In today’s competitive food arena, food and beverage (F&B) brands and restaurants are being launched at a faster pace than ever before, with the number of consumers opting to eat out or get a quick delivery over home-cooking increasing year-on-year. However, around 80% of these F&B brands are having a hard time getting a consumer’s attention.
On average, consumers spend around 4-5 hours a day on their phone and out of it, 80% of their time is spent on scrolling over social media platforms, according to a recent estimate. Therefore, businesses today need to be more active in gaining the attention of potential consumers by creating standout content in a feed where hundreds of brands are fighting for space.
In this post, we’ll be discussing what’s keeping food businesses behind their competitors on social and what they should be doing for a killer social media marketing strategy to build brand awareness & bring in sales.
1. Identify your most engaging products
The most important part of a successful social media strategy is its clarity about the most engaging products of the business. For a food and beverages brand, they should be clear about their most trendy food and drink items that can capture attention of food lovers. Identifying what products are popular in your target audiences’ sphere or what products make your brand stand out will help form the basis of your social media strategy.
Typically, three out of every five consumers on social media are likely to click and see an ad related to food: but what makes them engage so much? The highest converting F&B brands are creating ads & content which makes the user highly attracted to know more about the product and what the brand/company has to offer. Thus, identifying your most engaging products is on top of the list, especially if you’re targeting people new (compared to returning) customers.
2. Take high quality photographs & video
We bet you like high quality photographs and probably prefer them to poorly taken photos on someone’s iPhone, right? Similarly, most customers prefer high quality photography – not only does it help shine the products in their best light – it also increases the value of your product.
No one will bother to give a second look to a poorly taken picture of something, irrespective of how tasty the product is. It is observed that the brands getting immediate public attention and response utilise amazing and high definition photography skills to advertise about their offerings. Thus, it is advised to spend a good deal of effort on how your products are portrayed, by utilising high quality photography, videography and even the help of a food stylist to ensure your food and drinks items capture the attention of the targeted audience.
3. Post regularly & reply to customer comments
Being social on social media seems like an obvious task, but you would be surprised how many brands fail to do so.
Engaging with both existing & potential customers is a prime way to not only foster further interaction with your F&B brand, but also builds brand trust. Posting regularly keeps your customers interested in your brand, not to mention updated about your products, promotions & sales. Identifying the best days of the week to post for your brand also helps maximise your reach. A quick Google search often yields this information, but taking a step back to think about the lifestyle of your average customer can also help you better understand your audience. Does your average customer visit you or your retailer on weekends or weekdays? Are they likely to visit you during lunch or evenings? Use this information to tailor your posting schedule around when you think your customers will be most active with your brand & on social media.
It’s a similar story for consumer interaction. 90% of internet consumers say they would rather interact with a brand through instant messaging compared to email or phone. Social media platforms offer these instant messaging features, allowing brands to give their customers a better experience before & after their visit.
4. Offer follower-only discounts
Another successful strategy you can use to promote your F&B business is through offering follower-only discount packages. Come up with some product deals or promotional codes that can be given to people who engage with your brand online. These follower-only discounts not only offer quick-wins, but often provide increased life-time value for different customers.
5. Encourage reviews & check-ins
As we’ve discussed in a previous article, social proof is extremely important when it comes to marketing your business & its brand image, as over 70% of consumers have used social media to make a retail or restaurant decision. As such, asking for reviews from your customers can provide you both useful testimonial content & ever-important company feedback.
The easiest way to receive online feedback is to incentivize it. Most brands offer a small discount for repeat customers who have reviewed their business, and could be a powerful avenue for you to consider.
And since we already know that most consumers would trust a user-written review over a brand statement, why not let your reviews do the talking? Just make sure your products are up-to-scratch first!
6. Sharing User Generated Content
Sharing user generated content over your social platforms is a brilliant way to interact with your audience, share their experiences (which as we’ve already discussed, are more powerful than a brand statement) and provide you with content for your brand. Not only does it create confidence in your brand, it also opens up a whole new avenue for new things to post.
Feel free to share the images of real users having your food along with mentioning & crediting them on your posts and stories. Doing so keeps people informed about your products & offerings and gives your brand a more relatable, authentic voice.
7. Partner with Influencers
Influencer marketing is proved to be a trendsetter when it comes to successful marketing strategies in the last few years. Almost all niches have influencers over various social media platforms that are offering businesses to get featured on their pages to reach a specific audience.
Working with influencers gives your brand a more authentic voice. Having the endorsement of a person not associated with your business makes it feel more genuine & helps add credibility to your online presence.
However, upon first glance, working with influencers can prove to be costly. We recommend working with micro-influencers (those with less than 100K followers) as these often provide you with increased engagement & a higher return on investment, all for a lower cost-per-post.
8. Utilize Facebook & Instagram Ads
Due to the algorithm in place on most social platforms, consumer-goods & services brands only reach approximately 1% of their social following. To put that into perspective; If 1000 people follow your brand, approximately 10 people will see your post appear in their newsfeed. Facebook, Instagram and most other platforms have become pay-to-play if you want to not only reach your existing following, but new followers as well.
All modern social media networks have inbuilt advertising platforms with targeting capabilities, allowing you to promote your content to relevant audiences who may be interested in your brand. Whether that’s reaching sport enthusiasts for your sports drink, or local parents for your high-street restaurant, the most successful social media strategies are those which incorporate paid ads into into their plan to expand their reach to new audiences.
The marketing strategies shared above would not only give a modern boost to your F&B business, but also help get you on track to compete with other local restaurants or competitors. Try and incorporate all 8 marketing tips into your social media marketing strategy and let the progress speak for itself.
Seem like a lot of work? Let us help! We can work with you to develop & implement an effective ongoing social media strategy to increase sales & improve brand awareness. Shoot us an email or reach out to us on Instagram @doubleupsocial.