The other day as me and my friend were about to dig into a plate of delectable lasagna, I saw her taking pictures so she could post it on her Facebook wall and that left me wondering on how social media has assumed a predominant role in our lives. She is not the only one I know who loves to flood the social media with pictures of food, but there are many others who show keen interest in sharing their dining or cooking experiences with the world. Pictures of mouth-watering food have come to account for a fair share on social media sites as greater number of people are making it their standard pre-meal ritual to upload pictures of the fanciest restaurants or cafes they are dining at and food they are having. Certainly, the trend of “eating and tweeting” has caught up big time. It is not only evolving the way we eat but also the way we perceive people and way food brands and companies are doing business.
Social Media fuelling the drive for innovation in food industry
Social Media is the new, highly-effective and a powerful tool to create sensation about products, menus or food brands being launched in the market. With everyone being hooked on to social media these days, it is an obvious choice for fast food joints, food and beverage (F&B) companies and connoisseurs to turn to this influential medium to spread the word and create hype about their services, products, events and new items on the menu. The competitive environment has made companies to think of out-of-the-box strategies and social marketing to help them win more clients on the online platform.
Exploding food apps market proving to be great
The burgeoning market of food-related apps, born out of the social media, is actually proving to be quite useful for not only companies to stay ahead in the competitive culinary landscape but also emerging to be something of great advantage for consumers. With the steep rise in the number of people availing the convenience of getting their next meal or groceries delivered right at their door-step, the relationship between social media and food industry has got a big impetus.
Sharing and showing off; both made possible by social media
Research groups believe that pictures of food joints or meals are largely being posted on social media sites with the purpose of reflecting one’s “cool” quotient. Dining out at fancy restaurants and displaying our foodstuffs is a new way to look fashionable. It is often done by people to be looked upon as someone who loves to have interesting gastronomic experiences. Such diners also increasingly seek out newer and trendier restaurants in order to garner more attention on social media sites.
However, a lot of food bloggers and foodies disagree that posting pictures of food online is the yardstick for being fashionable and believe that it is about sharing common interest. For a lot of people, uploading food reviews, blog posts about food and images of new and upscale restaurants is a way to share their passion for discovering the finest food joints and dining experiences.
Social Media turns solo dining into a social experience
As more and more people are left with little choice but to eat alone, a behavioural shift has also been noticed among people. They share pictures of food and meals on social media to let their solitary dinner turn into a social experience. Research groups have found that nearly one-third of Indians use social networking sites to text their friends or post food photography while eating or drinking alone at home.
An example of the increasing infiltration of social media in the dining space can be seen in South Korea, with the soaring popularity of a phenomenon known as muk-bang. It involves participants streaming live the whole event of eating copious quantities of food while being alone at home and intermittently conversing with their social media viewers. These online eating broadcasts have also helped many Koreans to earn good deal of money by using the power of live broadcasting of dining. It won’t come as a surprise to me if, in the coming days, Indians too, turn their “eat-and-tweet” obsession to the extreme level by being a part of live food broadcasting practices as similar to muk-bang.
Once an exotic food fare has now become familiar
Nowadays, Indians are experimenting with their meals and developing more cosmopolitan taste buds thanks to the greater exchange of food recipes, images and ideas, largely being facilitated by social media. As we share food photographs online and wonderful cooking blogs, we are also inculcating food habits from all over the world.
Social Media helping small food businesses compete on a global scale
As social media proves to be an excellent and easily-accessible platform for common people and food experts to share their creative ideas, images and recipes, food industry giants as well as small companies are realising the need to leverage the power of this medium to drive their business. A lot of small food companies have already designed their social media marketing campaigns to derive optimum benefits by expanding their online presence and exploring the possibility of putting them firmly on the global food business map.
While diners post food images of their favorite dishes in the jazziest restaurants, food businesses explore smart social marketing tricks to be on top. Social media is certainly turning out to be the most dominant tool for foodies and food businesses to satiate their interests. As social media emerges triumphant in breaking down the walls and narrowing the gap between businesses and customers, it has become a necessity for all and the bond it shares with food only looks set to get strengthened in the coming years.