“Beef Now”In the Japanese Twitter culture, “now” is the operative word. Many tweets end with “now” to create the sense of timeliness and urgency. USMEF is riding this wave with its “American Beef Now” initiative designed to demonstrate the popularity of U.S. beef among Twitter users. Consumers will tweet “American Beef Now” and the location of the restaurant where they are dining on U.S. beef, helping to drive other consumers to these destinations. Based on their number of followers and influence displayed, USMEF-Japan will periodically select tweeters to receive one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of American beef as a prize. To support the campaign, USMEF-Japan is running a list of restaurants that serve U.S. beef on its website to serve as a resource for interested tweeters. “‘American Beef Now’ will encourage diners to try U.S. beef,” said Hijikata. “And when their friends read the tweets, they will see that someone they trust is enjoying and publicly announcing that they are eating it, which supports both the image of U.S. beef and the restaurant offering it on its menu.”
“American Beef Go! Go!” CampaignUSMEF is not putting all of its new media eggs in the Twitter basket. To help drive traffic to its website, USMEF-Japan recently conducted the “American Beef Go! Go!” campaign to provide education about U.S. beef in an entertaining format. More than 10,000 consumers participated in the campaign. Visitors to the USMEF website can acquire basic knowledge about American beef and earn “stamps” as they demonstrate knowledge about the safety, flavor and other positive attributes of the product. Participants will be eligible for prize drawings including one kilogram packages of U.S. beef and popular cooking utensils. Through the first three months of 2012, U.S. beef exports to Japan were up 10 percent in value ($194 million) compared to 2011, while volume dipped 7 percent to 29,695 metric tons (65.5 million pounds).
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