Socializing With Food
The Social Media Club of San Francsico (SMCSF) met June 19th. Tagged Headquarters in San Francisco. It was a conversation about Socializing in the Food Industry where everyone loves food and they love sharing it through their stories and their photos. This panel of foodies shared some of their successes and failures growing their businesses and brand by sharing it through Social Media. Our special guests on our panel were moderated by our very own Samantha Strauss who is a member of the program team with SMCSF. Panelists included (from left to right in the photo) Helen Lentze @StrausOrganic of Strauss Family Creamery, Chuck Davidson @Go_PaGo of the app GoPago, Irvin Lin @EatTheLove of Eat The Love food blog, Greta Miersma @TCHOchocolate of TCHO: New American Chocolate and Magarita Rojas @LaCocinasSF of La Coina.
It was immediately agreed that food evolve’s around entertainment and sharing and that is why Social Media plays such a central role in the Food Industry today. Greta of TCO said, “Food is an experience that we all do atleast three times a day and we all want to share it with our friends.” Chuck of GoPago pointed out, “Food is all about Discovery and Sharing and they go hand in hand.” Helen of Strauss Creamery added, “Food for them is about Fair Trade and Accountability,” and educating their consumers about GMO's and other best practices when working with Organic Foods.
Sharing through social networks with friends, fans, prospects and community works well in reaching their audiences. Facebook appeared to be the number one source as its both visual and stories can easkly be shared be easily shared through their Facebook pages. I took a peak at each of the panelists facebook sites and they are rich in content, contests, photos, video and in such creative ways! Check them out yourself and of course LIKE them too: Strauss Creamery is found at http://www.facebook.com/StrausFamilyCreamery, Irvin Lin’s Eat The Love is found at http://www.facebook.com/eatthelove, GoPago is found at http://www.facebook.com/gopago, TCHO is found at http://www.facebook.com/tchochocolate and La Cocina is found at http://www.facebook.com/lacocinasforg
Facebook is not the only way these foodies utilize the various social networks to get their messaging across to their audiences. Twitter appears to be a close runner up but its not as useful for storytelling. It appears better as a place to promote contests, company announcements and posts to then bring folks back to their website or Facebook or blog. Pinterest is where foodies are able to really share their creations, appears to be of great interest but folks still seem unsure how to exactly use it. The sole blogger of the group, Ervin Lin of Eat The Love mentioned it numerous times and shows his love of it at here at http://pinterest.com/eatthelove/. Another area of interest that was mentioned was Google +. They have recently integrated Google Places where businesses are showcased in 380 degreess and more importantly SEO ranking are gained by utilizing it.
Chuck of Gopago, uses social media promote their app that allow you to order and pay from your smartphone whether it be an iPhone, Android or Blackberry. They are active on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks but are seeking the power of the internet’s virality to offer their app through a promotion. They are offering a free lunch to 20 people per day through a unique code that lasts for 48 hours. Check it out at their GoPago Hero Page found here: http://www.gopago.com/hero.
La Cocina works with lo-income entrepreneurs by providing the first Incubator Kitchen to grow their businesses relys on the power of Social Media – Goggle+, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and many more to promote their mission and gain coverage in a number of media outlets such as CBS where they were featured as a Non Profit that Cooks up Aspiring Businesses. http://www.lacocinasf.org/press/non-profit-cooks-up-aspiring-businesses
Greta of TCHO did talk of a failure that they encountered when working with Facebook Ads as there was not the ROI nor user acquisition that one would expect for the money that was budgeted for the campaign they did. At the same time, their Facebook page is a main source of promotion and engagement for their audience.
These were just a few of the conversations we had at the SMCSF. There was much more along with the opportunity to engage with each other through a lively Q& A led by our moderator Samantha. And did I mention the amazing food? Ice Cream, Chocolate, Finger Food, Adult Bevarages and more! It was great to be there in person but if you did not make it this time, join us next month. Go to Facebook to learn about our next event at the SMCSF's Facebook Page and join us on Twitter at #smcsfo.