Why food business owners can’t afford to ignore social media

In the ever-changing world of social media, there always seems to be a hot new platform, a new trend and new clever ways for brands to connect with their audience online.

One aspect of social media that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon is the trend for taking (and sharing) photos of what you eat. In a nutshell (see what we did there), if you run a food business – a market stall, restaurant, sandwich shop or catering firm – you can no longer afford to ignore social media if you’re serious about winning and retaining customers.

Whether it’s browsing your favourite food blog, seeking out new recipes, or snapping and sharing the food you’re eating on Twitter or Instagram, multitasking at the table seems here to stay. And this has obvious repercussions for how food businesses should approach their marketing and promotion.

This infographic by Flowtown, designed by Column Five, demonstrates how foodies are taking over social networks, or put another way, how food porn is becoming the hot (groan) new trend on the social web.

One stat that caught our attention is that a huge 49 percent of young people ages 18 to 32 saying they text and tweet while they eat. And the so-called millennials aren’t alone. On a recent visit to Barcelona, I bombarded my Instagram feed with food-related snaps (like the one above).

The rich jewelled reds, greens and yellows of a stall dedicated solely to chillies at the city’s famous La Boqueria food market was too much to resist, and looked even better through one of those nifty filters.

So what does this mean for those in the food and hospitality trade?

We advise food businesses and restaurants on their public relations and online marketing activity, and we know that social media delivers measurable results for small establishments that just can’t afford the old-school big advertising and PR spends.

As this infographic proves, even if a dish is too good to share in real life,  increasing amounts of us are turning to social networks to share our meals and foodie inspiration. So it makes sense to dive in and take full advantage of social networks, using the appropriate platforms to inspire and excite potential customers about your culinary creations.

Anyway, enough food talk, I’m off to make a (rustic)  sandwich.

Now, where did I put my iPhone again?


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