Part one of our series on B2B social media for food ingredient marketers highlighted how social media use among food ingredient companies has skyrocketed in the last five years. In part two of the series, we will explore the food ingredient industry’s use of B2B social media and the key audiences to connect with online.
With the sheer number of individuals using social media, and the fact that it is used for professional and personal engagements, it can be hard to identify who’s out there. When it comes to B2B food industry social media use, there are many professionals using LinkedIn and Twitter as their primary social media platforms:
- Your competition
- Your customers
- Your customers’ consumers
- Trade media publishers and editors
- Industry associations
When it comes to selling your ingredients, there are a number of individuals from your customer companies who have an influence on what ingredients are included in their products. You’ve got to look beyond purchasing and communicate and engage with your customers and target audience enterprise-wide. Engaging with individuals enterprise-wide means you have to market your product in such a way that is relevant to each audience.
- C-Suite Executives – may not be directly involved in the purchasing of ingredients, but are overarching influencers of what ingredients are incorporated into their products.
- Purchasing – influenced by cost, supply chain and food safety.
- Marketing Executives – look at the benefits and advantages of using ingredients in their products to help them market and sell their finished goods.
- Research Chefs – are interested in food trends, culinary arts and the science of food.
- Innovation Experts – focused on trends and what consumers are looking for as well as what new technologies are available to enhance their products or develop new applications.
- Food Scientists – look for information regarding food safety, quality, developing new formulations and applications.
Most of these individuals are active on social media every day. They participate on Twitter as well as on LinkedIn by sharing news articles, food industry trends and information about their company’s latest innovations. Most of these individuals engage in discussion by using relevant hashtags in their Tweets and also by commenting on LinkedIn Pulse Posts and LinkedIn group discussions that are relevant to their business. They gather information from social media to help guide them on their purchasing decisions and product development. That’s why it’s important for food ingredient marketers to use B2B social media—it’s where their audience is. Using social media as another communication platform keeps your message and brand top of mind.
In part three of our series on B2B social media for food ingredient marketers, we will share the steps food ingredient marketers can take to launch a social media plan as part of an integrated marketing plan. Until then, we would love to hear how your company is using social media to target and engage with individual influencers.