The Importance Of Social Media For Food Brands

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The Importance Of Social Media For Food Brands

We can safely assume that the best food and drink social media online marketing campaigns make their audiences hungry for more – but that shouldn’t just be in the rumbly tummy way. The ambitious food brands increasingly need to tap into a hunger for great content, particularly when you consider the opportunities that exists. Some 208 million Instagram users have posted the hashtag #food since 2010, and there are many more staggering examples like this.

Let’s face it, when it comes to grub, food and nosh, we British are up for it. We are a greedy, highly suggestible and easily tempted down the wrong dietary routes by images and aromas of the treats that we love. We drive past advertising boards festooned with indulgent snacks at 50 times their normal size or watch a work colleague devouring a delicious-looking lunch, and immediately want it for ourselves. And let’s be honest we all suffer from menu envy!

None the less the ability to make an audience feel hungry should be just the tip of your lovingly drizzled, tastefully arranged artisan dish.

Provoking An Emotional Response With Social Media

We can be better than that – and frankly, if food and drink brands can’t make their products look good on social media, then they should quit altogether. There’s much more to a good social media strategy than just making people hungry through blatant, mouth-watering food porn. Not that there is anything wrong with fantastic food photography.

Social media channels should create an enduring emotional response. They should convey an immediate sense of what it’s like to enjoy a food and beverage brand’s products, but also invite users into a unique world with many benefits. A strong social media presence should reach out with interesting, interactive content that genuinely engages target audiences and invites them to get meaningfully involved. It should be a call to action (CTA), something as simple as a “pick your favourite flavour” online vote gets people engaged.

Be A Human On Social Media

Too often food brands are faceless corporations that are distant from their audiences. People want to connect with individuals rather than corporate behemoths, and social media marketing offers the perfect way to do that. The benefits of this person-to-person approach are very clear – your brand becomes humanised and softened, while an opportunity is created to market yourself directly and singularly to potential customers who are already interested in what you do.

The Best Food And Drink Marketing Strategy

Often considered a time-consuming effort with not enough pay-off and a waste of time, instead social media channels should be considered a key if not essential part of the food and drink marketing and communications strategy – an extension of your online business that’s just as important as your window display, billboard advertising or reputation.

Social media has the power to quickly convert curious observers into your committed brand ambassadors.

Of course, positive and literal word of mouth remains vital to the fortunes of food and beverage brands – no amount of slick marketing can replace your best friend saying,” Try this, it’ melts in your mouth” – but perceptions are changing, and social media is democratising content like never before. Bringing new food brands to the masses.

It’s helping to make your products real, accessible and authentic. It’s presenting a mirror reflecting exactly what your audience looks like and how it consumes your products and where.

Who Are These Superhero’s?

More so, social media is increasingly placing the consumer at the heart of the experience – think of Tesco’s “Food Love Stories” campaign with recipes from members of the public that invite you to “read the stories behind the ingredients”. These sidestep the implausibly perfect dishes that were once unveiled by grinning celebs in transparently fake family scenarios (we all know who they are), and replace them with attainable, simple recipes that can be quickly rustled up by the average Joe or Joan. Such campaigns have the further benefit of encouraging other would-be amateur chefs to get involved and share their concoctions online. Personally, I have a pile of these recipes and often threaten my partner to cook them one evening.

Some Interesting Social Media Insights

Let’s not forget that social media marketing offers significant opportunity for specifically targeted campaigns based on interests, demographics, geography and much more. That means products being precisely aimed at the most likely buyers rather than mass targeting which inevitably falls short. Social media offers true money-can’t-buy insights and advertising.

How To Promote Your Food Brand With Social Media

So where do we go from here? The next step for food and beverage brands is the leveraging of “big data” which will allow each to better understand when its target audience should be reached out to. After all, timing can be everything in terms of predicting when buyer behaviours are most likely to occur.

That’s not to say that food and beverage brands should eschew spontaneity – reacting in a natural way and participating in organic online discussions makes your social presence far more credible and welcoming to your new users. It’s just such an approach that has significantly helped the likes of Ella Mills and Joe Wicks to harness a huge online following.

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