Facebook users have hit the 900m mark. The number of active Twitter users is expected to reach 250m by the end of 2012. More than one trillion viewings took place on YouTube in 2011, with over 70 hours of video being uploaded every minute as of May 2012.
Food manufacturers and retailers are using these social networks for marketing and other purposes, but face many of the same challenges confronting other verticals says a management briefing by just-food, which publishes online resources for the industry.
Social media has changed how brands engage with consumers and the latest management briefing from just-food looks at how manufacturers and retailers are using the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
“Companies are taking to social media with the primary aim of seeking greater levels of engagement with their customers. Furthermore, the perception exists in many quarters that businesses not using social media risk missing out on an increasingly powerful branding and promotional opportunity,” writes briefing author Jonathan Thomas.
just-food’s four-part briefing includes analysis on why social media is now an integral part of marketing strategies, the potential of using networks to enhance brand communication but also the challenges manufacturers and retailers face.
The briefing looks at how brands use social media from supporting new product launches to assisting with marketing and promotional activity.
Retailers are also using social media to involve customers in the promotion of products and are recognising social media users are highly likely to chat to others about in-store experiences, products and promotions.
“One major effect of the advent of social media is that consumers have recognised they have a voice of their own, as well as an audience for their viewpoints,” Thomas says.
However, the briefing argues there is still uncertainty among marketers over how to make the most of social media. Surveys claim there is not a clear consensus about how best to utilise social media and there is the problem of how to measure the return of on investing in social media campaigns.
“Many businesses are still uncertain as to how to use social media for maximum advantage. There are misperceptions among business and marketing personnel about the role social media should play,” Thomas says.
The briefing features exclusive comment from brand-owners including Unilever, retailers like Sainsbury’s and social media analysts at consultants eSocialMedia and Foviance.
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