A study conducted by a market research firm came up with interesting information pertaining to natural food brands’ social media strategies. Because one-third of healthy eaters follow their favorite brands on social media, natural foods companies are finding new ways to reach their consumer base.
What can natural foods companies with successful social media campaigns teach us about increasing engagement through social platforms? Here are examples of natural food brands’ social media marketing strategies that have been implemented to reach a wider customer base.
Whole Foods is both a supermarket chain and a natural foods brand, with its own line of organic natural foods. When Whole Foods devised their social media campaign, their marketing team made some significant discoveries. Their customer base already knew the benefits of eating all-natural foods and didn’t need to be sold on a natural lifestyle. Instead of focusing on selling, Whole Foods turned to its social marketing. They used Twitter to add value to their customers’ lives by providing informative content. In fact, 60% of Whole Foods’ tweets and the majority of their Facebook posts are recipes with photos.
Other natural food brands can provide valuable information that consumers need. Topics on how their foods can help people with certain medical conditions and information on food preparation safety can provide unique value to the consumer. Sourcing of ingredients and information about quality control are other topics that are likely to engage healthy eaters.
Natural foods aren’t all about scientific facts and ingredient lists. Having fun with your products is a great way to improve natural food brands’ social media marketing strategies.
An excellent example of a creative strategy was Dole’s 2012 “Go Bananas” campaign. The brand encouraged consumers to incorporate bananas into their lives every day. Dole posted different ways to use and enjoy bananas every day for a full year, including everything from using a banana peel to polish leather shoes to eating bananas instead of chewing nicotine gum.
Not only was the campaign lighthearted and fun, it was structured so that it would have a constant presence on social media. It also raised awareness of the value of the product among consumers. The content drew on the “life hacks” trend in social media, making it highly shareable.
Everyone knows that contests are a great way to shine a spotlight on your product. With the viral effect of social media, it has become even more important. In fact, in a study of 500 people who identified as “healthy snackers,” 38% said they have received a free product from following a natural food brands’ social media.
Megafood, an all-natural supplement brand, held a Whole Food Inspiration contest. This contest encouraged customers to share their favorite recipes using whole foods seasonal fruits and vegetables on social media with the hashtag #wholefoodinspiration. Users who did so were entered into a drawing to win a prize pack of Megafood products and a Vitamix.
Because natural foods can be pricier and harder to come by than other brands, offering free samples and engaging customers in creative contests can be an effective tool for natural food brands’ social media strategy.
Smart marketers know that selling a product is more about selling a lifestyle. Chobani executives tapped into that strategy when they began their social media efforts by paying close attention to what their customer base was engaging with on social media. When they saw natural food recipes trending on Pinterest and Instagram, they jumped onboard. Doing so helped them become the first national yogurt brand to have a presence on the two platforms. They took advantage of the increased popularity of using yogurt as a sour cream replacement in recipes to build a loyal following.
Chobani also began tailoring their marketing content to fit the nature of these social media outlets by creating “pinnable” images of photographs of foods created using their product. They also mastered this technique by adding searchable keywords in the descriptions.
Coming in through the side door of your customers’ other lifestyle interests to plan your social media marketing strategy is a great way to enter consumers’ heads and provide the content they want. Raising the quality level of your product’s visual presence on crowded social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram can give your brand the competitive edge.
As we know from Facebook’s recent news feed algorithm changes, people are looking for a more human connection on their social media feeds. Providing that personal experience for your customers is a great way to stay on their radar.
Chipotle is known for being highly responsive to customers’ comments and brand mentions on social media. This makes their customer base feel heard and valued. Chobani also understands the power of connection, and frequently showcases social media users’ Instagram photos on their own feed.
Whole Foods took a slightly different approach to giving their brand a more human side. They encouraged their individual stores to create their own social media accounts to engage with customers on a local level. This sort of engagement gives a more human face to a big company and allows for a broader reach on social platforms.
There is much to be learned from others’ successes. Understanding other natural food social media marketing can help us build our own effective social marketing strategies.
Contact us to find out how we can help you build your social media marketing strategy using the Five Be’s, and also help you with your social media analytics and consulting and training.