Future Implications

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As social media landscape continues to change, brands need to focus on how consumers buy products and service.  Consumers are now trusting reviews more so than brands themselves, “92 of consumers trust recommendations from other users even if they may not know them over the content that is generated by any given brand. This definitely shifts the balance of powers and has forced brands to soften the sales pitch and provide social media listening tactics or social media customer service. With social media marketing cementing itself permanently in our daily lives and becoming prominent resource in consumer activity changes must be made in order to generate leads” (Sela, 2016).

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Now that mobile marketing is more acceptable and prevalent, social media landscapes need to adapt to this change and start using mobile marketing and social media to directly promote their brands to customers.  When customers want to know about a product a service, they will most-likely use their smart phone to Google, Yelp, or use social media to find out more information on the brand rather than use their laptop or computer.

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Companies now use social media as a way to engage and promote their brand. By using social media, brands can become transparent and create a culture to where people want to buy from them only (customer loyalty & reward programs).  I believe engaging is more about changes in human behavior AND technology.  We now want answers, right? Who wants to be ignored?

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Traditional marketing can be a one-way conversation and most of the time, no one was heard. Now, everyone is heard and customers more than ever have the power. Before, power was in the hands of the brand. This created changes in human behavior. Technology being advanced as it is makes it more available.

The more user friendly platforms that are available, the more people will use them. “As a result most wouldn’t want to read stuff, instead they would want to view an image, which will take a minimum amount of time. If you include images to market your brand, it is a guarantee that you will be able to attract more people towards your brand since images tend to engage people more than text. Findings and Managerial Implications: After conducting extensive research, it was found that consumer’s inline ratings about goods (books; Amazon) or services (hotels) are not solely based on their experience with the particular brand but it is also dependent on other online ratings. Some companies reveal the demographic features of their goods/services while others hide the same. Whatever may be the case, know that this has a huge influence on a customer’s desire to purchase and see the value of the brand” (Carranza,2015).

 

 

References
Carranza. (2015). The Changing Landscape for Social Media and Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC] | Social Media Today. Retrieved from http://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/2015-03-28/changing-landscape-social-media-and-marketing-infographic
Sela. (2016). What is the Impact of Social Media on Your Marketing. Retrieved from http://www.ronsela.com/impact-of-social-media-marketing/
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Viral Marketing Initiatives

What do you think makes a marketing initiative go viral?

When I think of “gone viral” I think of a video or image that captured many people emotionally.  As humans, there are emotions we feel when we see something that can hit home to us – happy or sad. When this occurs, we want to be the first to share this on social media, or message a friend and family. This is just how life works nowadays right?  Some characteristics of viral marketing need to be easy on the eyes, and the message needs to be easy. When there is too much thought, no one is going to want to share it simply because no one is going to understand it. Maybe to some, but to go viral it should be a message, humor, unique, or something like a beautiful song.

 

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Using widgets for Facebook, Twitter, and all social media platforms, ensure viewers can easily share with their networks and loved ones around them. As this continues throughout networks, people will continue to share and discuss the topic.

When I think of viral videos that were successful, I look at how unique and different they are compared to other videos.  Check out the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql7uY36-LwA

This commercial is currently trending because of how weirdly funny/creepy it is.  They also used the hashtag of #puppymonkeybaby as a way to engage and continue interacting with their target audience.  People on the internet find this puppy monkey baby so ungodly creepy that they keep talking about it. Why?! Because it is something no one has ever seen before so they want to discuss this with other people around them. It is funny, weird, and simply not something you see every day.

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This also opens the door for other companies, pug lovers, baby lovers, monkey lovers, energy drink lovers, and mountain dew lovers that want to prove points to start using this commercial or hashtag as a way to promote something that affects them. An example is PETA with creating hybrid animals. Although, this puppy monkey baby is a joke, people will pay attention and listen because 1. It is trending, and 2. Who has seen something like this before?

