Social Media Marketing for B2B

220-Year-Old Company King Arthur Flour Has the Recipe for Social Media Success

December 9th, 2010 2 Comments

 

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 webTwitter, 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):

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A383Ud4870Y]

Here a summary of what I extracted as the key ingredients of King Arthur Flour’s (KAF) social media success:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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”.

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2 Responses

  1. Stannie Holt says:

    Great blog post! I use a lot of King Arthur Flour and I never realized they were an SAP customer…. OR that they have such an effective social media strategy. Thanks for capturing Steve Cochran’s insights.

    After reading this post, I immediately went to check out the KAF Web site and found a typical exchange on one of their blog pages (slightly edited for length). That’s customer engagement in a nutshell!

    March 22nd, 2008 at 2:19 am
    I love this website and I love the staff. Thank you so much for sharing your family recipe for Easter pie. […] I love all of the family recipes as they are so special. I am a fairly new member but I read and print practically everything that is written. Aside from the recipes, kudos to your style of writing. It is like you are writing to me, your best friend. Keep up the good work. …
    – A King Arthur Flour Fan, Royce
    P.S. I live in a small rural town where King Arthur Flour has yet to [arrive]. Thank goodness for your website ordering store. […]

    [KAF blogger replies the same morning:]
    March 22nd, 2008 at 8:37 am
    Hi Royce: I AM writing to you! I’m writing to anyone out there who loves to bake. We’re all “virtual” friends. That’s the power of the Internet; we can connect without physically connecting. And kudos to you for trying new things in the kitchen; I hope you get to share Easter Pie sometime with your family or friends. […] In the meantime – stay tuned, I’ll be sharing many more baking adventures here. Happy Easter to you! [signed] PJ

    • Stannie:

      so nice to read your comment! After talking to Steve, I also became very fond of King Arthur Flour.
      Seems like a great company with a great product.

      Appreciate you taking the time to post,

      Natascha

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