This is a guest post by Cheryl Smithem founder of Charleston Public Relations and Design.
Social media has revolutionized how new food and beverage products are launched in addition to how we connect individually and personally. It has expanded the news horizon for traditional print and broadcast media, creating a 24 hour news cycle. And it has placed the ability to have one-to-one conversations with consumers squarely in the hands of brands.
Would you like a list of easy steps to build your new food business with social media? I will show you how a social media plan furthers your insight into how consumers respond to your product, understanding what food and beverage consumers likes and dislikes are about your category competitors and ways that will allow you to speak with your current and future customers.
The Top Social Media Sites
Understanding how to use the top social media sites will help you get to know your consumers better, get to know your competition better and "listen" to what people are saying about the food and beverage category you compete within. Unless you've been hiding under a rock, the primary channels today are:
Of these only Google+ is not currently open to brands and businesses. However these are not the only channels for social media. There are many others, however, for the purposes of extended relationship building; Facebook and Twitter are the most frequently used channels.
Using Twitter in a Food & Beverage New Product Launch
In this article we're going to discuss using Twitter to support your marketing goals. Twitter users are on average are more educated, more affluent and engaged. Because there is a special syntax to Twitter, some may find it more difficult to use. We won't go into all the best practices on using Twitter here because there are many tutorials across the web and here on food beverage @ about.com.
After you've created your profile, and begun to follow people, you can begin to develop relationships, talking with people via the network. Gradually, again using best practices, you can develop a good following. In this process, you'll want to be sure to have a smart phone enabled with social media apps, allowing you to Tweet on the go, posting photos to your Twitter stream, and to your website.
In the food & beverage market a food demo (a product tasting) will surely be in your new product launch plan to support your brand for the retail locations which carry your products. Twitter, because of its immediacy, is a great way to alert your potential customers to the retail location where you are and invite them to product demonstrations by your brand. Your retail partner will be delighted if you can pull in a crowd, during your demo, you'll boost your sales in that location, further cementing the bond with your retailer.
Read this Compendium of Digital Marketing Tips any food business can use.