Social food on the high street: Connecting ‘likes’ to purchases


40% of top retail food brands are not using social media to promote their brands, with many neglecting Twitter and missing out on sales as a result, according to new research.

The Visceral Business Social Food Study, commissioned by Visceral Business and conducted by Synthesio, indicates that food service brands in the UK might be missing a trick when it comes to connecting with users through social media.

The study, which examined 85 retail food brands, found that 92% of the social food conversation where brands are mentioned is actually on Twitter.

The study found that while on Facebook, the user is the recipient not the instigator, and it’s mainly about being amenable to the message. However on Twitter, the customer often begins the conversation.

This research suggests food brands can do more about social and digital integration and also by thinking about the socially spreadable nature of content.

The Social Food Study has researched at over 85 brands and is based on one question -

‘You’re hungry, you’ve got £20 in your pocket. Who would you choose to spend it with, and why?’


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The study considers which brands are most connected to their users using social media. We’ve asked the question, ‘which ones might be working best to address how socially networked as businesses they are with their staff, too?’

How are brands building loyalty and meaningful relationships through they way they interact online, on their websites and on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn?
Working with Synthesio, the report’s highlighted some interesting insights.

Ten brands dominate the conversation in terms of share of mentions. Much of the content is about product promotion, but what people actually talk about and share are their experiences more than the products themselves.

Only 60% of brands in the study are using social media. While nearly every brand that does is on Facebook, the main conversation is on Twitter which is used by only 76% of brands that are socially and digitally active, so brands might not be where the conversation is.

The research suggests to be more successful at being social, food brands can maybe frame how they see themselves as makers of food experiences as much as retailers. After all, collaborating with people is a new ingredient.

To download a full copy of the report, which is free, click here.


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