Why do consumers follow food brands on social media? Maybe they simply enjoy consuming that brand’s products. But typically they become fans and engage with a brand because it fits into their lives and reflects who they are. A food brand’s social audience doesn’t need to see pictures of the products they’ve already seen in grocery stores; rather, they want to see content that resonates with their lifestyles. While skilled community managers know it’s important to understand their community members and include a mix of branded and unbranded content, food brands have their own set of best practices. Here are five ingredients for engaging social content for food brands.
1. Focus on Food Industry Trends (1 teaspoon)
In order for food brands to remain relevant, they should monitor online consumer conversations and join larger industry conversations in an authentic way. On a smaller scale, both Facebook and Twitter share trending topics on a daily basis. Food brands should keep an eye out for industry-specific hashtags — for example #MeatlessMonday and #TastyTuesday — that may present opportunities to engage with influencers. After gauging whether or not there’s an appropriate tie-in between a trend and the brand, food marketers can create content that adds to the conversation.
2. Take an Honest Approach (1 tablespoon)
With more people becoming interested in the farm-to-table movement, it’s never been more important for food brands to be transparent about where their products come from. Being open and sharing content based on this approach will create an honest environment that community members will grow to trust.
3. Go Beyond the Table (¼ cup)
When getting to know a brand’s community, it’s important to identify where fans and followers are consuming their products — there might even be an opportunity to ask them directly. Recognizing that consumption of a product can happen anywhere — outdoors, school, work, etc. — brands will be able to develop content that speaks to this. For instance, pairing the product with activities the audience is interested in will show that the brand understands them.
4. Perfect Pairings (½ cup)
Food is often tied to moments of togetherness. Brands can connect emotionally with their communities by creating content that reflects the life moments fans and followers will identify with. Whether this is a picnic at the beach or the perfect Mother’s Day brunch, social posts can show how the product is natural addition to these fun and special events. The community will associate these moments with the brand, further strengthening their affinity.
5. Showcase Your Community (1 cup)
Food brands should closely read the wall posts and comments from its community members, and look at the photos they share. With their permission, all of this is fair game for great content. Sharing consumer-submitted stories, images or quotes is also a good way to thank fans for engaging with the brand. Showing social communities that the brand is listening and wants to share their content in turn humanizes the brand, making fans and followers feel more connected and invested.
Which food brands do you think are creating the most engaging social content?
Image credit: David Oliver