Social media has become one of the most effective mediums to reach an incredibly broad audience for a wide range of industries. The produce industry is no different. Even though you are not targeting direct consumers, your current and prospective customers are using social media both personally and professionally for their own businesses. Reaching them will influence leads and reaffirm partnerships. Below are some tips to ensure you are using social media to your advantage as a B2B produce industry member.
Platforms to Use
The B2B marketing crowd is mostly on Twitter and LinkedIn. Twitter is beneficial to reach your target audience as it is fast-paced and easy to communicate with other users. LinkedIn is no longer just a place to network, post and find jobs. With more than 380 million users, it is now the best platform to reach primary contacts as it is comprised of professionals who are interested in and looking for B2B content.
What to Post
Using these platforms as outlets for your produce industry knowledge will push your brand forward. Posting blogs, trade show information with your booth number, infographics, product information, webinars, white papers and industry-related articles all provide helpful information for your followers and current and prospective clients or customers.
Positioning your company as a thought leader provides a positive advantage over your competition.
Consistent posts invite comments, direct messages and mentions. Social media scheduling tools can help with tracking and measuring engagement to streamline the process.
Ensure posts are scheduled sporadically if they are scheduled ahead of time. For example, publishing posts every day at 11:00 a.m. doesn’t look natural or realistic. Be sure to post at different times to avoid that monotony.
Who to Follow
The produce industry is vast and teeming with relevant publications constantly sharing news that can regularly include or affect your company. Follow the appropriate publications, editors and influencers first. Then, review who they are following to ensure your list is not missing anyone important. See who your competitors are following. There’s a good chance those users are the most relevant to your brand and are beneficial to follow.
Customers do not just enter the buying stage without being “courted” first. It is important to build a relationship with your prospects instead of immediately pushing sales tactics on them. Caring about your current and prospective customers shows them you also care about how your company is doing, which makes people more likely to do business with you.
Deciding who to target on social media is only the first step. Relationship building takes time and effort. The more time you put in, the better results you will see. Plan carefully how much time you will spend a week on social media, then break that down into time you will spend each day. Reading new comments, engaging with new and existing users and posting content daily may take up more time than you originally thought, so it is important to budget time and finances accordingly. Eventually, your hard work will pay off!
Building successful social media pages over multiple platforms take time and require attention and planning. We recently introduced our client, Farmer’s Best, to the social media scene on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook with a following that is steadily growing. Compare them to the Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook pages for a client whose social media efforts we have been managing for much longer, Organics Unlimited. As an agency, we’ve proven our social media management skills are beneficial to our clients, when we have grown their engagement and followers. Your business can do the same and your brand will be more relevant in the produce industry, be better able to reach potential customers and clients and engage easily with those interested in your products.
About Oster and Associates
Founded in 1986, Oster and Associates is a full-service branding and public relations agency with local and national clients in the accounting, agriculture, engineering, hospitality, landscaping, nonprofit, planning, produce, sports and travel industries. For more information on Oster and Associates, visit www.osterads.com, call 619-906-5540 or follow them on Facebook, Twitter @OsterAds and LinkedIn.