Social media - the potential and the pitfalls
Manufacturers and retailers are continuing to use social media to market new products and connect with consumers. In this month's management briefing, Jonathan Thomas looks at how and why the likes of Facebook and Twitter are being used - and the potential and the problems of the medium.
Despite concerns over returns or on the ability of social media to reach a mass audience like other forms of communications, the food industry is increasing its use of sites like Facebook and Twitter to market their brands or connect with consumers.
At the brand level, many leading social media campaigns fall into one of the following two categories: to support a new product launch and to assist with marketing and promotional activity.
The world's retailers are increasing their use of social media to promote offers and interact with consumers. However, shoppers also use networks to interact with each other, which can benefit business but is also eroding price as a weapon of competitive advantage.
Social media is likely to assume ever-greater significance within the global food industry but, writes Jonathan Thomas, there is still uncertainty among marketers over how to make the most of the phenomenon.
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