A company would be crazy not to use some form of social media, according to Roger Piffer, e-commerce marketing director of J.S.B. Industries, Chelsea, MA. Responsible for PR, lead generation and web development, he has created positions for the company’s Muffin Town, Aesop’s Bagels, Madeline’s and Smart Choice brands with the help of social media. In this exclusive Q&A session, he describes working with Pinterest, Tumblr and other new Web resources.
Baking & Snack: What basic design rules for websites should bakeries and snack food manufacturers follow?
Roger Piffer: Design a keyword-centric, photo- and info-driven website that will be seen and formatted correctly by all devices (iPad, smartphones, tablets, laptop, desktop etc.). In short, never use Flash.
What measures can a bakery take to qualify the traffic on its site?
Using paid or free analytics services that can track, analyze and qualify all incoming and outgoing traffic on your site. It does not matter how they get to your site. As long as they see your brand, it’s all good.
How can baking and snack food companies decide if social media is right for them?
Social media, if used correctly, can be a great source for networking for any type of company. We use it for company news, brand awareness, nutritional news, employee recruitment, community involvement, customer service, special promotions and direct contact to potential clients.
What value does social media have for wholesale bakeries and snack food companies? How can the higher-ups be convinced it’s worth the company’s time?
In today’s technology-, gadget-, smartphone-driven world, you be crazy not to be part of it. Ninety percent of customers and clients use social media in some way.
Which social media outlets are the best fit for wholesale bakeries and snack food manufacturers?
Using us as an example, we use Tumblr as our blog that is connected to our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. We have found that 40% of website traffic is generated by Facebook and Pinterest.
How can a baking company use Pinterest for business purposes?
We use Pinterest as way to promote our business divisions, online businesses, community involvement events, anything cool our company is involved via images. Our page is at pinterest.com/muffintown.
We get excellent response every time we post anything new. Pinterest allow us direct links back to our website, which is a great feature.
What are some pitfalls to avoid when delving into social media?
Be selective in who you add to your network. Target the demographic that is your consumer and potential client. My only advice is to be knowledgeable on how these social media accounts work before going into it fullsteam; have a strategy.
How does a company avoid oversaturating their online audience? Are certain platforms more forgiving in that respect?
Never oversaturate anything they will block or suspend you if you spam. Use common sense. I try to post something two to three times a day in peak hours. There is not one platform that allows you to be aggressive without you losing your account.
What are the advantages one person on staff dedicated to such efforts? Or is should all team members play a role and why?
Companies that have a budget for this have teams. For smaller companies, it is best if one or two well-trained employees do it.
What are the measurements for success of an online and social media campaign?
Sales, traffic to your websites, brand awareness and customers talking about your product.
How can a company translate follows and likes into tangible results?
There are specific tools like HubSpot, Sprout Social, Lithium and others that can actually measure your social media ROI.