At the beginning of 2015, when Allrecipes’ leadership team sat down to define a new vision for the future of the Allrecipes brand—the “M” word, a.k.a. millennials—came up frequently. With a keen appreciation for how this group of digital natives continuously leverages connected technologies to guide nearly all of their activities, it was clear shared experiences among friends, family, and peers would be at the center of informing the foods they purchase, prepare and share. With this in mind, Allrecipes’ teams set course to create a more social, personal, and mobile brand experience.
As part of this new direction, Allrecipes’ social team was challenged by company leadership to rapidly expand its social marketing programs to grow the Allrecipes’ community by attracting new audiences. There was an acute focus to ensure the brand was doing everything necessary to reach and stay connected with this next generation of home cooks through authentic, timely, and emotionally-meaningful touch points. As the lead for our social team, I knew it wouldn’t be easy, and a core strategy, including the right tools and content, would be key.
When Allrecipes’ teams think about the social space, we know it’s extremely crowded and cluttered. At any given moment someone’s feed is filled with cat videos, news about the Kardashians, and #FOMO photos. As a brand, finding the right intersection point and thumb stopper is what we obsess about. We’re always mindful of trends and social behaviors. It’s imperative our brand stays relevant, and we get our followers excited about cooking, whether it’s that 3:00 PM chocolate craving, or an ultra-cheesy dip that makes you want to run to the store. Because let’s face it, we all love food.
So how do you build and grow an audience? We took a look at channels offering us the greatest opportunity. Pinterest was already in our wheelhouse and a key player for driving social traffic. (This case study offers a glimpse at what Allrecipes is already doing on Pinterest, https://business.pinterest.com/en/success-stories/allrecipes). Nailed it.
Another social environment that appeared to be a good match for us was Facebook. In early 2015 the tides shifted and leading publishers started to gain more inventory in the Facebook feed. It’s a Catch-22 because most people would say, oh, it’s easy now that news/articles and links are surfacing more. Just post more. Not that simple. As a social manager, I knew that with so many other brands doubling or tripling their posts to their Facebook pages, we would need to employ a similar approach. To confirm this direction, we crafted models to leverage data to help us predict the type of results we could achieve. From this process, it was clear we could double the number of Facebook posts and increase our referrals using similar methodology. We created a plan for the content distribution to achieve our desired levels of reach, engagement, and referrals.
To achieve the desired level of success, our social team had to do two things: first, look closely at our content strategy and make sure our posts were optimized for the feed. And second, raise our level of efficiency. Workflow was crucial, and making significant chances to the amount of content we planned to post meant we had to find ways to be more efficient. We looked at tools and one that stood out to us was SocialFlow. SocialFlow uses data to inform you when your post surfaces in the Facebook feed by analyzing when your fans are most engaged. Game changer. Instead of worrying how to schedule our posts, the team shifted to focusing the majority of its time and attention on content. Because we mainly post link style posts, the ability to alter headlines, link copy, and images is key. Using SocialFlow, we were able to double the number of posts we published daily to Facebook. As a result, we increased our social traffic by 20 percent, our Facebook reach by 58 percent, and Engagement by 75 percent. To learn more about how we did this, check out our new case study developed in partnership with the SocialFlow team: http://www.socialflow.com/case-studies-creating-efficiency-and-driving-performance-at-allrecipes/.