Saturday 03 December 2016

Friday Five: Sharing Food Content Online: A Recipe for Success

Social media company Prollie analyzed more than 5,000 U.S. social media accounts from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Tumblr, and found that food and beverage is one of the most shared and frequently searched topics on social media. Get your brand on board to “feed” your audiences food content using the following recipe.

1. Yield

Before starting, it’s important to know what you want to get out of your recipe. Are you focusing on a single audience (cooking dinner for one?) or multiple audiences (hosting brunch for a group of friends, if you will?) Determine both the why and what you want to deliver. If your audience is talking about a particular holiday or point in time, such as Fourth of July, think about what your brand can contribute to engage with them. Food can be discussed a million ways but take the time to really understand what messages should be brought to the table.

2. Ingredients

Before you get started, compile current assets and identify what is needed. Do you have a database of recipes to tap into? A collection of photos? Helpful tips? Fun facts or statistics? What owned channels can you utilize? On social, we eat with our eyes so build content around visuals. If you don’t possess a particular ingredient – say a Fourth of July themed recipe with a photo – don’t let it stop you from tapping into the conversation. Curate content from other sources or encourage audiences to share their own resources.

3. Preparation

There is a well-known term in the cooking world called “mise en place,” which is a French term for “everything in its place.” Although the social space (and kitchen) can be unpredictable, there are clear benefits to taking the time to prep ahead. Create a content calendar of suggested posts in advance to utilize throughout a certain time-period but leave space and be ready to throw real-time content in. Just as in any recipe, sometimes it’s those last-minute additions that bring the “wow” factor.

4. Measure

Baking is a science. Without precise measurement of each ingredient, chocolate chip cookies would fall flat, cakes would collapse and recipes can turn into a free-for-all, rarely meeting expectations. The world of online engagement is no different. Social measurement is more than counting the number of tweets that featured a hashtag or the number of people that saw a post. It’s about trying something and measuring its effectiveness. Use metrics to determine alignment of strategic objectives and resonance along the way.

5. Cook it up

After all of the prep and measurement, the actual social engagement execution is where the pieces come together. This is the time to select a method to get the end result you want while evaluating the approach as you go and figuring out the best way to serve content to your audience. The best chefs constantly taste every element of a dish before plating and serving. Same goes here: see what’s working, evolve what isn’t, measure again, be nimble and adjust accordingly and don’t forget to season appropriately.

Recipes don’t always have to be followed to the letter – they can be viewed more as guidelines and thought-starters. Impart your brands’ special touches on every dish. Try substituting one ingredient for another. Take calculated risks. Listen to your audience. Trust insights and rely on proven results. These are the recipes for success.

How will you bring your brand to life online through food?

This post was compiled by Marissa Yennie and Diana Kelter.

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