It’s no secret that food dominates many summer festivities. From watermelon and ice cream cones to backyard barbecues, summer food traditions hold true year after year. For example, 7 million hot dogs are consumed between Memorial Day and Labor Day. That's an incredible 818 dogs per second!
Smartphones have quickly become a foodie’s best friend, especially during the summer when so many consumers are on-the-go. Restaurants are the leading type of business that users search for on mobile devices, and “food porn” posts and accounts on social media are extremely popular. Targeting these highly engaged users through social advertising is an ideal way for restaurants and food brands to reach the right audiences and drive purchases.
Here are some recommendations on how quick service restaurants (QSRs) and consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands can use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Twitter as part of their overall marketing strategy to attract and convert summertime buyers.
-- Food is the largest category on Pinterest, with over 15 billion Pins. 2016 saw a 21% increase in food Pins as people become more interested in food trends and new ingredients. CPG brands can use interest and keyword targeting on the platform to reach users interested in food and cooking.
-- While summer food staples are tried and true, different regions go through unique food trends. According to Pinterest data, matcha is excessively popular in Hawaii, while figs are all the rage in California. Because people use the platform to plan, Pinterest often gets a first look at emerging trends. Search, save, and click patterns are like windows into consumer behavior, making Pinterest the perfect platform to get early insight into what’s trending across the country. Tailor your food content by region to appeal to the right users with recipe Pins, ingredient spotlights, or cooking tutorials.
-- 79% of smartphone users have their phones on or near them for all but two hours of the waking day, so social media advertising is an ideal tactic for reaching hungry consumers on-the-go during the summer months. Go mobile-first to maximize the reach of your campaign.
-- The foodie community on Instagram is thriving, with over 213 million #food tags on the platform. Since millions of Instagrammers seek food-related content, highly visual ads featuring food items will find a large audience and high engagement rates.
-- Location-based mobile ads on Facebook and Instagram drive a 10.4x lift in restaurant visits. Target nearby consumers to get them in the door.
-- Twitter event targeting can help CPG and QSR brands join the conversations happening around key summertime holidays and events. Check out last summer’s data on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and seasonal events like Wimbledon and the U.S. Open to see what was trending, and plan this summer’s strategy accordingly.
-- 80% of Snapchat users take Snaps in restaurants. Running a sponsored Geofilter on restaurant locations is a great way to get further exposure for your brand through Snaps customers send to other users. You can track the uses and views of your Geofilters via Snapchat's Snap to Store tool and determine how many customers visited a location as a result of seeing a Geofilter.
-- Paid social is a great way for restaurant and CPG brands to extend their messages--especially with TV’s reach dwindling. TV commercials can’t promise the same reach anymore, especially among younger audiences. In contrast, on any given day, Snapchat reaches 41% of 18- to 34-year-olds in the U.S. while the top 15 TV networks only reach 6%.
-- Summer is the busiest season for most restaurants in the U.S., with many bulking up their summer staffs to accommodate the increase in foot traffic. Make your restaurant a go-to summer hot spot by reaching engaged consumers on social media with an always-on social advertising strategy.
To make an impression with summertime foodies, going all-in on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and Twitter is the way to go.