I was first introduced to Foodspotting last year at SXSW. The app was founded in 2009 by Alexa Andrzejewski, Ted Grubb and Soraya Darabi as a way for users to decide what to eat not just where to eat. The group was nestled in the corner of the business accelerator handing out stickers and convincing conference-goers to listen to their pitch.
Since then, Foodspotting has gained popularity among foodies and non-foodies alike. The app threw a Street Food Fest on Sunday featuring Austin food trucks and one of the largest RSVP lists at the conference. Although Foodspotting is still maturing, it’s an example of the wealth of emerging mobile apps that hold potential for brands seeking to reach their target audience and facilitate dialogue online.
Users upload photos of their food, tagging it with a location and description so others can see what’s tasty in their area. Spotted dishes can be shared out through various social channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare and users can follow “guides” to stay abreast of what’s cookin’ in their area.
The concept has been successful because foodies are able to hone in on what matters most – the food. Foodspotting is an example of how social media is able to tap into interest groups and spur engagement around a topic. For food brands, apps like Foodspotting offer a number of reasons to monitor their growth and think about opportunities for partnership. Here are three things to consider:
- Find Influencers: We talk about the need to find and build relationships with influencers, but how exactly is that done? Brands can turn to apps like Foodspotting to monitor and identify potential brand ambassadors. By listening to what these individuals are saying and their ability to activate the community, brands can develop specialized lists of influencers for outreach. Foodspotting brings together a segment of the most passionate foodies engaging online today.
- Become a Trusted Resource: Your brand is an expert but is it a trusted authority? Gaining authority depends in part on the content your brand shares with its audience. Are you offering something unique and different that sets you apart from the crowd? Foodspotting offers brands a new way to push out content and demonstrate knowledge within the space by acting as a guide.
- Spur Engagement: Foodspotting by nature is about motivating users to take action. How can your brand tap that activity and leverage it to amplify your messaging? Partnering with emerging apps is a great way to test engagement ideas and see what has the potential to stick on a larger scale.