In CPG Brands, Marketing, Quick Bites, Social Media

How to win at social media marketing

As social media becomes a mission-critical channel for advertising to consumers, many brands are left wondering what the rules of the game are, let alone how to win.

Influencer marketing has become a normal part of the marketing mix for an estimated 70% of US companies, and 60% of Instagram users discover new products on the platform (source: emarketer, Brandwatch). The reason? It’s becoming harder to reach consumers through traditional means, and easier to target specific consumers with specific messaging.

But what is that messaging? NEXT is digging in. With the help of Suzy, we’ve just completed our second 800+ consumer study meant to understand who the “connected” (on social media) consumer is. What do they care about? What could they care less about? One question we asked was, “What advice would you give to food and beverage brands?” 857 people had something to say. Their suggestions fell into four types:

A recipe, a way to save money, info to make my life better.

Attractive photography, something that sparks my imagination.

Provide discounts or coupons.

This was the most common answer, by a factor of 10!

It’s not surprising that consumers want brands to be straight with them, but what was surprising was the degree of mistrust and anger that came through in the comments. Their appetite for transparency and authenticity was overwhelming. We read through all of these comments, and concluded that when it comes to truth-telling, consumers have five requests of CPG brands:

1. Be honest, and by that I mean, be truthful.

2. Be honest, and by that I mean, be authentic. Respect my intelligence.

3. Be honest, and by that I mean, be decent.

4. Be honest, and by that I mean, don’t rely on influencers.

5. Be honest, and by that I mean, be transparent about your values & actions.

While we can’t tell you all the rules of the social media marketing game, or even how to win, we can say for sure that consumers are asking for a little less spin, and a little more honesty.

The NEXT Data & Insights team is here to help you navigate the rapidly changing values of today’s connected consumer. Plus, see what all the buzz is about with our new market research surveys, perfect for small CPGs and growing brands.