Daily Insights

The Recipe for Success on Facebook

By: Susruthi Vasudevan | Sep 18, 2019

In direct contrast to Instagram, the frozen food and baking categories together represent 66% of the share of Facebook interactions, with General Mills brands Betty Crocker and Pillsbury owning 21% and 17%, respectively, according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Food US.

Both Facebook and Instagram attract over 70% of young adults aged 18 to 24, but Facebook and YouTube are the only social media platforms that also cater to over 55% of adults aged 50 and up. This demographic profile has implications for content strategy. Site viewership on mobile devices shows that Kitchn and AllRecipes skew more toward young adults, likely giving them an edge on Instagram, while Betty Crocker and Pillsbury have a more favorable opportunity at leadership on Facebook. Betty Crocker and Pillsbury are rooted in recipe strategy, even for the content they host on their brand sites. Their recipe pages respectively garner 89% and 75% share of popular page views, compared to the tracked brand average of 33% for brands with a dedicated recipe site section. Moreover, all of their top ten Facebook posts feature recipes and also link to their respective brand sites, which additionally helps boost referral traffic to their sites.

Seasonal recipes are highly engaging, but brands can also tap into other recipe codes throughout the year. Google search trends indicate a surge in “easy” recipe search terms, which grew 5.5% year over year, compared to recipe terms overall, which grew 2.7% during the same period. Leading brands like Betty Crocker, Pillsbury and Nestlé Toll House play into this demand—evident in their top ten most engaging posts featuring easy/quick recipe videos. Furthermore, pay-to-play platforms like Facebook offer opportunities for brands to capitalize on promoted content to boost average interactions per post. Betty Crocker and Pillsbury make up 31% of all promoted posts in the Index, achieving over three times the average interactions per promoted post compared to organic posts.

Recipes are an integral part of the content strategy for many brands in the food category, but brands should justify their social media investments by prioritizing platforms that are better suited for their target demographics and align with consumer trends to promote engaging content.