As we carefully wipe the saliva from our keyboards from writing this blog, we’re pleased to present 10 food and hospitality brands who are absolutely killing it on social. From grassroots businesses to the larger-than-life conglomerates we’ve known since childhood, these brands have proven that they’re a force to be reckoned with when it comes to all things social. We’re loving….
1. Pan ‘n’ Ice:
The relatively new company founded in 2015 has not only managed to create a unique brand and successful business in a short period of time but has amassed a whopping 207k Instagram followers in its short tenure; a rare feat for any up-and-comer.
Its content focuses on decadent desserts, with videos of familiar favorites being turned into its signature ice cream rolls. Here, we see how anyone’s much-loved treat can be reinvented by Pan ‘n’ Ice, creating a sense of wonder and universal appeal.
2. Hanson Brothers Beer:
If you lived through the ’90s, chances are you have heard of the band Hanson.
The brotherly trio’s most popular release was the infectious “Mmmbop”, the result of a melody that was initially stuck in their heads, spurring the hit song (which consequently got stuck in OUR heads). So, 20 years on, what do they do when starting a beer company? Give it the BEST NAME EVER, OF COURSE. It’s called…
Not only does this incredible name choice make your face go…
…but the company’s coupling of genuine fan support and artisanal beer brings a unique air to its social media platforms. Fans constantly post glowing reviews and personal pictures with the beers (and sometimes the band)! Here, we see a blend of nostalgia, earthiness, and an element of music creating a tight-knit social community geared for the long haul. Something most brands aspire to but fail to achieve.
3. Siete Foods:
One key thing every food brand should aspire to is igniting hunger through their socials. Siete Foods does exactly that, creating visuals that bring the hunger pains. Its menu’s main point of difference is its grain-free and non-GMO offering. Here, we see how Siete’s socials are bringing inspiration, innovation, and fun into conscientious eating, all through the images of its everyday meal offerings. This forerunner brand is one to watch!
Sister brand of the already well-established Shiro Hana company, Kiku is already shaping out to be Sri Lanka’s latest vanguard eatery and function space. But guess what—it isn’t even open yet!
How this new brand manages to stay in the public consciousness prior to its debut is through a clever digital strategy and a haunting aesthetic that gives just enough information to pique public interest. Kiku utilizes ambiguous imagery loosely centered around its menu, but more so around its brand of nature, light, and Japanese abstract art, which influences its overall style.
F&B publications and prominent local artists have already begun following and goading the restaurant to “open up already”, while its growing numbers despite its short existence is a testament to how branding on social can provoke curiosity and intrigue.
5. Messina Gelato:
Probably our favorite social media and PR campaign of all time. In 2017, Messina Gelato and Stan TV partnered to celebrate the release of David Lynch’s long-awaited masterpiece: Twin Peaks: The Return. To commemorate the occasion, Messina transformed its cult ice creamery into an “RR Diner”, complete with flavors all native to the TV show.
The first 50 people in line won a coveted slice of “cherry pie”, while the queue, in general, went far beyond the street and around the corner. Die-hard Lynch fans and ice cream enthusiasts alike all gathered around to partake while Stan’s and Messina’s online following soared.
Here, we see how events can garner new social followers and also create unique and memorable experiences for curious individuals. A PR and social match made in heaven.
6. Tasty on Buzzfeed:
The blog that’s making master chefs out of cooking novices. Tasty is an extension of Buzzfeed focused purely on posting mouth-watering food recipes. The key to their social media success has been their use of minute-long instructional videos that show viewers how to cook quick delicious meals with ease and with few ingredients. These videos have gone viral and are shared by a plethora of accounts.
They even take suggestions, creating user-relevant recipes based on feedback, while staying active on all popular platforms including Pinterest, Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook. With such a broad platform reach and a focus on appealing to its audiences’ tastes (pun intended), Buzzfeed’s high-quality social content has made it a go-to name for hungry online recipe scavengers.
7. KLM Happy to Help Campaign:
Dutch airline brand KLM created a week-long campaign focused on providing BEYOND-exceptional customer service to travelers they encountered who were using other airlines. KLM’s service has been second to none in its many years of operation, however, this social campaign exemplified just how dedicated it was to its craft.
Its engagement with real-life individuals on social platforms native to them not only allowed users to exhibit their devotion to the company’s work but also did something many hospitality brands aren’t interested in doing: inspiring hope in humanity.
Some highlights were the team singing a lullaby to help a passenger sleep as well as providing LED crutches to a young man wanting to visit a rave.
8. McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce:
If you’re an avid Adult Swim watcher, chances are you’re familiar with “Rick & Morty”. More importantly, you’re familiar with the “Szechuan sauce” gag that opened season three.
Much like the chagrin mirrored by the titular character of the series, followers of McDonald’s socials demanded the reproduction of a particular promotional dipping sauce served during the release of Disney’s Mulan in the ’90s. Once the TV series aired, McDonald’s brought back the sauce for a limited time, delighting fans. The preview tweet on Twitter garnered 40,000 likes alone. This speedy reaction to what has now become a pop-culture staple was a powerful move on the part of the famous eatery, solidifying its relevance to today’s generation.
You spoke. We’ve listened. Lots more #SzechuanSauce and locations. Details soon. And that’s the wayyy the news goes! pic.twitter.com/ooIrbZBsOw
— McDonald’s (@McDonalds) October 8, 2017
9. Tate & Lyle
Tate & Lyle is an English food brand that started out as a sugar refining business, made popular by its golden syrup product founded in the 1920s. With such a deep history, it can be easy to dismiss older companies as antiquated and obsolete.
Not in this case…
As part of a brand rejuvenation campaign, Tate & Lyle created an event called “Night At The Edible Hotel”, where it fitted a hotel with seemingly ordinary items that were actually edible. Guests searched through rooms and hallways to find candied books, flowers, and carpets.
The combination of whimsy and curiosity invoked in the peculiar interactive setting was a hit with the public. The result was a social media sensation that blew up on Twitter and Instagram all over the UK.
10. Taco bell
At present, Taco Bell has proven it is the top contender when it comes to F&B-inspired social media and they show no signs of slowing down. From its derisive tweets aimed at competitors to its custom Snapchat “taco face” filter, Taco Bell uses every social feature available to exemplify the fun and creative nature of its brand. It also adopts social accounts early on, defining how hospitality and food brands should use the platform from the outset.
Some of our favorites include the “Thanks for suing us ad”, a sassy campaign aimed at quashing public doubt after a lawsuit was filed against the company for not using real meat in tacos.
Another was the breakfast rebellion campaign where Taco Bell playfully poked at a competitor (that rhymes with “Schmish-Donalds”) through a video showing the variety and liberation to be had from Taco Bell’s breakfast menu.
Now you’ve seen some of the best hospitality and food brands on social media. The next step? Start your own campaign! Take what you’ve seen here and use it as inspiration to push the boundaries of what these platforms do for your industry.