PETA

This was not the commercial but the puggymonkeybaby from PETA was liked 81 times and was retweeted 56 times.  Talk about going viral…

Overall, what drives people to share content online and off in my opinion are triggers (like the PETA example above), emotional appeal, the story and meaning, and how the video would make them look to their network – good, bad, compassionate, etc. In general, people want to be liked, so something wrong or socially acceptable going viral will make people want to post it so others can see how they value the situation/story/video.  Don’t you agree?

 

Differentiation

Two companies within the same industry that utilize social media are Boca Bistro and San Chez Bistro. Since I am a big food enthusiast, it would make sense to pick the food industry. As you can see, both the Bistros use different forms of social media, but at the same time, have a lot of similarities as to how they want to differentiate and advance their brands.

Boca Bistro

Boca Bistro, located in Saratoga, is well known for their success in social media writes Brian Bushner, from Albany Business Reviews. The owner of this company (DZ restaurants) uses many of the platforms today, such as, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, flickr, and Foursquare. In addition, to keep up with consumer ratings, the owner of Boca Bistro also uses Yelp and other consumer sourced review sites. According to the owner of Boca Bistro, using all of these social media platforms is what differentiates the bistro. To make it easier for the consumers, Boca Bistro also lets consumers check in on Foursquare during happy hour, and if they do, they receive a free appetizer of some sort. I would do it! Would you?

The director of marketing for DZ restaurants/Boca Bistro says, “Any photos that are shared on social media are “as fresh as the food.” “Using an old photo is just like serving a dish a second time. It has to be fresh, it has to be appealing.”

Bistro

 

Patrons line up in front of Boca Bistro during Chowderfest 2013 in Feburary. – MELISSA MANGINI

Read more on Boca Bistro social media engagement!

San Chez Bistro

San Chez Bistro is a tapas bistro and restaurant in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This bistro focuses on the needs and wants of their LOCAL audience. (I wish I had that here in PA!) A fun fact about San Chez is that they encourage their customers to use Twitter to reserve a seat at their restaurant. They call it “Tweet-Ahead Seating”. Once you tweet your interest in a reservation, the online hostess tweets you back with a message similar to this: “Great, you’re on the list. See you in a little while.”

San Chez Bistro strategy focuses on combining smartphone capabilities, social media and local marketing, to gain consumers and to also make it easier for them to eat at the bistro. Just like Boca Bistro, San Chez also utilizes Foursquare. Not only do they gain greater visibility, but a customer will get an incentive for checking in.

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Overall, both of these bistros use social media in a fun engaging way. They offer incentives and they have great ratings! They differ by how many social media platforms they use, and what their incentives may be. Additionally, they are also targeting different audiences so the strategy they use will not apply for both bistros.

Foodies, Let’s Spread the Word!

Foodies, Let’s Spread the Word!

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Let’s start with the 5 must haves in social marketing

Twitter is amazing for obvious reasons. For one, we can know what is going on in seconds, and two, you can see what consumers want and need. I say this because it is easier to follow trends and what consumers want by #HASHTAGS. When reading the Groundswell, I found out about TweetDeck.

An example of social media GONE RIGHT is Starbucks. They focus on their own Twitter handle and they practice engagement more so than promotion.  By using the hashtag #Stabucks, Starbucks can monitor how their brand is doing, and focus on what consumers like and enjoy. Anything negative, they can also modify so that people are more impressed with the brand.

Check out more on TweetDeck!

Overall, when it comes to best practices for blogging and tweeting, Foodies should focus on the following:

  1. Grab the readers’ attention immediately
  2. Breakup your text with bullets and numbered lists
  3. Keywords matter
  4. Write about what you know
  5. Refer to other blog posts and articles
  6. What do you read?
  7. Plan and Schedule
  8. Ask questions
  9. Check back and often
  10. Go Mobile

The food industry does use the above list (for the most part). The examples I listed previously were Starbucks and Whole Foods – which nailed it when it comes to social media.

Read more on Whole Foods!

