Food Marketing and Social Media: Our 10 Best Practices
It is important for all brands to have a social media presence, and even more so for companies in the food industry, because all food-related content has incredible potential on social media platforms.
Food has the advantage of being very visually appealing and sensually stimulating. Social media is also a great source of information and inspiration for internet users looking for new products and recipes.
No less than 75% of foodies use Facebook or Instagram to help them decide what to eat, and 31% of people confirm that they use a recipe after having found it on Facebook (Digimind).
Users also like to join the conversation and share their discoveries. On Facebook alone, #food accounts for more than a billion interactions each month! As you can see, this hashtag is also very popular on other platforms.
To help you make the most of the opportunities that social media has to offer, we are sharing 10 great ways to get noticed.
1. Make sharing easy
The easiest way to do this is to ensure that your packaging is attractive, original and surprising. If you offer a range of products with a spectacular design, or an original shape, people will take it upon themselves to share a photo with their followers.
Particularly esthetic packaging can even become an integral part of people’s décor. Think about a pretty wine bottle, a coffee bag with an attractive illustration, or even a colourful recycled container used as a flowerpot. You can even inspire your customers by suggesting original ways to reuse your packaging.
Another way to encourage sharing is to invite internet users to create content with or related to your products , either with a contest or by offering a recipe that is so compelling they can’t stop themselves from sharing it with their friends. Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube are the perfect platforms for this.
2. Focus on the visual
In food, visuals are very powerful: a simple photo can make you hungry, and even salivate! Your visuals have to be attractive enough to inspire internet users and make them want to rush to the grocery store to get your product.
With digital photography, it is easier than ever to create beautiful, top-quality photos and videos without professional equipment. Not surprisingly, visual standards and user expectations are very high on social. So creating original content should be at the core of your strategy.
Particularly on Instagram, you must not forget the importance of a consistent, coherent feed, where the colours and style of your images match perfectly. This will allow you to strengthen your brand image and create a world around your products.
In short, it is better not to publish anything at all than to publish a photo that doesn’t present your product in its best light!
3. Be useful to consumers
When you help people and teach them something, you automatically increase their confidence in you and their appreciation of your brand.
So offer your followers original recipes, tools, nutritional tips, meal planning strategies or new ways to prepare food. You can also position yourself as the solution to other related consumer problems, such as the need to save time in the kitchen or impress guests when hosting.
4. Offer inspiring content
Here, the goal is to share content that stimulates people’s creativity and increases opportunities to use your product.
Show your followers various ways that your product can fit into their daily lives, suggest original uses and share ideas that will make them want to experiment with it.
It may be easier than you think to inspire consumers to integrate a product in a different and recurring way into their daily lives.
Wondering what format to use to present your inspiring content?
One of our favourites is the carousel, an incredibly versatile format that allows a great sense of creativity and generates an interesting engagement rate. It is perfect for both mobile and computer use. Bonus point: it is also available organically.
Here are a few examples :
- Present different products in a collection.
- Show one of your products from different angles, or prepared in different ways.
- Illustrate the various steps in a
- Tell a story (e.g., manufacturing process, journey of food from farm to plate, etc.)
5. Publish on Friday afternoon
Did you know that Friday afternoon is the best time of the week to post food content? It’s usually when people are looking for inspiration for their weekend meals. Many consumers also start to prepare their grocery lists for the next day.
Take the opportunity to post tantalizing photos and recipes. This type of content also works well on Saturday and Sunday, when people are more relaxed and have more time to try things out in the kitchen.
If you would rather post recipes during the week, make sure to offer simple, quick solutions for snacks, lunches and dinners.
6. Go behind the scenes
Obviously, you should present your products in their best light, but also use your space on social media to share other content that could interest your followers and make you more human.
Consumers like to feel part of the manufacturing process and discover the story behind a brand. Present the origins of your ingredients, your dedicated employees and the art of producing your recipes.
Also discuss your values, your mission, your environmental efforts and support of various causes. It is another way to keep the discussion going with your community and increase your brand capital.
7. Sound out your community
Thanks to social media, you can get real-time feedback to your content, ad messages, products and flavours. Take the opportunity to listen to what your clients have to say in order to better understand their needs. People like to feel that their opinion counts and that brands really care about them.
Stories are particularly useful for this, with surveys, votes and quizzes. You can also just ask a question when you write a post.
If you successfully develop a relationship of trust with your community, they will be happy to answer and help you when you need it.
8. Collaborate with influencers
Influence marketing remains very effective. You can get on it by collaborating with food industry influencers.
In Quebec and in Canada, chefs are very popular and enjoy significant credibility. So it could be interesting to associate yourself with one of them, or with any other industry-related personality, to benefit from their popularity and social capital.
You can also associate with micro-influencers, meaning influencers with less than 10,000 followers, who are very coveted by brands right now due to their high rate of engagement.
If developing such partnerships is too expensive, you can also simply send your products to influencers so they can try them and talk about them if they like them.
9. Post frequently
With social media, brands are trying to carve out a place for themselves in people’s daily lives and establish a certain closeness. If you speak to your community only once a month, it will be difficult to develop a relationship, because you risk being forgotten.
Social media is not a one-off communication tool to promote products or launch ad campaigns. As we have seen above, it is a space where you have to be generous and share inspiring and informative content. You have to find a way to stay in people’s minds.
Unfortunately, there is no specific number of posts that you should make each week. Instead, try to find a rhythm that works for you and that you can maintain without compromising the quality of your content.
10. Follow trends and seasons
Generally, people who consume a lot of social media content do it because they are curious and they are always looking for the newest thing, or recipe to try. This is why it is important to be inspired by trends and the news to capture their interest.
Likewise, when planning your content, don’t forget about holidays and the seasons. This will help you be more relevant to your target audience and close to their reality. For example, in the summer, offer recipes with seasonal ingredients or ideas for a successful picnic. At Christmas, encourage people to reinvent their traditions by including your product in their menu.
In short, now you know several ways to develop an effective social media content strategy. Never forget that even if it requires a lot of effort, social media is an incredible way to develop your relationships with consumers and their awareness with your brand.
Want to know more about how to use social media in food marketing? Contact us! We will be happy to discuss with you the best ways to promote your brand on these platforms.