Episode 70: Serious Social – Social that’s good enough to eat!

Episode 70: Serious Social – Social that’s good enough to eat!

On social, everyone loves food content. To cut through, brands in the food industry need to work hard!

Join Belle Lawrence with this week’s guest, Swati Deshpande from Fooditude as they dig into some tasty social media best practice.

Full Transcript

– Hello, and welcome to Serious Social Life. 2022 is in session, and we’re really glad to be back and raring to go. Now many of you will know, but for those of you who are new, these sessions are all about getting serious about social, discussing the best strategic marketing that we can apply to social media in order to break the social boring. Around here, we hate wallpaper posts and the churn of basic, and we love to pay it forward by sharing our philosophies. So as ever, if you have any questions for today, do drop them in the comments or you can DM us and we’ll come back to you later. So I would love to welcome a guest today, I always love having friends around on a Friday, so I’d like to say, hello, welcome to Swati. Hi.

– Hi.

– Thank you for having me, Belle.

– Thanks for joining us. I’m really excited about today’s session. Now, Swati is the marketing manager at Fooditude who are breaking the boring in the world of workplace catering. Swati, do you wanna tell us a bit more about what you do and also what Fooditude is all about?

– Sure. So I’ll start with Fooditude, and maybe then I can plug in what I do there. Fooditude are a workplace caterer, they’re all about bringing fun into office lunches. So, and offices in general, because we do everything for an office when it comes to food, so whether it’s snacking, daily lunches, breakfast, great coffee, barista-style cafe in the office, we do it all. What I do is talk about it. I’m the marketing manager, so a good part of my role is shouting out high on the rooftop how amazing we are as a company, and getting us new clients.

– Awesome. Okay. Today, we’ve got lots to talk about, but I know that one of the reasons that I pick this content idea is that food is a big part of my day, my life, probably, in fact, and I am not alone as we said, in some of the warmup sessions for this, that food content is massive on social. In fact, to put some numbers to it, there were 17 million mentions related to the food industry and trends on social in 2021. That’s 52% growth from 2019. So like it’s huge, it’s much more than just sharing a picture of what you have for dinner these days and Fooditude produce fresh food from scratch, including lunchboxes, right? So this really taps into consumer trends that have been seen more recently on social, because there was some data from Brandwatch that came out that showing a dominance in chatter around meal kits, grocery takeaway deliveries, and convenience, but it had a bit of an emphasis on homemade fresh food. But look, Fooditude have been doing this since 2005, right? So do you think you’ve seen.

– We have.

– More of an interest recently in businesses wanting to provide better quality food? And are there any particular motivations that you hear from your clients?

– We do. So obviously there has always, as a philosophy, Fooditude has always done cook from scratch food, which is very different to how most caterers in that sort of space, office catering space operate. And we have prided ourselves, we’ve always used that as our USP made from scratch, full disclosure of ingredients way before it became law. And our clients loved us for it. But I think the biggest shift we’ve seen is the fact that the pandemic really made people think about wellness in the workplace and how they can make while being a priority in the office for their clients. So new client conversations that we’re having are centred around wellbeing in the workplace, rather than catering as a service. And in that context, obviously homemade, made from scratch, provenance of ingredients, high quality ingredients make us stand out because we’ve been doing it for so many years, it’s not something new that we are doing. It’s not something new that we’ve jumped on the bandwagon because a lot of catering companies have now started a new range of vitality products or things like that.

– Hmm.

– Which are on trend, but may look like they are knee-jerk reactions whereas this is more organic because it’s always been there, organic, not from an organic food perspective, but more organic from just the way we’ve been doing things.

– Just the philosophy of the business. Yeah.

– Yeah.

– And you mentioned that you found, or rather that you heard when we kind of go into lockdown and things, I mean, I know personally, and certainly when we took IF, there was a lot of discussion around, well, like how are you gonna get your food? What are you going to cook? How are you gonna be inspired? And I think you said you heard quite a lot of stories about businesses staff not knowing what to do because you guys weren’t there to feed them.

– Yeah, so a lot of companies that we work with are tech companies. These are companies that provide their employees free lunches in the office. So a good part of these people were used to having lunch freshly made nicely cooked lunch available to them in their office. And the moment the office became unavailable, that lunch also became unavailable to them.

– Hmm.

