GETTING TO THE MEAT OF SOCIAL MEDIA

While the early corporate adopters of social media were typically tech companies, over the past two years more broadly familiar brands are integrating social media into their marketing strategies.

In the article, “Any Way It’s Sliced, Appeal of Social Media Grows,” which first appeared in the Media and Advertising section of the New York Times on February 22, 2010, Stuart Elliott reports on how two brands of meat products, Land O’Frost and Sara Lee Deli, are turning to social media to extend their marketing reach.

Both companies are leading brands in the packaged meat products industries, and both have begun using social media, such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, to advance brand awareness, customer loyalty, and interest among potential customers. The market forces driving the two companies to adopt these strategies are familiar ones – the customers are online, so that’s where companies have to go to reach them. But joining the social media conversation is only the first step. For a social media strategy to succeed, the company has to offer its social media presence as a resource, not just a marketing outlet. Through social media, these companies can connect with their customers on a much more personal level than direct advertising could. One Land O’Frost source discusses the extraordinary value of “mommy bloggers,” who have loyal followers that trust what the bloggers have to say, and who will share what they read in these blogs. Land O’Frost actually enlisted three of these bloggers to be “brand ambassadors,” who post in the Land O’Frost community. The site, landomoms.com, features discussions about various issues, which may not be related to Land O’Frost’s products, but help position Land O’Frost as a trusted source of helpful information, ensuring repeat visits to the site.

Sara Lee continued its social media campaign, which it began in 2009, with  “Saga Solver,” a multi-faceted Facebook fan page featuring humorous videos and correspondence with experts on nutrition and family matters. Here’s one of the videos produced for the program by Second City Communications, the corporate incarnation of the famous Chicago improv comedy troupe:

The non-traditional approach, which strays from what customers had come to expect from the packaged food giant, allows Sara Lee Deli to not only extend its marketing reach, but also stretch its brand perception into something fun and authentic.

– Paul Heitsch

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~ by goodpackagedconsumers on September 23, 2012.