Beef Council captures social media buzz

May 17, 2013
by WLJ

The proof, they say, is in the pudding—or in this case in the Twitter feed, Pinterest and Facebook postings. During the first week of May Beef Month, activity on the South Dakota Beef Industry Council’s (SD- BIC) social media sites more than doubled. That’s good news to SDBIC’s Briana Burgers, who is heading up the organization’s online communication efforts. It’s also good news to beef producers, who want to see an impact made on the millennial population.

“Our focus on social media is directly linked to an important part of the council’s strategic plan to target the millennial generation—the 18 to 35 year olds,” says Burgers, who also serves as SDBIC nutrition assistant and is a millennial herself. “They are the future of our industry and the consumers we need to educate.”

Not only is reaching people in this age group critical to the success of the beef industry, says Burgers, but it’s also pushing the industry to communicate in new ways. “Millennials are not sitting down and turning on the evening news for their information,” says Burgers. “They are referencing their smartphones, Facebook and Twitter, and so that is where we need to be.”

It’s also important, she says, to understand the role each of the social media sites can play in educational and marketing efforts—and take advantage of their unique strengths. “Individuals who seek out Twitter don’t have much time,” she explains.

“They want to scroll quickly through their Twitter feed, read facts and walk away feeling like they learned something.” In response, Burgers is posting brief facts about a wide range of beef-related issues, including Beef Quality Assurance, beef nutrition, cooking tips, or SDBIC programs.

On Pinterest, the online photo-sharing community, SDBIC is posting beef recipes with photographs. “We want to keep people excited about cooking with beef, and so it’s important to be continually introducing new recipes and ways to prepare beef,” says Burgers. SDBIC’s Facebook page is a tool to share photographs of recipes and SDIBC events as well as socializing with beef lovers around the country and world.

The Facebook page is also the anchor for SDBIC’s Mobile Text Club, providing an opportunity for consumers to enroll for free and receive text messages informing them of current promotions on beef at local Hy- Vee grocery stores and also as a means to enter special contests. For example, during May, Mobile Text Club members can enter drawings on any of the council’s social media to win tickets to Minnesota Twins games.

“We’re very excited to see the growth in use of our social media sites and to see their impact,” says Burgers, pointing to a recent incident involving Twitter and the council’s Team BEEF program which supports everyday athletes with information about the importance of including lean beef in an active lifestyle. “I sent out a Tweet about Team BEEF to the morning news anchors on a local TV station,” explains Burgers. “They instantly replied that they’d love to be a part of Team BEEF.” Burgers responded by mailing the duo Team BEEF jerseys, which they wore on the morning newscast as they spoke positively about the program. “That’s just one example,” she says, “of the power that lies within social media.”

To link to all of SDBIC’s social media sites, as well as discover additional information about council events and other beef-related information, go to SDBIC’s redesigned website at — WLJ