Depending on what’s trending, some companies may do it better. In this year, consumers focus more so than ever on health and wellness so companies promoting and marketing wellness will more than likely succeed more so than the fast food chains.

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Companies like Hootsuite, feel that 80% of the Food & Beverage Industry uses social media instead of traditional marketing to nurture leads, improve ROI and stay in the know about consumers—and competitors.

There are so many sources out there that help determine where social media is going and how the food industry is using social media to their advantage.

Here are websites that provide new marketing tactics and show what the food community is doing to get the word out there!

-Nestle-Toll-House-reach-millennial-generation

Trends/Social-Media/Food-brands-non-profits-offered-chance-to-engage-with-hundreds-of-bloggers-at-upcoming-event

Marketing-linking-nutritional-drinks-music-sports-politics-effective

Check out #6!

Check out Social Media Marketing & Tea

What kind of foodie fails are there?

According to INC.com Digiorno’s pizza was 2 out of 10 on the FAIL scale!

DiGiorno’s inappropriate use of #WhyIStayed Following Janay Palmer Rice’s decision to stay with NFL player Ray Rice after a domestic violence incident, the hashtag #WhyIStayed was trending on Twitter. DiGiorno Pizza tried to join the conversation, tweeting “#WhyIStayed You had pizza.” Within minutes the inappropriate tweet was deleted and the company apologized, claiming it didn’t know what the hashtag was about before tweeting.

Remember when I brought up fast food? Here is the 10th fail in 2014.

McDonald’s tries new mascot hashtag

McDonald’s tried to celebrate the debut of a new version of its famous mascot with the hashtag #RonaldMcDonald. The plan backfired when nearly all of the responses on Twitter bashed the clown’s makeover and the restaurant chain’s food.

Read more on 2014 social media fails

After reviewing the fails, it is easy to see how the food industry is improving in social media and how they are adapting to new strategies. I can’t wait to see 2015 fails, can you?!

IS IT WORTH THE RISK?

Is it?…

As with any industry, there will always be challenges and risks with taking a brand social.  To not take a brand social would also be risk considering how many consumers rely on social media/search and mobile applications.  “Many companies are just now starting to take a serious look at the benefits of social media in business, and they are looking even more closely at the risks involved, such as fraud, theft, defamation, cyberbullying and invasion of privacy among others” (Social media and its associated risks, 2011).

This brings me to an example about Kraft. Since they are in the food industry, do you remember seeing on Facebook the video that went viral about Kraft cheese not melting? If you haven’t watched the video, STOP. Watch this video and continue to read…

kraft Video

Now, that you have watched the video, this is an example of how a product and brand can be destroyed within hours.  Because this video went viral, anyone that had a social media account was able to see this video.  Can I also add that I was also one of the people on Facebook to SHARE this video and I now do not eat Kraft. Period.

Kraft then created a YouTube account called ThanksforAsking to make up for the cheese video, but Is this too late?  Take note – Kraft also made sure they disabled the comment box.

Kraft Experts?

Food companies face increased risks from social media because they still do not have developed policies for tools such as Twitter and Facebook, according to the law firm Roythorne.  More on this article here.

Another challenge to this is the food being bought in the grocery stores cannot be tracked. Meaning, if Sally from Kansas finds mold in her Childs Capri sun, Capri Sun will not see this until it is viral. The brand also runs the risk of no longer being sold in certain stores due to the issues that occur.

Not taking a risk or going social means a brand could fall behind. Without repetition or promotion, how can a brand really exist? I understand that it is new so it is hard for a brand to take the risk, but it’s probably a bigger risk to NOT try social media.

Surprisingly, a brand that doesn’t use social media or traditional marketing is Trader Joes.  According to  Mark Gardiner,  a previous employee and marketer writes: Over half a million people have liked the unofficial Trader Joe’s Fan page on Facebook, and if you enter “Trader Joe’s” as a search term on Pinterest you’ll come to a page that you can never really see, because new pics are being pinned faster than you can scroll. (OK, that’s a slight exaggeration, but you get my point.) No wonder some devil’s advocates ask: Why should Trader Joe’s bother with social, since the company’s fans already do a fine job of spreading the word, sparing it the expense of hiring another manager?

