What French Fries, Junk Food, & Tequila Taught us about Social Marketing

Last month at Spredfast, we mixed work with pleasure. Our team dabbled in dangerous territory, touching the forbidden fruit, or rather, fry…

July was a month chock-full of foodie holidays, and as lovers of all things sustenance-related, Spredfast’s participation came naturally. What started as an excuse for the marketing team to chow down on powdered donuts quickly escalated, however, into a valuable learning experience—one that all marketers might do well to, ahem, digest.

Reflecting on the past month (and the stomach aches that came with the territory), three lessons emerged: french fries taught us something about our audience, junk food showed us the value of data, and tequila gave us the liquid courage to try something new.  

Without further ado, three lessons that three crazy food holidays taught us about marketing:

1.  Look at Who’s Engaging with Your Content

Believe it or not, some foodie holidays date back centuries (like Donut Day, for instance), whose history is rich sprinkled with, well...sprinkles. National French Fry Day is not one of those days.

While the origin of this glorious day is unknown, its popularity is widespread. 2015 saw over 18K mentions of the holiday, so we knew we had a golden opportunity on our hands.

To celebrate, we made two posts: one was a video, the other was a still image that incorporated the holiday and another timely trend: PokemonGo

 

This type of content went outside of our normal mix, and amongst our followers, it had 2X higher engagement than our average rate. Evidently, our followers were hungry for this new, fresh content, and heeding to their appetite, we continued to cook up more foodie goodness.

2. Always let your data be your guide

Like National French Fry Day, we were unable to trace back to the origin of National Junk Food Day, but nonetheless, social showed us that this was going to be a sweet occasion to celebrate.

In fact, social insights were the impetus for creating this post and all other food-related content last month. We looked at historical insights from 2015 to identify which holidays were most popular, and selected three of the most-talked-about foodie holidays to participate in, based on our findings:

For National Junk Food Day, we investigated the share of voice of junk foods that were most associated with the national holiday in 2015, and followed their performance in 2016 to declare the victors:

 

Finally, we took our nerdiness to new heights and created this data-driven infographic, covering all of the social insights we collected for food holidays over the course of the summer:

The lesson? There’s a wealth of data that can be used to inform your content on social. There were over 40 food holidays in July, so we had to be selective. Social insights helped us find last year’s top-performing holidays, and narrow our focus.

3. Take a shot (of your choosing)

Last, but certainly not least, were the libations. National Tequila Day and National Scotch Day fall three days apart, and we wanted to answer the burning question: Which liquor was the most loved on social? We tried something new and pre-made two separate videos—one for scotch as the victor, and one for tequila.

What surprised us wasn’t the winner (tequila won by a landslide in 2015), but the buzz we received from our own employees. Unknowingly, tequila helped us remember all of our audiences, including the internal one. This (unintentional) employee advocacy post was shared 8X more than our average share rate.

Play with your Food

Don’t be afraid to try something new. Our social presence, while filled with insightful tips and customer stories, needed a little summer spice. Our followers are accustomed to seeing certain content on our feed, so this change was a breath of fresh air for our employees, too.

The bottom line? We played with our food, and it paid off. When we look at the anatomy of our marketing team, we have the known and measurable piece (the whitepapers and case studies) and the experimental piece (food month). By setting aside time and resources for marketing R&D, we learned something new—while satiating some previously untapped cravings of our audience.

 

Samantha Subar's picture

Samantha Subar

@SamanthaSubar
Samantha is a PR Manager at Spredfast where she showcases the customers and thought leaders behind the world's best social software platform. Texas born and raised, Samantha is also a Longhorn lover, wilderness explorer, and cupcake connoisseur. Follow her for the latest on Spredfast and, of course, food.