Pet food brands must gratify social media super leaders

Among pet food consumers, certain high volume social media users have an outsized influence on public opinion of a brand.

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photo by Zinkevych, Bigstock.com
photo by Zinkevych, Bigstock.com

Among pet food consumers, certain high volume social media users have an outsized influence on public opinion of a brand, said Larine Urbina, vice president of communications for Tetra Pak, in a video from Petfood Forum. Pet food brands need to tend to these “super leaders,” and make them feel like individuals, especially when they are disgruntled. Catering to an angry super leader can turn an outspoken critic into a brand booster.

What is a social media super leader?

“If we think about the connected consumers, super leaders are the ones who are the most engaged and spend the most time on line,” she said. “They’re the ones that are really out there engaging with brands. They have very high expectations of brands as well. If they post a question of social media, they expect to get a response. They expect brands to treat them as a really special individual, rather than just one of many. They are really driving a lot of behaviors that we’re seeing out there. And they’re also most likely to share their opinions. They’re also trusting their friends and family, people like them, much more than any traditional source, advertising, even media. They are very influential, like I said, and they wield a lot of power.

Who are super leaders?

“The connected consumer may or may not be a millennial,” she said. “Many millennials are connected, but there are other generations, so it spans a lot of age ranges. When we talk about the connected consumer, a lot of those X-ers really come in. There are a lot of X-ers, and I like to think of myself as one, that behave a lot like millennials. I am very connected and I am doing a lot of research, sharing my opinions and experiences of products.”

How can a pet food brand identify a super leader?

“There’s not a list out there of super leaders,” she said. “[They can be found by] truly paying attention to your channels, who is reaching out to you. A lot of times social media managers will see the same name pop up over and over again. Those are your super leaders in most cases. We’ve got to make sure that we’re taking care of those guys. We’re really answering their questions, engaging with them whenever we can. And ensuring that they don’t feel alienated in any way. And responding to the good and the bad. A lot of brands have a tendency to ignore negative comments, but that’s really a way to win a true friend.”

 

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