The fine chocolate industry cannot ignore the power of Social Media anymore.
Many chocolate companies still prefer to spend time perfecting their products than posting on Social Media. They don’t see it as an important stream of revenue worth investing on. The main reason is that there is no ROI (return on investment) that can be calculated. In fact, there is still no way to connect the number of followers, likes or comments to sales. A strong online presence is therefore never a priority for many fine chocolate brands.
Accounts used intermittently, irrelevant content, too much advertising and low engagement. Many companies don’t offer any appealing scenario to their potential followers. But underrating the importance of Social Media is the beginning of a long list of missed opportunities.
If chocolate professionals sticked the heads out of their laboratory, they would see a World full of people CONSTANTLY looking at their phone screen. Consumers are always online, they make purchases online and are now shifting from buying on websites to buying directly on Social Media platforms.
Chocolate companies can’t measure the conversion of engagement into sales. Being so attached to mathematics refrains them from taking advantage of the MANY opportunities that Social Media offers.
- it’s a FREE advertising tool.
- it’s the fastest way to resolve customer care’s issues.
- it’s the most visible place where to communicate product launches and general updates.
- it creates a community of loyal followers that can easily spread the enthusiasm about their favorite brands.
Many chocolate companies in 2016 still don’t know how to use the Social Media tool properly. The good news is that it doesn’t take a genius to build an online presence that make customers stick around. Even the least experienced person can still become a pro at Social Media for his/her company by remembering the following 4 guidelines.
Ditch the “ME” view
The most successful chocolate companies don’t use online platforms to show off. They use them to BUILD COMMUNITIES.
Consumers follow specific accounts online because they get some value from them. Either it be entertainment, education, feelings of belonging, curiosity. Social Media strategies are all about finding ways to make loyal and potential consumers stick around and feel part of a community. In order to accomplish this, chocolate companies MUST ditch the “ME” view where they think it’s all about them. They need to start wondering what their followers would like to see on their news feed instead.
Every time that it’s time to post a piece of content, companies should ask themselves:
- How is this post relevant to my followers?
- What do they get out of it?
- Why should they care?
The focus has to be on giving good reasons to online users to follow a company’s account. It’s a “YOU” point of view.
How to do that?
Share more than just your products
Online users get bored if a company only shares pictures of its products. Sales pitches and “Buy Now” invitations are not part of the YOU view. Followers want to be educated, entertained, aroused and intrigued.
Chocolate companies can share a variety of contents relevant to their followers. Some examples are:
- links to the latest news in the industry and interesting debates.
- educational articles on cacao and chocolate.
- images and videos of the behind the scenes of the production.
- ask questions about followers’ preferences.
Social Media accounts are not meant to push sales. They are meant to make people stick around. And when people stick around, that specific brand is always on their minds. So they are likely to choose that brand when the time for purchasing comes.
The type of content shared is not the only important part.
Commit to consistency
One key to Social Media success is consistency. Putting out relevant and REGULAR content is fundamental.
There is nothing that online followers despise more than accounts used intermittently. Companies that only post during high-peek seasons or special occasions show a lack of care and commitment towards their community. An egoistic ME point of view comes to the surface, and the chance of creating brand loyalty is lost.
The commitment has to be the same as in any relationship. Daily effort, daily care, daily love. Otherwise the partner leaves.
Retweet, reshare, repost
When a follower decides to show love for a brand, that love needs to be celebrated.
Chocolate companies should ALWAYS re-share a positive mention by a happy customer. Compliments, beautiful pictures, enthusiastic feedback. They can’t pass unnoticed. In fact, free advertising by customers is the best thing that can happen to a company online. Why not spread the word?
At the same time, customers like attention and recognition by the brands they admire and follow online. They expect an answer, a sign, a thank you when they tag their favorite companies. It’s only fair to show these enthusiastic customers the appreciation they deserve.
Do YOU like to follow chocolate companies on Social Media?
I did NOT get paid and did NOT receive any kind of favor for writing this article. These are my honest opinions at your service.