Social media, since it’s design and implementation, has been slowly growing in influence over the past few years in regards to manufacturing advertising and product sales. As this shift has grown in influence in the corporate market, it has become clear that if food companies, or any companies, want to make an impact on customers, social media is the place to do it.
George Casey, the Chief Technology Officer and Chief Marketing Officer at Junction Solutions, has put a lot of time and effort into dissecting this idea. In his webinar interview with Food Processing, named “Growing Revenue through Connecting with Your Consumers: Social, Mobile and Selling Direct,” he explained the details behind getting your company involved and invested with the customers through social media.
He started off the webinar by explaining the shift that has occurred when social media became a bigger influence over the world’s daily lives. Instead of focusing on the supplier’s insights into their products, there has been a shift to validating and taking into consideration the needs and wants of the consumer.
“What we’ve seen ...is a lot of shift of [supplier power] to the consumer. [When there is a] consumer with a lot of segments that are important to them, we as providers, when we understand what those are, can better serve them and gain better value,” Casey explained.
Casey’s point is that food companies need to be a part of consumer’s daily routines in order to learn how to make their product serve them in the best possible way. The route to do so: social media.
“When we understand how our customers are interacting with our products and we use these techniques, like how they are relating to us through things like social media, it’s great insight into all these areas we can improve on and ultimately gain value,” Casey said.
The problem that many companies seem to face, though, is getting too general with analyses of the data from social media. It’s easy to think that grouping people by their demographics--age, gender, income level, race--would do the job in gaining insight. But as Casey said, that route can be misguided.
“The challenge is this is a very intuitive approach, where you try to say, ‘I want to find people who are like-minded, who probably act similarly as a group,’” Casey noted. “What we’re seeing more and more when we apply the science of predictive analytics to these problems is that, depending on what is really driving the behavior, age by itself is not a great predictor of what is going to ultimately determine behavior.”
Instead of labelling consumers based on their more noticeable traits, Casey suggested looking at their behaviors and the channels of social media that they connect to. Using those more specific details, companies will be able to get more accurate data on their customers as well as an effective way to reach out and engage with the customers.