Meat and poultry companies have limited time and resources to produce content to promote their brands via social media, so that content needs to be engaging and relevant.

Hilary Gerard, Cargill retail beef brand manager, and Kent Harrison, Tyson Fresh Meats vice president of marketing and premium programs, were among the panelists during the March 4 session, “Social Media Now: Strategies for Customer Engagement” at the 2019 Annual Meat Conference, held in Dallas, Texas.

Users of social media get the best experience when the best content is provided, Gerard said, so it is much more important that meat industry members focus more on quality than quantity.

“My rule of thumb is do fewer, do better,” Gerard said.

“We need to invest more in quality content, great videos and great photography,” she said, adding that if you don’t do that, “you’re wasting time and energy creating things that people won’t see.”

Knowing the social media platforms

During the session, a slide was shown that listed in order the popularity of various social media platforms. That order was: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter and WhatsApp.

However, the same content can often be shared through multiple channels and potentially reach more consumers.

“The content itself still takes precedence over the platform,” Harrison said.

Harrison pointed out that a lot of the social media content Tyson has produced is “used in an integrated effort.” For example, a video could be posted in YouTube, but then repurposed through Facebook or Twitter.

But not all social media platforms are conducive to sharing the same content, Gerard noted. What is applicable to Instagram may not necessarily work with other platforms.

Kent Harrison, Tyson Foods, says social media needs to be used "in an integrated effort." (Roy Graber)

Consistency in messaging important

Social media program managers not only have to deal with different platforms, they also need to choose between creating content for organic use and paid content.

While many companies use a blend of both organic and paid content, Harrison said it is important that the messages shared via both methods are  consistent.

“Make sure what you say is honest, truthful, authentic, and that the consumers can say they trust in that brand,” he said.