– And we used to hear a lot of chatter on the internal sort of food channels because we have everyone use Slack even before it became like the way of communication for hybrid working companies. We used to have access to these food channels for all our clients and the one main thing that came out was, now that we’re not in the office, we don’t know what to do for lunch. So we decided to start helping them out a little bit by giving them recipes and recipe cards or food that they would have normally eaten with us. So we started off doing it as one recipe a day, and then not just for clients, we started doing it across our social media too. So for I think a good three, four months in the first few, just before lockdown was announced, that became our sort of default strategy.

– Hmm.

– In terms of content, we used to have one recipe a day.

– Hmm. So, and you did that and that’s recognisable content, to everyone working in the food industry, be inspiring, produce some great food content. And we all kind of recognise that, but I know we’ve been discussing, and certainly that picture, or that recipe inspiration with this kind of, this is yummy try it, it’s not enough when it comes to B2B. And there may be some more things that we could do and certainly things that you have done in the past. But maybe let’s talk through some of the particular challenges or things that you guys have picked up on in the last six months or so when you’ve had to pivot the strategy really, and be less about just recipe inspiration.

– Yeah, so obviously recipe inspiration was great content at that time because everyone was sort of homebound and no one was buying services, right? Because at that time, it made absolutely no sense saying how good a caterer we are because we were in locked down, and we were not allowed to go to the office. So what’s the.

– Yeah.

– Point of saying, hey, buy food from us. But as we started coming out of lockdown and things started easing back into the office, we noticed that once that content was great at that point in time, it wasn’t what actually sold us. So we had to come back to coming up with ideas of what actually would sell us and redefining catering in the new world. So we came up with a couple of new products. So we had these sustainable lunchboxes. And these are lunchbox, it’s just boxed food, it’s great quality deli-style boxes or sandwiches. And they’re made from scratch, just like all the other Fooditude food is, but what’s special about them is the fact that it comes in compostable packaging. And it not just comes in compostable packaging, then there is issues down the stream with waste management and all of these issues we talk about on our social channels. So it’s not just about, hey, get this amazing lunch in a compostable box, but also talking about like what we do with it, after, what we do with our food base after, and using all these things to highlight on our social channels that it’s all about yummy food, yes, but it’s about all the associated services that come with yummy food.

– Yeah. Which is obviously something that businesses are gonna be interested in. Everyone has to do more, do better, they’re targeted on making sure that they are using sustainable things as much as possible, being eco-friendly, and there’s a lot to think about. So do you think that it’s helped being able to offer them content and guidance around that sustainability piece in your social content so that they can feel you’re helping them and you’re connected to them?

– Yes, so what happens is we’re talking about two slightly different audiences that we speak to in our social media posts in general. We have the people who buy our services, who also consume them, but are the ones who make those decisions and who are the ones who also need to be concerned about all these sustainable practises, because they tie into their own sustainability plans for their offices. And then there are the people who actually eat our food, who don’t necessarily get involved in the decision-making when it comes to buying our food, but are hugely influential because they’re the ones who say, actually, can we swap this caterer because they don’t seem to do good stuff or can we get these guys or do more with these guys because they seem to do well with sustainability or sourcing surplus veg, because recently, we have been sourcing surplus veg, but we never spoke about it. And then we put it out on these internal Slack channels, and then we also put it out on our social media that we do use surplus veg.

– Mm-hmm.

– Now it might seem like a seemingly insignificant topic of conversation, but it sparked off this whole lively chat about how using surplus veg is not just about using a different kind of edge, it’s also about like helping food not going to landfill, and all those kinds of issues, which then make us stand as a credible operator that you want to buy from.

– Hmm.

– And I think for us, the most important thing is to build that credibility as someone who has got sustainable credibility and has a fantastic product that will fit our business.

– Yeah, quite, and being able to tap into the motivations of the different audiences is something that’s quite key. And that we sort of talked about quite a lot in the things that we’ve done in the past. There is lots of other videos if anyone wants to go and watch them, but in terms of figuring out when you’re posting and where you’re posting it, do you find that a challenge and are they questions that I could help answer in this session?

– Yes. And I think this is, it is a challenge. I think it’s something that we have always, always struggled with. It’s something we always experiment or play with because the kind of content that would work on say LinkedIn, talking about our sort of services and how easy they are to order from how easy it is to switch on and switch off a delivered catering service was just having a kitchen in the office, which is one of our USP’s, versus talking more about our sustainable stuff, which is also important on LinkedIn, but that kind of content.

