How Social Should Your Brand Be?

There’s nothing more social than food. It is a daily unifier for families, friends, co-workers and even strangers. Both connector and barrier breaker, food has broken into the biggest social circle of all: social media. Today, consumers can’t help themselves from snapping, tweeting, tumbling and posting about food and many of their food choices are driven by what their peers or followers are sharing. Food industry professionals are just as invested as they research purchase decisions through social media with 74% relying on LinkedIn, 42% call on Twitter and 81% depending on insights from blogs. 1 Despite this natural connection, food companies haven’t been quick to embrace all the various social media platforms (see below). The heat is on for corporations who are competing to reach and target consumers, especially social media savvy Millennials. Now is the time to do a little social media climbing.

Food + Social —interesting stats:

  1. 91% of B2B companies are using LinkedIn but only 81% use Facebook and 22% Instagram, despite being one of the most food friendly platforms.2
  2. 32% of all brand mentions on Twitter are food and drink brands. That is higher than clothing, accessories, technology, retail and entertainment.3
  3. Currently only 48.8% of all brands are on Instagram but that number is expected to climb to 70% in 2017.4
  4. Beverages, candy and adult beverages are the most mentioned on social media with Coca Cola generating 46% of total beverage mentions.5
  5. Companies aren’t doing a great job on responding to tweets, whether positive or negative. If the brand name is tagged in a negative tweet, companies only answer 29% of the time; positive tweets elicit a surprising 23% response while negative tweets that fail to mention the company’s Twitter handle generate zero response.6
  6. 75% of diners admit to choosing a restaurant based on social media recommendations and 41% admit to posting their food photos while still at the restaurant.7

Social Media Winners—top performers:

  • Taco Bell – Whether it’s Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter, Taco Bell plays it right. When Twitter launched its poll feature, the taco giant immediately created two polls: one about its Dorito Loco Taco and another soon after about a college football game accumulating more than 26,000 votes. The brand capitalizes on oft-followed celebrities who gush about their taco cravings creating star-studded, brand ambassadors.
  • Mc Donald’s – Offering coupons when clicked on or letting customers know when iconic favorites return (Shamrock Shake anyone?), the hamburger giant uses video and mouthwatering images on Instagram that make us hungry. And if you’ve ever visited Hamburger University, the walls are covered with art inspired by the Golden Arches which energize their Instagram page as well. With almost two million followers, Mickey D’s social game is strong.
  • Ben and Jerry’s – The always cool and hip brand took to Snapchat to introduce their latest Core flavors. Ben and Jerry’s knows how to use social media to its advantage cultivating a community of followers on Instagram and Snapchat while staying true to their mission and values. Their recent hashtag #CaptureEuphoria generated thousands of posts, many that didn’t even mention ice cream but tagged the brand.
  • Post Foods – To bolster a soggy cereal market, Post Foods used Snapchat’s new “Snap Ads Between Friends” feature to launch a new Honey Bunches of Oats campaign this September. Followers were asked to create their own version of the cereal brand’s ad for a chance to win $10,000.
  • Heineken – The beer brand teased loyal followers with cropped “snaps” of bands they might be hosting at Coachella. Consumers that guessed the right band received advanced notice of scheduled acts and Heineken cultivated brand loyalty by appealing to the consumer’s need to be part of the “cool kids.” Lesson to be learned: exclusivity wins.
  • Coca-Cola – Soda king, Coca Cola ranks #1 brand on social media for reach and awareness but ranks 61st for brand passion. Red Bull and Mountain Dew rank higher in brand passion possibly indicating that too broad of a target market doesn’t inspire a passionate following.8
  • Skittles is tied with Budweiser for first place in social ranking of all brands.9 Their quirky personality is played up across Twitter and com takes you straight to their tumblr page candied with interactive, humorous content.We’re ready to socialize – follow us on LinkedIn.Sources:
    2. Ibid.
    5. Social Media Industry Report 2016, Food and Beverage Brands, NetBase.
    7. Zagat survey:
    8. Social Media Industry Report.
    9. Ibid.