shoppable posts today.
Hungry for more food and beverage sales tips?
Are you struggling to get your CPG brand out there in front of enough eyes? Then check out the Buffalo Market blog.
Not only do we help food and beverage brands get their foot in the door with national retailers, but we also dedicate a lot of time to helping small businesses thrive and succeed in our digital world.
Have a look through our articles, and get in touch with any specific questions.