There is no doubt that we are a food-obsessed society. Our social media feeds are inundated with videos and recipes for delicious meals and decadent desserts. The trend is widespread throughout various social media platforms—Twitter just enlisted 17 celebrity chefs to create the “Twitter Food Council,” Facebook has over 1.4 million CrockPot Ladies on its site and “food hacks” are among the most popular content online today.
Yet, our survey of over 2,000 online users about their grocery and social media habits found something quite contradictory. When we asked about the posting of meals on social media, respondents said they were not likely to contribute to this online food frenzy:
41% of the respondents reported they weren’t likely to post their meals on social media
37.8% say they definitely wouldn’t.
Something seems fishy here, and I’m not talking about these healthy Pinterest recipes.
People might not be telling the truth
With over 98 million #foodporn posts on Instagram, a clear disconnect is drawn from our survey results and the nearly 62,000 #foodporn pics posted each day.There are close to 65 million posts using #instafood, 66 million posts using #sweet and over 32 million posts with #fresh. And that doesn’t even cover the top food hashtags of #homemade, #foodgasm, #foodie, #yummy and #instagood. Instagram’s 186 million posts about #food prove that it is a topic most users are willing to engage in.
So why would people hide the fact they are posting their meals on social media?
A likely answer could be that much of the food tagged #foodporn is unhealthy. Many of these #foodporn posts showcase high-calorie extravaganzas featuring high fat content and sugar overloads. And while most users are fine with the glamorized food pics dominating their timelines, others have started campaigns to counter the highly saturated (and salted) content. For example, Bolthouse Farms created a #URWHATYOUPOST campaign, which included influencer posts about the importance of fruits and veggies.
Healthy hashtags get more likes
A global study by the Qatar Computing Research Institute showed that #foodporn isn’t all unhealthy posts. Although users are most interested in sweets and fast food, there is high popularity in more healthful foods as well, such as sushi and salad. The study also revealed that when looking at posts labeled #foodporn, the rate of approval (“likes”) is higher for healthy foods than for unhealthy ones. This shows a trend of people self-policing and promoting a healthier lifestyle.
It’s important to associate your brand with the right hashtags
Hashtags are important for getting your content seen, but it’s even more important to develop the right hashtag strategy that fits with your brand. Observe what relevant hashtags your target audience is already engaged in and then create campaigns around the same ones to amplify them.
To truly stand out, however, think about the ownability of a hashtag over time. While you might want to insert your brand’s name into a popular hashtag, thousands of influencer campaigns at Collective Bias have revealed that the majority of campaigns do better when they use a relevant, unbranded hashtag. Start tracking campaigns with clever and unique hashtags that can represent your personal brand and highlight your target audience without feeling overly promotional.