Identifying an Opportunity in the Social Space
American Crystal Sugar Company was ready to consider social media as part of their communication mix, but they wanted to be sure they were doing so strategically. Their primary focus areas were recruitment and sharing their commitment to the communities they serve, through their community roots program. Onsharp recommended starting with digital marketing discovery, which compared their digital footprint with 3 peers/competitors to better understand how their market looked in the digital space.
The discovery project made their digital marketing priorities clear. While American Crystal had a company page on LinkedIn, it wasn’t active or optimized. And they knew they weren’t taking advantage of the opportunity to connect and converse with a large and diverse social audience. The discovery also made it clear that there were opportunities to share their story on Facebook. For both channels, the discovery provided good context to create a vision for what success would look like.
Building a Strategic Presence
Next, Onsharp recommended developing a social media strategy guide outlining a strategic plan to reach their goals. The guide provides clear direction for how to be active on social media. It defines what content to publish and articulates goals for post frequency and community growth. To prepare for the launch of the social media strategy, Onsharp also provided recommendations for optimizing the LinkedIn company page and creating a Facebook page.
When the social media strategy guide was delivered, Vice President of Administration at American Crystal, Lisa Borgen, said, “This is great. I am convinced that this is key to moving forward and that you are the partners to help us do it.” American Crystal was ready to move forward with the social media strategy, but recognized they didn’t have the in-house resources for implementation. They turned to Onsharp to help get the program going.
Starting in March 2015, American Crystal engaged Onsharp for a monthly social media management program. Onsharp works with American Crystal to plan and post content for their social media accounts and ensures that the program is working toward the goals outlined in the social media strategy.
Seeing the Impact
Since the implementation of the social media program, American Crystal Sugar Company has seen more recruitment activity, an increase in social media, and steady growth in their social media community sizes.
- LinkedIn – Grown from 643 to over 1,200 followers
- Facebook – From no presence to over 5,000 likes
- Website Careers Page – Reduced bounce rate from 10.56% to 4.48%
American Crystal Sugar Company
American Crystal Sugar Company is an agricultural cooperative specializing in the production of sugar and agri-products. American Crystal is owned by 2,750 shareholders/growers who raise approximately one-third of the nation’s sugar beet acreage in the Red River Valley of Minnesota and North Dakota. As the largest beet sugar producer in the United States, the company produces and sells about 15 percent of America’s finest quality sugar. American Crystal operates sugar factories in Crookston, East Grand Forks, and Moorhead, Minnesota; Drayton and Hillsboro, North Dakota. The company’s technical services center and corporate headquarters are also located in Moorhead.
- Digital Marketing Discovery
- Social Media Strategy Guide
- Monthly Social Media Management