– Hmm.

– Does way better on Instagram or Facebook, where people have more time to engage with non-serious stuff. Whereas on LinkedIn, it has, well, we’ve found that our content that highlights our services fares a lot better.

– Hmm. It is a really interesting challenge, and certainly when you’ve got a business, particularly like in the food sector where there’s a lot of people who would be interested in recipe content, or lots of food sustainability content outside of your core buyer audience, what do you do? When do you talk about it? How do you talk about it? The way that we help people to go about that is to do some research, and it sounds really boring, but we have to look at who are our buyer personas and where are they spending the time? Now, there are a couple of research entities that we can engage with that we can pull out the demographics and we can say, okay, we’re pretty sure that the majority of these people are in this location, they’re owning this much and all the sort of basic stuff. But we also try and go further about the psychographics and the motivations of those people. What do they value and what do they want to see? What motivates them to make purchase decisions? And then we can start to tailor the content around that. But the case is particularly when it comes to kind of, are we doing B2B content or B2C content? We are all humans, we don’t have this B2B brain and this B2C brain, you might behave differently on different channels, but you might still come across business content on Facebook that really engages you, that makes you want to buy something as a business buyer. So it’s really about tailoring that content to how often people are on the platforms, what they want from that platform, what they expect to see. And as you said, then serving that to them. It can be challenging then to measure it. But if you put together a measurement framework, which allows you to measure things in series of posts, instead of individual posts, in themes and topics, and also who you think is engaging with it on different platforms, then it’s just like you said, test and learn and figure out whether there is a bit more of a trend in actually in Facebook, when we put this kind of business content out, people do engage with it and they do respond, but just in a different way, maybe they’re looking for more entertainment on that channel. So that would be the way that, the route that we go down to figure out what the strategy should be.

– So that’s really helpful because I think what we do really well is the test and try. I think the measurement bit is where we don’t measure maybe as much as we should.

– Yeah, it is a tricky one. And you kind of have to allow things to bed in if you’re gonna make a strategy change before you start to measure it. And so.

– Yeah.

– It’s one of the key challenges. And when it comes to the content creation and what to say and how to say it, do you also look at the way that you’re writing posts or the format of the content that you’re creating, like videos versus stills or carousels, depending on the channel and the audience you’re talking to?

– 100%. So we do tailor all our content to channels specific stuff. We have recently started playing a little bit with reels, we don’t do as many of them because we just feel like, it was grateful food content, but like businessy food content, not so much, but we do play with it.

– Hmm.

– And we do get some engagement with it. But what we do tend to do is try everything, and see how it works, see how it works within our audience. There are certain things that we have tried that we have actually tested out, we’ve sent out to, so when we actually rebranded, we did actually send it out to our clients and say, hey guys, this is what we are thinking of doing. We did massive research with them before we embarked on the process of rebranding in terms of what their brand perceptions would be like, what they would think of us if we were to change our name and things like that. So there’s a good amount of consumer, well, client research that we have done, and we’ve understood our clients pretty well. And there’s not too many of them that, it helps to have a smaller set in that sort of perspective. But once we’ve done that, I think we are, with social media channels, what we do tend to do is experiment a lot with different formats and with content. We sit down at the end of the month just to go over the posts that did not work.

– Mm-hmm.

– But what we don’t do very well is go over stuff that did work and try and do more of that kind of stuff.

– Hmm.

– I think we dwell more on the stuff that didn’t perform very well, so let’s just ditch that line of content or that style of content.

– Yeah, which is tricky as well, because you might find that something didn’t work, but perhaps is that to do with the time of day it went out or was the sun shining.

– Yeah.

– Was everyone out having a picnic instead of engaging? It’s so difficult to do it on that individual basis. So you always go back to, I would advocate, always go back to some of the things that you’ve done before, just to check why you think it didn’t work.

– Yeah.

– But it is about that data element at the beginning and setting up the strategy. And is that the same for going beyond organic? I mean, there’s definitely the case that with social, you can’t just expect organic engagement and massive high viral reach, particularly in a B2B world. It is a bit pay to play now and you want to reach the right audience, not just be broadcasting. So when it comes to going further, are you doing some testing on paid as well? And is there anything we could, I could answer for you today on that? Yes. So it’s interesting you asked me that question about paid right now. ‘Cause we started, as a company, we weren’t doing any paid social media until about September last year. That’s when we really started investing in paid social. And when we started off, we did very broad targeted interest based to a certain extent, but the targeting was very broad. And when we started looking into what, how those campaigns were performing, it really wasn’t getting us the kind of results we should, or even if it was getting us the results in terms of numbers of clicks, they weren’t clicks from the right people.

