King Arthur Flour Company, Inc. is a 220-year-old, 100% employee owned, flour company in Norwich, Vermont that has found the recipe for social media success. While the company has only 300+employees, their online marketing team has been reaching, engaging and converting people via the web, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for over three years.
Only this summer did they start an online community where King Arthur Flour afficionados can communicate around their passion of baking and cooking. A sample posting looks like this:
I learned about King Arthur Flour’s competency in the social media space at SAP’s 2010 Influencer Summit, where I happened to run into attendee Steve Cochran who works in IT for King Arthur Flour). I had seen him on stage at the summit and wanted to get his Twitter handle. After talking to him for only a few minutes, I was so taken by his passionate account of his company’s social media success that I ran to get my Flip camera to record the following video (2:43 minutes):
Here a summary of what I extracted as the key ingredients of King Arthur Flour’s (KAF) social media success:
- Have clear objectives: Steve stated that KAF ”wants to be the baking resource for their customers”. They then determined where their customers participate and developed the right channels.
- Provide relevant content: KAF helps their customers by providing new recipes, e.g. for Thanksgiving and Christmas, on all their channels. They also create videos that explain the manufaturing process and other topics of interest.
- Create engagement: KAF encourages the creation of consumer generated content. In the community, consumers talk about how they have used the recipes provided by KFA, share their own recipes, as well as pictures and videos of their baking creations.
- Set clear metrics and measure: For example, blogs have impression goals that are linked to lead conversion objectives. KAF now gets over 100,000 blog views in a single month and can link blog posts directly to an increase in sales.
- Enable sharing: KAF makes it easy to share blogs, discussions and recipes via Twitter and Facebook share buttons that are integrated into the website.
At the end, Steve could not have summed up better what is at the core of social media marketing success: “Think about what’s important to your customers”.