How Social Posts About Food Leave Behind Powerful Marketing Bread Crumbs
Like many people, I love food. Nothing compares to ordering that dish at a restaurant or cooking something at home that is suddenly your new favorite. And there are times I want to share that information with the world.
It used to be though that seeing social media posts of people talking about what they were cooking or eating bored me. I went to the extent several years ago to hide people that were posting everyday about their eating habits. Somehow that seemed to be too mundane for others to care about and something that was clogging up my FB news feed.
Over time, though I’ve noticed a much bigger trend in postings about food and I’ve learned to appreciate these posts in a whole new light. These pictures and comments are far more revealing about the author’s lifestyle, their personality and even political perspective than I ever imagined. Here are few of the personae that I’ve started to see:
- The Proud Family Chef. This personality likes to showcase the unique recipes and ingredients they use for cooking. The pictures and comments say far more about how important they think family meals are and the lengths they are willing to go to for that perfectly cooked dish. An interesting twist to me is that I never see any mention of failure or mishaps from this audience, which leads me to believe that those likely instances are devastating and too humbling to post.
- The Restaurant Overachiever. While many people post pictures of dining out, I’ve seen a crew of people that use opportunity to focus on something larger – their wealth and status. This is usually subtle, but manifested in a picture of an exquisite dish at a restaurant with comments about how it is always delicious, or how it was tough to find a reservation but worth it. I’m not a psychologist, but the humble brag nature of these posts reflects a desire for people to know that the author is successful and out often.
- The Bored Parent. This is a strange one just surfacing. A parent (usually just one) posting about taking kids out to a certain restaurant or making a certain dish “again”. The difference here is the posts are not fun pictures of the family out together, but just a picture of a plate of food. When reading these posts, I’m imagining the parent looking at their watch and wondering when everything will be wrapped up and social media post is an easy escape activity to pass the time.
I’m sure you all might see similar or different personalities coming to life in the form of social media content about food. The interesting angle for me is thinking about how valuable these clues could be for brands. For example, a grocery store chain with unique and rare food products could seek out those Proud Family Chefs to incorporate them into a campaign about best recipes, or local cooking contests. Credit card companies could find the Restaurant Overachievers and run a program that provides bonus miles at top local establishments. The possibilities are endless.
So I’m off now to unhide those contacts who used to annoy with their pictures of lunches and dinners from years ago. Who knows what I might learn from that missing data!
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