– Hmm.

– And that’s when we sort of invested a little more time and energy into defining our audiences a little bit better because broad is great for reach, but then if the reach is not in the right kind of audiences, it doesn’t really make sense. So we went hyper targeted.

– Hmm.

– With our LinkedIn campaign, for example, and selected a broad list of companies that we know would want to buy from us. And then drilled down to certain title types in that audience, and that campaign has been live for about a week and a half now, and that’s performed really well for us because we are getting the right kind of people looking at what we are doing.

– Yeah.

– And looking at what we want them to look at because eventually, we want them to become clients. So it is a slow process and it’s again, a process of do and learn. I don’t think anyone would ever get their social media campaigns right in the first go, and if they do, I’d like to meet them because I’d like to really learn from them.

– We’ll it’s definitely a way to getting closer to it being right. And I think it’s one of the things that is easy to forget about social is where it sits in the funnel. And you can’t expect that that really super high quality lead is gonna come from a single ad that you post once on LinkedIn or Facebook. And I think that’s the myth around it is that it’s not the case, we know from research that LinkedIn put out, that you need five to nine touch points for someone to have an action. So you may want to start a bit broader, but you then do have to do that work, taking them through the storytelling with you, explaining who you are, what you do and getting them invested before you ask them to then become a lead. And as you say, then you’ll find that the volume of clicks might be good at the beginning or the volume of reach and impressions might look really good, but it’s always got to be quality over quantity, or you’re just kind of throwing money out the window and hoping that it’s gonna hit someone who’s right.

– And also understanding that ecosystem a little bit, because, we are currently using a combination of LinkedIn ads, Instagram ads, Google Search, and Google Display. And we find that that ecosystem used in the right way will work for you, and it will give you those five to seven touch points at different stages of a buying journey. But knowing how to use it right, I think is key. And it only comes with like either learning about it or actually getting stuck in and doing it. You might end up like doing it on a smaller scale, so you don’t end up like burning too much cash. But I think it’s important to just start doing it before.

– yeah, start, test, learn and then scale it as you learn.

– Yeah.

– About how it’s gonna work. Totally agree with that. Is there anything else that you want to cover today or, I mean, we can’t possibly cover all the queries in this session.

– Well, if that was one piece of advice you’d give someone who does B2B food marketing, what would it be?

– It would be to think about your audience buyer persona a 100%. So yes, food content is really popular, it is hard to cut through the noise. You’ve got to put yourself in the shoes of that buyer. It’s not just about yummy food, it’s got to be about more than that, how are you saving them money, saving them time, whatever you determine those motivations to be, that’s really got to be the core of your content.

– Great.

– And, I mean, like I say, we can’t cover everything in this session, but is there anything that you would take away from, sorry about the pun, I can’t help it, the pun game is stronger, immediate future. Is there anything you would take away from the session that you’re gonna action?

– I think it’s just sort of looking at those buyer personas and testing. I think that that is what I would take back. Not testing content, but actually looking at results from these campaigns, what worked, what didn’t work, why did what didn’t work, not work.

– Yes.

– That’s my biggest, that’s what I don’t do. So that’s my biggest takeaway from today.

– Awesome. Okay, thank you. Well, hope this has been helpful for you. I’ve really enjoyed it and hopefully, it’s been helpful for everyone watching as well. So we’ll wrap up, but don’t forget, you can catch up on previous sessions of Serious Social Life via our social feeds and YouTube. And we’ve also got a podcast, so do go and subscribe to that to get loads of insights. We’ve got a lot of podcast materials, so, make sure that you take advantage. We will be back in a few weeks with Katie. So do follow us on social and keep an eye on the feeds for the next event coming up. And just to say, thank you so much for joining me Swati. I’ve had a blast.

– Thank you so much. I have had a great time indeed. Thank you.

– And we will definitely.

– Thanks for having me.

– Speak soon. And frankly, I’m now off to decide what I’m gonna eat for lunch because this has just made me hungry.

– Bon appetit.

– Thank you. All right, see you soon.

– See you soon, bye-bye.