If having a robust social media marketing plan mattered before, it’s downright essential now. Provided it’s just that—a plan that springs from thoughtfully considered business and marketing strategies. This crisis is no time for a “just do something” or “everything, everywhere” approach. What a global food manufacturer should be doing won’t necessarily work for the farmers in a state commodity association.

Strategy is all—a strategy grounded in deep understanding of your unique situation and audiences with a robust content calendar to support it. And for all that to succeed, it pays to have a solid understanding of what each platform does best.

First Things First: Commit to “All In” or Get the Heck Out

Before looking at each tool’s distinctives, remember doing nothing is nearly always better than a halfhearted approach.

Commit first—100%. Figure out the right platforms and go all in. Follow and engage with key industry players. Determine audiences to target, nurturing them in ways that convert to sales (if that’s your goal). Develop a content calendar with carefully crafted posts and cadences, taking a disciplined approach to post development. Use advanced analytics to understand which are most inspiring and motivational.

Going all in is the only way to ultimately succeed at building your community and getting the good word out. The insights below can help—and we can, too.

THE BIG FIVE

FACEBOOK

Facebook bottom line

Your Facebook business account can be an important tool in building a loyal following, especially if connecting with consumers is on your must-do list. Have a recipe to share? Want the public to better understand where breakfast came from?

Since Facebook isn’t limited to a single type of post, you can count on max versatility—everything from on-the-farm videos to company updates and links to industry articles.

If your goal is to communicate to consumers, they’re easy to target based on demographics and interests—like moms interested in a healthy lifestyle or millennials wanting to reduce their carbon footprint.

In the B2B world, businesses often use the platform to interact directly with their community. For example, restaurants and chefs might use it to see what interests their patrons. Targeting page administrators within your industry is also a good idea—and easy to do with Facebook.

Is Facebook right for your organization? Whether the ultimate answer is yes or no, we can make sure the decision is based by hard data, not hunches.

INSTAGRAM

  • B2C and B2B communication
  • Brand awareness by creating a loyal fanbase
  • Building strong relationships and communicating easy-to-post messages and announcements that engage your community
  • Driving traffic to your website

Instagram bottom line

Instagram business accounts work best when the visuals chosen are eye-catching and of the highest possible quality.

The Instagram Stories feature is ideal for content with a shorter shelf life—like how your team spent a day at World Dairy Expo or a regional restaurant event. Stories let you quickly, conveniently engage using content that’s wouldn’t necessarily feel right on your feed.

For chefs, Instagram has become the number one platform for both personal and business posting. And on the ag front, our research shows a younger generation of farmers relying on the platform to showcase their farms, especially during changing seasons. Farmers also use the platform to make connections with fellow farmers.

Want more insights on your Instagram strategy? Need help deciding if you should have an account at all and the posts that work best on it? We’ve got you covered.

TWITTER

Twitter bottom line

Interested in using Twitter for business effectively? This platform works best when you use your account as a complement to other social media platforms.

Once you’ve done the heavy lifting of establishing your community, it’s a fantastic way to showcase your brand’s personality and demonstrate industry thought leadership. Typical tweets range from the retweeting of user-generated and shared content to sharing your own news and updates (just remember to make every tweet fit within the 280-character limit).

You’ll also want to follow the movers and shakers in your industry, whether they be world-famous chefs or the USDA. It’s not easy building your Twitter following. If you need help knowing what to post (and when), we’re ready, willing and data-driven to help.

LINKEDIN

  • 40% of monthly active users use the platform daily
  • 61 million users are senior-level influencers and 40 million are in decision-making positions
  • Most-used social media platform among Fortune 500 companies.
  • Of 2 billion Millennials globally, 87 million are on platform, with 11 million of those in decision-making positions
  • Users are 43% women and 57% men
  • Average CPC is $5.74
  • More than 190,000 LinkedIn members are from the restaurant industry with job titles ranging from owner to operator to distributor
  • Foodservice companies are also on the platform, with the majority posting B2C content
  • Establishing a strong B2B social network
  • Building connections that generate leads
  • Targeting advertising by industry, job title, company name (which explains the high average CPC)

LinkedIn bottom line

A LinkedIn company page can help you develop a strong B2B network and generate actionable leads. Use it for B2B communications that zero in on food manufacturers, restaurant owners, seed companies and many, many others.

Because its focus is “all business,” you can implement LinkedIn marketing strategies that target specific demographics by industry, company, job title or you-name-it more precisely than other platforms.

In other words, if targeting heads of foodservice at health care facilities in the Pacific Northwest is your thing, LinkedIn could be just the ticket. And you can count on us to help you identify the best way to zig with this platform while you’re zagging with another.

PINTEREST

  • Communicating visually (like Instagram)
  • Serving as an information hub for the discovery of new ideas and products
  • Giving users a glimpse of information and directing them to your website for details

Pinterest bottom line

Thinking about using Pinterest for business? Most users are consumers looking for recipe ideas, healthy lifestyle tips or solutions to everyday challenges. Like Instagram, your Pinterest marketing efforts are a fabulous way to communicate visually.

Make yours a go-to destination for finding that new recipe you’re wanting everyone to try…or to showcase your company’s new planters…or to do that infographic that’ll make your complex product that much clearer…or, well you get the idea. The possibilities are endless, provided your rationale is strategic and remains true to your brand.

TWO MORE TO WATCH

  • TikTok is a newbie platform for sharing short mobile videos. As the platform matures, so might its business applications.
  • Twitch is another video service—owned by Amazon—that’s widely used for live-streaming.

This is obviously just a snapshot of things to consider when putting together a plan. Hey, we like seeing likes as much as the next avatar, but what we downright L-O-V-E is putting a good social strategy into overdrive, using deep data dives as the all-important rocket fuel. With the help of all those metrics and analytics, we can amplify your company or brand in ways those who merely “post stuff” can’t. Need help with all that strategy and execution? We’re ready to help—both before and after this crisis.

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