Fork delivers a suite of services for food and beverage businesses to engage and influence consumers. The concept of a team of experts from different disciplines is very effective. They only employ the expertise that is required by the client to ensure they get the best results, focused on the job that needs to be done. We have had the opportunity to work with Darrell and Mike in different projects to help food and beverage businesses get to the next level.
Watch for our SKUFood 2024 trends next week. We have been focused on what is happening in our industry and where it is all going. Our SKUFood trends are created for producers and processors in our industry (and other stakeholders!) to help you focus your business where you will get the best return.
Feeding Success: The Recipe for Social Media Mastery in Food Branding
By Mike Ross
Fork Food Branding
In the digital era, the flavor of success for food brands is distinctly social. The visual feast served on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok can be your gateway to culinary stardom.
Mastering social media marketing is not just advisable—it's non-negotiable!
Let's walk through the three-course meal of digital strategy that can help your brand become successful on socials.
1. Crafting Irresistible Visual Narratives
The key to capturing your audience's hearts and stomachs is through their eyes.
Jessica Emin, a renowned food photographer (@eatwithjessie on Instagram), TV Host (Les Quatre Coins de L’Assiette on CBC/ICI) and writer, emphasizes the power of authenticity:
"It's the genuine food moments that draw people in” she adds.
“Don't just share the final dish; share the sizzle, the pour, the joy of cooking. It's about bringing people into the kitchen with you."
This approach humanizes your brand and tells a story that's as appealing as the cuisine itself.
Whether it’s through video or photography, you’ll show off who you are and what your brand is about best through delicious storytelling.
Remember, the goal is to make your audience's mouth water. Share behind the scene glimpses, the triumphs, and the disasters.
“If you think something looks cool, like pouring cake batter into a pan or smoke coming off a searing steak, other people will too. Show the interaction with food – the hands, the cooking, the eating, the mess – and it becomes human.”
2. Stirring Up Success with Influencer Collaborations
Influencers are the sous-chefs in the kitchen of your social media strategy, where a gifted and charismatic personality can illuminate the collaborative magic at play.
"When food brands and influencers unite, it's a feast of creativity, credibility, and community building." says Brittany MacLeod, owner of MacLeod Media and well-followed influencer (@brittanymacleod_ on Instagram).
"Collaborating with food brands increases exposure, credibility, and engagement, while influencers gain monetization opportunities, new followers, and build trust with other brands.
Partnerships like this build valuable industry relationships, while food brands can tap into the influencer's reach and authenticity to reach a broader audience”.
This partnership should extend beyond mere promotion; it's about shared values and genuine enthusiasm for the product.
Choose influencers who align with your brand ethos and can infuse their unique flavor into your narrative. Their endorsement can be the difference between an overlooked post and a viral sensation, as their followers often value their recommendations as they would from a trusted friend.
3. Plating Up a Purposeful Social Presence
A haphazard social profile is like an under-seasoned dish—it just won't do.
Your online persona should be a well-curated gallery, not a random collection of posts. Each element, from your bio to your images, should tell your brand's story with purpose and clarity.
“Social media is supposed to be fun,” Brittany MacLeod says, “and there are endless opportunities to showcase and share a brand's talent and story through social media.”
Make navigation a breeze with an optimized bio link that leads to a carefully designed landing page. An Instagram Shop, for instance, can transform your profile from a digital menu into a virtual marketplace, streamlining the path from discovery to purchase.
Lastly, don't underestimate the power of a compelling call to action. Guide your audience with clear instructions like "Tap to explore our flavors" or "Order now for a taste of delight." These prompts can turn passive scrollers into active patrons.
“Just don’t forget to be social!” she concludes, “too many people don’t take the opportunity to engage with their audience, build rapport, or even answer questions. It’s called SOCIAL media for a reason.”
To Sum Up
Your food brand's journey on social media should be a mix of scrumptious content, strategic partnerships, and a purpose-driven presence.
By blending these elements, you'll cook up a brand that not only looks good but tastes like success. Engage with your audience, tell your story with zest, and watch as they come back for seconds, thirds, and more.
Mike is a Marketing Specialist who loves storytelling and brand building. Mike is a partner at Fork Food Branding, where they’re always cooking up something delicious.
With food pricing in the news some of the retailers are back in Ottawa. The timing might be right for the the politicians to take credit for lower prices. With interest rates stabilizing and other factors changing it appears the downward trend for food inflation will continue. We should be clear it is not because of specific programs any retailer wants to go on record with or due to the actions of stakeholders in Ottawa. More rumblings from Loblaw and Walmart that the proposed code of conduct will increase food inflation. No facts to justify these comments other than they will find it more difficult to leverage their position in the value chain. One has to admit the food and beverage industry is a good spectator sport.
FCC peer groups are a great opportunity for food processors to learn from each other and share their knowledge. People from across the country come together online to talk about what is happening in our industry. I have had the privilege of facilitating peer groups for FCC the last few years. I have met some incredible food entrepreneurs. If you are interested and would like more information check out the FCC link below or give me a call.
Where is Peter Speaking?
It has been a busy November with events across the country. Big thanks to Sue Exner and Madison O’connor at FCC for a great event at the FCC food summit in Saskatoon. They put together a panel for me to moderate with Mike Fata (founder of Manitoba Harvest), Jake Karl (Mid Day Squares and Erica Rankin (Bro dough) where we had a very informative discussion about consumer packaged goods companies. I also had the opportunity to sit down one on one with Jana Sobey from Sobeys.
Then it was back out west a couple of weeks later for the Agri Innovation event in Red Deer. Suzanne Bielert coordinated a very informative event for producers and processors across Alberta.
We also had virtual events with processors in Saskatchewan through the Leansphere Supply Chain 123 program, the Food Preneur program based in southwest Ontario and the SPICE program from the Center for Women in Business at Mount St Vincent University.