Social media has come a long way in the food industry. A communication platform that was once used primarily for personal use is now a professional engagement tool for B2B food ingredient marketers. As more B2C food manufacturers adopt social media into a marketing channel for their products, it provides an opportunity for B2B food ingredient companies to engage with their target audience in new ways.
In our three-part series on the social media effect on B2B marketing, we will first explore the growth of B2B social media use in the food industry and how social media is influencing B2B food ingredient marketing. In part two of our series, we’ll look at who is utilizing social media in the B2B food ingredient space and how they’re utilizing the various platforms. To wrap up the series we will show you an integrated marketing model your company can use to launch and maintain a successful social media presence.
In the last five years, the use of social media in B2B food ingredient marketing has grown significantly. In 2014, the top two platforms used by B2B food ingredient marketers were LinkedIn and Twitter. We will continue to see these as the top two platforms in 2015, however, Facebook, YouTube and Google+ will also show some significant growth and provide additional platforms B2B food ingredient marketers can use to extend their brand visibility and engage with their target audience.
The rapid growth of B2B food ingredient social media use has changed the way B2B decision makers make a purchase. Because of all the information and resources food ingredient companies are routinely sharing on social media, 74% of decision makers use LinkedIn when making a purchase decision and 42% use Twitter. In addition to B2B social media influencing decision makers, 81% turn to blogs for assistance with their purchasing decisions.
As a communication platform that is ongoing—24 hours a day, 7 days a week—social media has become a virtual trade show for the B2B food industry. Establishing social media channels as part of your B2B food ingredient marketing communications plan extends the visibility of your brand and messaging, and provides another platform to engage with your target audience.
In part two of our B2B social media for food ingredient marketers series, we will discuss who the key influencers are that food ingredient companies should be targeting on social media and how to engage with them on the various platforms. Until then, we would love to hear your thoughts on the growth of B2B social media in food ingredient marketing in the comments below.