Are you hungry yet? If not, take a look at the amazing recipes from The Two Purple Figs food blog. Creator and blogger, Mahy Elamin has posted hundreds to choose from, in many popular categories, over the past 18 months. Her passion for food has earned Mahy significant momentum with foodie followers. By creating useful content showcased with professional photography she has registered over 1,400 subscribers to her blog. Even more impressive is the traffic to Mahy’s website, which now attains more than 70,000 visits per month. Her content is featured on MSN food, The Huffington Post, Yummly, StumbleUpon, Yahoo Food, foodgawker, tastespotting and findingvegan.
Two Purple Figs was created when Mahy merged her love of cooking with her food science degree and decided to share it simply as a blog. But, about a year ago Mahy began social media marketing efforts, which resonated with a much larger audience. The Two Purple Figs blog has since become an actual business.
© Mahy Elamin, 2015. Apple Pie Stuffed Apples Retrieved from Two Purple Figs website on November 21, 2016.
A social media business
I spoke with Mahy about the valuable insight she has gained with social media at the core of her business. She considers growth not just followers or traffic but most importantly to be “quality brands who want to work with me.”1 This is how she has measured her success. Two Purple Figs has 5,400 followers on Twitter and more than 7,400 on Instagram. According to Mahy, Google Analytics is a recognized valuation tool for any PR firms, or agencies representing brands that may want to work with her business. Partnering with most companies requires proof of reach (success metrics), all provided by her Google Analytics reports. Two Purple Figs generates its revenue from sponsored posts and advertisements. Mahy has been commissioned to create recipes and content for large Food Companies including Coca Cola, Vitamix, Wise and Post.
© Mahy Elamin, November 18, 2016. Two Purple Figs website. Fool Proof Homemade Dinner Rolls. Retrieved on November 21, 2016.
Making it happen
Running a profitable blog requires content creation and social media management. The latter is an overwhelmingly time-consuming element of this business’ operations. In order to maximize social media channel output and to obtain analytics, Mahy considers her social media management tools to be essential.
She uses Tailwind to manage her Pinterest content. It provides data analysis optimal for Pinterest with “an easy interface and better analytics for board performance”2 than other tools. It measures group boards (to see the highest virality percentages) and the engagement of pinners. Engagement is measured in repins and likes. Pin inspector shows the top performing pins from her audience. Mahy’s Pinterest account has over 5,300 followers across 115 boards (subject categories) which all drive traffic to her website.
Viraltag is her preferred vendor for managing her Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google+ accounts. Facebook advertising, although expensive can achieve decent results. Mahy has seen success with this channel most recently with her Best Lasagna Soup post. Rubbermaid sponsored her to feature a delicious recipe that can be stored in its spill-proof food containers. They paid for 5 days of Facebook advertising, which in turn led traffic to her site in excess of 5,000 hits for each of those days. Measureable results!
© Mahy Elamin, May 31, 2016. Two Purple Figs website. Re. Skinny Eggplant Parmesan Pasta. Retrieved on November 21, 2016
The food chain
In speaking with Mahy, I was enlightened with useful blogging tips including her 50% rule. “Spend half of your marketing efforts mentioning others and the other half dedicated to self-promotion”3. Leveraging relationships with other companies and sharing content is very important. Promoting others draws attention to your brand without being self-serving. Also recognizing and responding, when you have been promoted by others, is key.
Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.4
Mahy uses Instagram for branding and considers those posts to be a representation of her brand’s image and quality. MEDIAVINE handles all of her online advertising (placement and content) so she can focus her time on creating content for her blog. I read into online advertising to gain a further understanding of how it works. Online advertising seems to be at the forefront of change. Basically there’s a more traditional direct advertising agency model involving a lengthy process of connecting buyers and sellers, RFP’s, insertion orders, ad tags, setting targeting parameters, posting ads, and sourcing payment. MEDIAVINE has adapted the use of Programmatic Advertising to shorten this process. It uses computer software to make many of these decisions. “Every single impression – programmatic and direct sold – is up for auction. And every single impression goes to the highest bidder.”5
Lessons for Others
Operating a business dependent on social media emphasizes the importance of connecting with your audience and offering them content that is relevant and worth sharing. So, most of the focus still needs to be in curating this content, not managing the social media demands.
Social media management tools are available to assist businesses in performing functionality across variable platforms that manual posts cannot easily replicate. These allow for organized, regulated, simultaneous posts across multiple channels. Also, listening tools equip businesses with prompt notifications so that they can respond faster to their audience. Responding in a business based on social media and online relationships is crucial. By using these management tools, time and revenue-savings is achieved.
Likewise, when considering the time requirements of managing digital advertising for a blog, outsourcing advertising functions is a viable alternative. It considers ad placement and types while yielding maximum revenue.
Two Purple Figs.com
Industry: A sweet savoury, earthy and vibrant food blog
Name of Organization Contact: Mahy Elamin
Authored by: Michelle Brady
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.
- Elamin, Mahy. (November 19, 2016) [conversation]
- Elamin, Mahy. (November 21, 2016) [conversation]
- Elamin, Mahy. (November 19, 2016) [conversation]
- Vrountas, Ted. (October 23, 2016) Hubspot, Lead Generation 12 Ways You Can Turn Your Blog Into a Lead Generation Machine. [web article] Retrieved November 19, 2016 from https://instapage.com/blog/turn-your-blog-into-a-lead-generation-marketing-machine
- Hochberger, Eric. (Oct 22, 2016). Re. MediaVine. What is Programmatic Advertising? [blog post] Retrieved on Nov 21, 2016 from https://www.mediavine.com/what-is-programmatic-advertising/
Two Purple Figs. 2016 [website] http://www.twopurplefigs.com
YouTube. Two Purple Figs, September 23, 2016. Re. Creamy homemade caramel pudding. Video retrieved on November 18, 2016 from https://youtu.be/BsDvDl5B4oA