5 Ways Food Entrepreneurs Can Use Social Media To Grow Business The key to grabbing your customer's attention in an increasingly noisy world is to give them something worth their time

By Mithun Appaiah

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Do you know the failure rate for new products launched in the grocery sector is 70 to 80 per cent? A Nielsen study shows more than 85 per cent of new consumer packaged goods (CPG) products fail. So what separates a successful launch from failure? It all boils down to how aware your consumer is about your brand and products which, in turn, means how connected you are with them through social media.

In this connected world where consumers spend far more time on their phones and laptops checking online reviews than in store, all food brands need to get their social media game right. Attention today is now of the most valuable commodities. The key to grabbing your customer's attention in an increasingly noisy world is to give them something worth their time. For that, you need to treat each touchpoint more like as a transaction, not unlike the ones made in store. Your social media strategies should focus on giving your audience value above all else. So here are five social media strategies that every food brand needs to incorporate as part of product marketing strategy.

Creating your value proposition

So what creates value? A study by the University of Southern California on "Thinking vs. Feeling: The Psychology of Advertising" says people value sources of entertainment and information. This is particularly true if these sources trigger an emotional response. In fact, the emotional response to a brand's ad is the most predictive measure of its success. Creating relevant content that creates an emotional trigger is the first step where you should start. Once you have your initial content with your brand's messaging in place, choose the right channel to distribute this content. Whether it's video or image post or posts about your brand's journey, choose the channels where the food conversions are carried on and use the appropriate format of content. Long format videos for YouTube, image posts on Insta and Facebook, etc. Use ads to promote your content.

Be visual

As a food brand, your content needs to be visual. You need images or visuals that can connect with your audience, so invest in your images. It's important today as a brand to consider yourself as a media company; this means investing in the creation of original content. According to Hubspot, casual readers usually remember approximately 10 per cent of a piece of information if quizzed three days later. But when you show these users an image with the information, the number jumps to 65 per cent. Which is why a clearly defined visual marketing strategy is crucial to brand recognition and building a loyal following.

Be consistent

However it doesn't end here, you need to be consistent. Sharing your brand story using appropriate and consistent imagery will have a more powerful and lasting impact. In order to do so, prepare a content calendar with images and outline the topic for each day of the week, ideally create this several weeks or months ahead. Ensure this social calendar has all the relevant hashtags you want to include. These could be both popular industry hashtags and those that are customized specifically for your brand.

Collaborate with Influencers

In addition to content and ad promotions, a good way to get people to notice your brand would be to reach out to the right set of influencers, food groups on these social platforms. Social media influencers are the new celebrities and trendsetters today. For audiences, seeing a well-known influencer share a product on social media feels more genuine than any fancy ad campaign. However, be cautious about who you collaborate with, choose a right mix of influencer, those that are genuinely passionate about food and knowledgeable in this field, and most importantly check out how engaged they are with their followers. Collaborating with such influencers ensures your brand gets a stamp of approval, as well as having the added benefit of reaching a larger total audience pool and getting the most bang for your buck.

Tell a story

Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to put your brand out there in the world. In fact, studies show that stories are very powerful, they communicate at an emotional level that we all connect with. Our learning increases with a great story. We remember them so easily. Therefore, at the heart of the social media campaign, you should have a clear idea of what story you are trying to tell. Once you have done that, then only you can build your social media strategy around your brand's story.

Mithun Appaiah

CEO of Innovative Foods Ltd, Brand Sumeru


Mithun Appaiah is the CEO of Innovative Foods Ltd, makers of the brand Sumeru. He is an expert with F&B industry expertise across the spectrum of sales, key account management, customer marketing, logistics, business development, P&L management, developing new business channels, e-commerce and start-up acceleration.

After passing out from IFIM Business School, Mithun joined Nestle India Ltd, handling urban and rural markets and building the rural market footprint, with distribution expansion into feeder towns. He was also instrumental in driving innovative in-store execution and execution templates.

He has won multiple awards and accolades, including Urja CEO & MD award with Britannia, Innovator of the year award at United Spirits-UB group,  National winner of premium brand contest with Nestle, Best outgoing student award in business management, and an the award for topper gold medal in Marketing during his MBA.


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