Trader Joes uses face-to-face interaction and they pride themselves on being extra friendly and personable. Meaning, they make their environment so people enjoy going in to socialize with the employees that work there.

Check out more on Trader Joes here!

THE BEST MOBILE APP FOR FOODIES?

THE BEST MOBILE APP FOR FOODIES?

Where has this been? The Youfood Mobile app is EVERYTHING! Youfood is rated the number 1 food app and is 4.8 out of 5 stars. This app focuses on (drum roll) EATING GOOD FOOD. Within this app, you share food wisdom, meal ideas & recipes, and a community to ensure all is eating better, together! There is obviously way more to this app than what’s listed above, but the learning experience and friendships you may get from this app seems worth the FREE download.

APP

Since this is also a community, eating better is not only from the recipes within the app, or store locations on where to purchase the food, but it really comes from the community engagement on the device. Let’s start with an example – Cindy joins the Youfood community and pins recipes and finds stores nearby to purchase better items, she then starts engaging with the Youfood community and she meets nutritionist, meal preppers, trainers, people who have lost weight from certain meal plans, and so on… From here, Cindy now has access to food recipes, store locations on where to get better quality food, new friendships and health/wellness connections that are all based around a common interest – FOOD.

This network of over 200,000 people has become quite a success! Check out a customer review:
Looking for a healthy relationship with food? Download this app!
***** Rating
by Rejuv
“I’ve lost 20 pounds with the help of this app and community and have kept it off for 10 months so far! I love the new Fridge where I can store my favorite meals, inspirational posts, and other user’s meals that I want to try! For me, an unsuccessful dieter for decades, food is no longer the enemy – YouFood has made eating fun again! If you want to gain awareness of your eating habits by photo logging your meals and benefit from a super supportive community, this app is for you!”

In addition, Youfood also recommends other apps to download to help consumers stay on track and really enjoy their new eating habits.

Apps

Since this social mobile app is global, I found an Australian fitness coach that actually uses this app to help his clients. According to Alex Fergus, “The app is designed for individuals looking to share meals with people around the world. It actually serves a lot of great purposes:

You can find people on similar diets and follow them for meal ideas,
support and encouragement.

 – You can follow your friends and family, and become accountable for
what you eat.

 – It’s an easy way to track the food you eat, without having to weigh food
or pull out a notepad. Simply snap and move on.

A lot of people have had great diet success using the app, and with such an active, supportive community I can see why”.

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If you are interested in downloading this social media app – Youfood, I really suggest you read here and see how Alex Fergus uses the mobile app, and all the ways you can utilize this app! I know I am downloading the Youfood app, TODAY! How about you?

Food Industry Goes Social!

Food Industry Goes Social

In order to create healthy recipes we need to start somewhere. That somewhere is a local market, grocery store, wholesale store, drug store, etc. We need food items to even consider making a recipe, right!?

With the rapid changes in social media and technology, we can now use our smart phones to order groceries (even have them delivered), QR scan some coupons, get push notifications on discounted items, and social media incentives if you participate in an interactive event on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

According to the U.S. Grocery Shopping Trends 2014: Our modern eating culture has changed dramatically. Take note on social networks, brand interaction, and engagement!

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The food industry had to change a lot over the years because with the internet posts daily – meaning, food quality research, documentaries, and so on came out informing the public about hormones, animal abuse, steroids, GMO, etc. INSTANTLY. Well what person wants to willingly eat this? NOT ME!!! Now, the food industry is changing to cage free, no preservatives, no hormones or steroids, and thankfully no GMO. This brings me to the more “organic” lifestyle that is currently trending.

