Foodie Culture and Social Media: Get ready for Taco Tuesday!

CP    December 4, 2017

Blogger, Alice Katter, says it best, “We’re all guilty of it: Snapping a photo of that pizza or ice cream we couldn’t wait to dig into, and Instagramming it. Why? Because, we’re obsessed with #foodporn. We love seeing what others eats and showing off with our own dishes.”

With the boom of social media, the food and restaurant industry has forever changed. In order for any business in the food industry to succeed, their engagement on social media is paramount. The industry which once relied heavily on word of mouth, has shifted to social media being the major influencer.

Looking at social media as a whole enterprise, social media is leaving it’s mark. When it comes to the food and travel industry, social media hugely prevails over the once-upon-a-time traditional sources. Studies have shown that as much as 84% of millennials are likely to plan trips based on someone else’s photos on social media, compared to magazines and television only inspiring 8% of young travellers, according to a new survey carried out by the AMP and BLITZ.

Hypothetical: While Stacey recommending a good pumpkin spice latte to Courtney from a local coffee shop puts a good word in a customer’s ear, it is nothing compared to Sophie’s (delicious) picture on Instagram and online review which reached thousands of customers.

Or better yet, the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino that went viral on social media.

The rise of the “foodie” culture on social media allows the food and restaurant industry to target customers and influence future patrons. By leveraging social media, marketers can directly reach and generate brand buy-in with potential customers. As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

Major food industry chains such as Wendy’s, Starbucks and Burger King recognize the power of social media and have dedicated teams to post, monitor and analyze social media.

Case example:

Taco Sol is an authentic Mexican restaurant in the heart of downtown Sudbury, Ontario. Taco Sol is no stranger to social media!

I had the pleasure of speaking with Paulina Siller Luna, an owner of Taco Sol. We spoke about the role social media has in the restaurant industry and the importance of it, especially for a local business, to reach customers.

Paulina and the team at Taco Sol see the great benefits of using social media. Social media has allowed their business to thrive. By engaging with their customers on social media, they’re ‘feeding’ the Sudbury foodie community with one Instagram post at time.

“As a small business the best and most cost efficient way to put yourself out there (after word of mouth) is definitely social media! It’s fun too because you’re not only sharing info but you’re engaging with your community and followers. We’re very active on social media, posting constantly and engaging with our customers. We’re on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter.” – Paulina Siller Luna

Check out Taco Sol on Instagram: @TacoSol

Lessons for Others

Social media plays a key role, specifically in the food and restaurant industry.

Here are some key points to consider regarding social media:

  • Social media is key in marketing and promoting your business.
  • By monitoring social media, you can gain insights to have your customers need and want.
  • Leverage social media intelligence to get a leg up on the competition.
  • Take time to develop a thorough social media strategy for your business. You will see the benefits.
  • Social media will allow your business to grow and standout.

Organization: Taco Sol
Industry: Food and restaurant industry
Name of Organization Contact: Paulina Siller Luna, Co-Owner

Authored by: CP

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.


References

Kugel, A. (2017, June 01). How ‘Food Porn’ Posted on Social Media Has Become an Industry. Retrieved December 04, 2017, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/295126

Tandoh, R. (2016, November 02). Click plate: how Instagram is changing the way we eat. Retrieved December 04, 2017, from https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/nov/02/click-plate-how-instagram-changing-way-we-eat-food

Katter, A. (2017, May 20). How to leverage your Food Marketing with Social Media. Retrieved December 04, 2017, from https://medium.com/@alicekatter/how-social-media-changes-the-way-we-97b8356c5996

Holmberg, C. (2014, March 05). Food And Social Media — A Complicated Relationship. Retrieved December 04, 2017, from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/christopher-holmberg/food-and-social-media-a-c_b_4898784.html

Taco Sol Sudbury. (n.d.). Retrieved December 04, 2017, from https://www.tacosolsudbury.com/

Kline, D. B. (2017, April 26). Starbucks has mastered social media with the Unicorn Frappuccino. Retrieved December 04, 2017, from http://www.businessinsider.com/starbucks-has-mastered-social-media-with-the-unicorn-frappuccino-2017-4

Taco Sol (@tacosol) • Instagram photos and videos. (n.d.). Retrieved December 04, 2017, from https://www.instagram.com/tacosol/

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