Fresh Food

Beef Up Social Media and Build Brand Loyalty

Photograph: Shutterstock

It’s a virtual meat market out there, and those who know how to integrate social and digital marketing into their meat department messaging will come out on top. Social media plays a big role in influencing brand perception. It allows consumers to regularly interact with other followers and thought leaders to build the brand, create a public image and foster customer loyalty to get the sales the brand deserves.

Kent Harrison, vice president of marketing and premium programs of Tyson Fresh Meats, was recently part of a social media panel of experts at the 2019 Annual Meat Conference in Dallas. He advised that the most important strategy is to “augment and amplify.”

“It’s important that retailers not abandon other media messaging but learn how to dovetail social media with other strategies such as traditional media, signage and in-store elements,” he said. “Social media marketing has to be a part, but only a part, of a multifaceted consumer awareness and messaging campaign. Communicate eight times, eight different ways.”

Go where the consumers are

According to, 3.4 billion of the internet’s 4.2 billion users are active on social media. On average, people have 5.5 social media accounts and spend 116 minutes per day on social media. This makes the social media space a perfect platform for capturing a specific audience. But where to begin?

Social media comes in many shapes and sizes. The top platforms are YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter and WhatsApp. Currently, 73% of adults who say they use social media online or on their phones say they use YouTube, compared to 68% who use Facebook, 35% who use Instagram and 29% who use Pinterest, according to the Pew Research Center.

Harrison says that video is one of the most popular ways to communicate messaging because it translates into different languages well through subtitles and images and “tells a story.”

For example, the Open Prairie Natural Angus beef team shared the story of Shepperd Feeding Co., an independent ranch raising cattle for natural consumers. Another example includes Chairman’s Reserve Meats introducing a grilled pork chop recipe using four ingredients and beautiful imagery.  

Strategies for consumer engagement

When communicating to consumers, one of the top strategies is to keep it real. There’s a lot of noise out there and consumers are savvy. Be open and honest and they will begin to trust the brand if the brand provides what they’re looking for. Listen to and engage with the audience.

“Let them touch, feel and choose,” Harrison says.

Also, don’t always go at it alone. It’s a combined and coordinated effort, and when businesses team up, they can maximize their efforts to reach consumers by collaborating with retail partners who already have a presence on social media platforms. Tap into partners’ social channels to amplify messages. Even if there’s not a comprehensive partner marketing plan in place, ask partners to retweet, or to cross-post on Facebook to give communications an extra boost. Find great influencers and get out of their way.

Finally, speaking of plans—it’s essential to have one.  Come up with one to two meat content ideas per week that can fit into the marketing department’s strategy. Promote local favorites and do it often (weekly). Take photos, share product descriptions and cross promote with other departments (i.e., marinades or spices) and sell, sell, sell.

This post is sponsored by Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc.