A Marketer's Lens By Danette Amstein
Danette Amstein is a managing principal for Midan Marketing - a full-service agency that solely focuses on supporting the meat industry.

Social media reviews can help meat processors win B2B customers

(The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the author.)

I have been thinking a lot lately about word-of-mouth and the need for the meat industry to lean into the social space where our customers and consumers are hanging out. If you don’t have a strategy for communicating in the social spaces, it is time to identify opportunities to effectively connect in this arena. Why is this important? Because you are already being talked about there.

In the meat industry we are very familiar with negative word-of-mouth; food safety recalls and angry activists immediately come to mind.

But have you stopped to think about the incredible power of positive word-of-mouth? 

Don’t scowl and think “that’s only for B2C.”  It’s not. B2B customers today progress more than 70% of the way through the decision-making process before ever engaging a sales representative. Odds are business prospects start with your website and migrate to customer reviews. Amazon and Yelp have trained us to look at reviews before making purchases in our personal lives and that is becoming true on the business side as well.

Of course, word-of-mouth is not new, but it’s spreading more quickly than ever; word-of-mouth has gone social. Authors Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin claim that word-of-mouth influences 90% of purchases. I agree. A buyer Googles your company name and adds the word “reviews” after it. Or they shoot a message to a LinkedIn connection asking a specific question about you, your company or your products. Plus, more and more businesses are using Facebook and Instagram to share their story and that gives others easy access to tag and comment, propagating their thoughts about you too.

The impact of positive reviews is huge. We all have a strategy in place to handle negative comments. But what you are purposefully doing to generate and spread positive feedback?

Start by thinking about what sets your company or brand apart.

I don’t think I have ever had a conversation or read a review that claims a product is “perfectly adequate.” I have, however, read a lot from customers glowing about superior, memorable and unique products and services.

While negative reviews can make me take a right turn and look elsewhere for something, gushing reviews are likely to propel me toward a purchase.

If you haven’t stopped to really consider what your marketing advantage is, it’s time to discover what makes you better, different or more unique than your competitors. Basically, what makes you stand out is what will get your customers talking about you in all the right ways.

The proverbial “grapevine” is alive and well (it’s just digital now), and it’s an incredibly powerful marketing tool. How are you using it?


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