CONSUMER PACKAGED GOODS INDUSTRY AND SOCIAL MEDIA: WHAT WE’VE LEARNED

At this point, it is safe to say that most any company in the consumer packaged goods industry can benefit from social media use.  It is almost to the point where you could say that a consumer packaged goods (CPG) company who is not engaged in social media is missing out.  As a social-media-savvy CPG company, you gain access to important information and the ability to engage and attract your customers.  A company is able to become more transparent while at the same time promoting their brand and making connections with consumers.

According to an article made by Radian 6, a social marketing and engagement company run by Sales Force, there are five main benefits that a CPG company can gain from social media involvement:

–       A company can operate its customer service online through social media.  Twitter and Facebook have been successful formats to implement this since they are public and able to be seen by all.

–       Shopper loyalty can be instilled through social media.  By offering special discounts to those who follow you online you can create an interest in your online presence and increase sales.

–       Campaign or promotion management is another possible application of social media.  Companies most commonly spread awareness of their current campaigns and offers through Pinterest, Facebook and other social media outlets but social couponing, companies like Groupon, have become increasingly popular.

–       Monitoring competition is another thing that becomes more feasible in the social media world.  Not only can you see what your adversaries are up to, but you can learn from past successes and mistakes that other companies have made.

–       Finally, CPG companies can have more control in the event of a crisis.  In crisis management situations, CPG companies that are connected through social media will be able to reach their constituencies more directly and authentically.

Position 2, a social media and search engine marketing company, would agree entirely with Radian 6’s ideas.  Position 2 operates a blog and in one of their posts, they discussed how CPG companies are succeeding by establishing social media systems.  Not every company is fit for social media but most are.  Position 2 found that only 11% of CPG companies have neither Twitter nor Facebook.  Those CPG companies that are using social media have seen great success in their customer engagement, customer service, and overall sales.  Old Spice, a Proctor and Gamble brand, changed their image from a grandpa’s aftershave to a younger audience’s choice deodorant with a series of YouTube videos.  Through a social couponing site called Groupon, Unilever have increased their consumer base and sales.  It is safe to say at this point that for CPG companies, social media is a sink or swim scenario.  Those who have adopted it are getting leaps and bounds ahead of competition in the areas of customer service, brand awareness and loyalty, and transparency of the company.

 

-Pierce Gulley

 

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~ by goodpackagedconsumers on October 29, 2012.