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Today, stores promote healthy foods any way they can. Some stores conduct live food demonstrations and store tours. Food companies are labeling healthy choices on their packages, and stores are promoting the items on store shelves. There is also thought on healthy marketing pieces that are posted online and instore. In addition, all retailers have social media platforms to alert customers to healthier options, promotions, special offers, and newer products. Can we thank Apple and Android that we now have apps that allow us to receive push notifications? THANK YOU!!!

Chart: Expected Media Use by Grocery Retail Executives

Medium Currently using Use expected 5 years from now
Print 75% 17%
Social Internet 12% 65%
Broadcast 7% 3%

Source: “Supermarket Media Usage Study,” Valassis, July 2012.

As you know, social media is so new it creates confusion on how to correctly apply these marketing tactics to the food industry. So far, most food industries are using social media but many are using it differently.

According to Albertson’s, a national chain with 221,000 followers on Facebook, goes in this direction, with its banner graphic proclaiming “gotta love GREAT DEALS.” But Whole Foods goes the other direction, using its Facebook page to deliver recipes, hosting tips, and cross-promoting its presence on other social media, like Pinterest, to its 1.1 million likers. While grocery chains are still figuring out how to get the most benefit out of social media, it’s clear that these channels will be a big part of their marketing strategies over time.

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Want more information on the 2014 industry trend? See here.

 

FOODIES! Ice Cream Alert – A must read!

ICE CREAM ALERT!

You know when you go on Pinterest and you see this amazing creative dessert? You see the instructions are included but when you finish baking you realize it looks nothing like the picture from Pinterest? Happens to me ALL the time! Here’s an example – I want to make healthy ice cream. Since my blog is about healthier options, I found this tasty looking ice cream on Pinterest here. From the image below, you can see how appealing it is – Yum, almond milk, bananas, berries, and cinnamon. Did you take note that there are only 5 INGREDIENTS – yes, 5 INGREDIENTS! This recipe on Pinterest came from berryripe.com since Pinterest usually doesn’t post “how to” or full recipes, you usually have to click around unless Pinterest links a page to the actual website. I personally, just always find it hard to click away when the images on Pinterest look so yummy!

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Now that we know we can search Pinterest for yummy pictures and design ideas, let’s take this to another for instance. So now we have the picture perfect image in our heads, we have the recipe from the site they included, and now we have the finished product. We are either satisfied or we are not satisfied. If we are NOT satisfied, we can continue to look on Pinterest for other ideas such as, include a topping that will make the ice cream more appealing, or we can search for cones or bowls to help add flavor. Maybe for this flavor they recommended a waffle cone with dark chocolate. That could make it taste better, right? If we are satisfied, well then, we eat it or give the ice cream to that lucky person! Pinterest is amazing for finding the perfect idea and adding your own twist to it.

What if we purchase ice cream and it feels like cement, or we don’t feel confident on actually making ice cream? There is a community that can help with this! Epicurious.com or the app form, actually has a community, recipes, and expert advice. Yes, EXPERT ADVICE ON FOOD! Epicurious uses real world examples to help YOU, WE, US! In this case, the ice cream you have is equivalent to a rock…come on! We have all been here too. I recall actually having a cut and bruise on my thumb because ice cream was stored in dry ice. Nothing worked! The microwave would melt the first layer, but getting around that was impossible. Thanks to Epicurious we have now step by step help from someone in the industry. This “How To” was created by a pastry chef and explains what to do if your ice cream is as good as cement. Not only, does the pastry chef provide alternatives in case you do not have the equipment, BUT (drum roll please!) the chef shows you what to do if you want to mix the ice cream with crushed fruit, nuts, chocolate, etc. HELLO! All this advice for FREE? Eager to try this, right? If you need an excuse Halloween is right around the corner. What about Halloween themed ice-cream? You know you can go back to Pinterest for ideas!

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Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Prop Styling by Alex Brannian, Food Styling by Michelle Gatton

More information on ice cream in the links below:

Pinterest
Epicurious
Berryripe