Specialty Food Magazine


Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 113 of 139

"Original content is key across our multiple social media outlets." Keeley DeSalvo, The Savory Pantry, Hot Springs, AR When it comes to gathering a loyal following on social media, The Savory Pantry takes the approach that it's not about the quantity, it's about the quality. Our team has worked hard to build a social media following of our target customers—foodies and food professionals— instead of trying to accumulate the most "likes" or followers. We strive to share different types of content, and steer away from pushy sales posts in favor of interesting articles about gourmet foods and wines in the news. We share plenty of recipes between posts and tweets that use and promote the products we carry. We also share content from our favorite food-related blogs, vendor profiles, and "behind the brand" information, as well as regional news where our stores are located and everyday photos from inside both stores. Original content is also key across our multiple social media outlets. For example, when we create an original recipe to post on our blog, "Taste. Savor. Share.," we may share one photo on Facebook, a different photo on Instagram and Twitter, and all pho- tos on Pinterest. We want to be consistent with our message but not boring, so having multiple photos to choose from as well as tailored captions across different media outlets helps to keep things fresh. "Before you say it on social media, ask yourself if you'd say it to a guest in the store." Pete Sickman-Garner, Zingerman's Community of Businesses, Ann Arbor, MI We're a big and somewhat unwieldy organization—700 employees in nine businesses, all working to build their own brands while effectively promoting the Zingerman's name. Our approach to social media is really no different from the document that guides how we maintain our look and feel. The nine key points in that document are guidelines for all Zingerman's communication: Fun, Engaging, Informative, Colorful, Bold, Down to Earth, High Energy and Action Oriented, Personalize As Much As Possible, and Build the Zingerman's Name. Personalization is a big key for us, as it is for everyone. We want our guests to feel like they're communicating with an individual and not a brand. Of course, asking our staff to be themselves on social media without giving them proper guidance is a bad strategy, as a slip of the keyboard can have catastrophic results. Our web team has developed a training tool called the Social Media Passport. (True to our roots, Zingerman's has always been obsessed with training!) We ask that before any staff member in any business is given the keys to any of their businesses' social media accounts, they complete the training that the passport lays out. One easy piece of advice that every- one gets right away is, "Before you say it on social media, ask yourself if you'd say it to a guest in the store." That's a pretty good litmus test. "It's important to figure out what your message is, what your brand is, and what you're trying to tell people." Helen Griesemer and Amy Popplewell, The Olive Press, Sonoma, CA AP: I do mostly Facebook and Pinterest, and one of the best things to be thinking about is having fresh content that you can actually link to on your website to try and get users back to you, in addition to keeping it very social and not trying to sell directly—taking fun pictures that people can relate to that speak to your brand and are going to evoke an emotion or engagement. With Facebook, what I've learned is you really do need to put some money into it. It's hard to get stuff going organically all the time. It's good to boost posts, and we're doing a couple of different ad campaigns, especially during the holiday season. It's important to figure out what your message is, what your brand is, and what you're trying to tell people. I'm not always talk- ing about olive oil. Sometimes I'm talking about entertaining or traveling in Sonoma. And then I'll bring it back to our mission, sharing pictures of olives, keeping customers in the loop about harvest season. They can see you're a real company that's produc- ing things. It's good to show the human side of things. Facebook and Pinterest are both very visual. Pinterest drives a lot of sales because people are looking at products and ideas on Pinterest, where on Facebook they're more inclined to be social. On Pinterest we post a lot of recipes, different product picks, or pretty pictures of the scenery in Sonoma, so it's all about the visual and getting them back to our website, because on Pinterest people do click through. Facebook is a little bit more friendly—speaking with your customers and trying to engage them in a conversation rather than just showing them what you have to offer. HG: [One strategy for Twitter is to not focus on] selling. We're constantly being sold to all the time, but Twitter is social. It's about engaging the community in being involved in what you do, rather than actually selling to them. Every once in a while I feel [the desire] to sell, and it never works. In the case of The Olive Press, it's about engaging the whole olive oil community. So it's not that you're in competition, it's that you are engaged in a community that's doing the same thing. I talk about the wine country because it's a destination spot, so there are many things I incorporate—artisan, Italian-like life- style, Mediterranean. It's not just being myopic and looking at just olive oil, but everything else that goes with it. Eva Meszaros is managing editor of Specialty Food Magazine. WINTER 2015 111

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