Why Is Your Dinner Online?



What is more social than food? Besides conversation, not much. An invite to “hang out” is usually over coffee, lunch, “dinner and a movie” or some such nourishing or intoxicating event. Holidays are generally boiled down to “the real meaning” plus a disgruntled meal with estranged relatives. Hell, the Korean word for family is translated literally: “those who eat together.”

Social media has just taken it to the next level – online.

Today, 29% of eaters are on social media while dining at home, 19% while they eat out. What are they doing?

  • 32% are socializing
  • 21% are looking for recipes
  • 40% are learning more about food
  • 24% are commenting on friends’ updates
  • 21% are looking for coupons

Why do those numbers equal over 100%? Simple: multitasking.

Do you have those annoying friends that post pictures of everything they eat, want to eat, have ever eaten, post-being-digested after eating, and what the person in the stall next to them ate yesterday as well? Maybe you are that person.

This is a rising trend, especially on Instagram and Facebook, and is positively sharing great ideas with others, employed by marketing strategies as well as the organic “I want to share this” love of food. A whopping 25% of “eaters” are now sharing their diets on a regular basis and 22% are blogging about it.

31% of folks still find out about food deals in newspapers and other print; while a growing 46% of people are turning to the web: blogs, social networks, as well as handy apps such as Yelp (exponentially the most used), Urbanspoon, Foursqaure, and Yummly (all with millions of users) are taking the food market by storm and sharing what’s good and what’s not (in their opinion) with more people instantly.

Photo: Christopher Malone

Photo: Christopher Malone (Click photo to read: The Inevitable Coffee Ring)

The Syracuse New Times caught up with several prominent local food bloggers at the Social Media Breakfast Syracuse at Stein’s Restaurant in Camillus last week to talk about their experience in talking about food online.

“It’s a creative outlet,” said Jared Paventi, Chief Communications Officer at the Alzheimer’s Association’s CNY Chapter and author of Blogaldente.

Margaret McCormick, food columnist for the New Times and author of Eat First said her readers approach her for more info about her adventures in “food-dom.”

“People want to engage and know about the process,” she said.

Sunny Hernandez, Community Engagement Lead at the daily newspaper and author of For Your Pies Only, subscribes to product sampling networks to share new food trends.

“I started out by reading other food blogs and engaging with them,” said Zainab Storms, author of Blahnik Baker and a neuroscience Ph.D. student “by day.” Storms also monetized her work via Google’s user-friendly AdWords program, which pays bloggers when their readers click on ads posted on their site.

A common thread among all the food bloggers was social media. Paventi, moderating the discussion, queued that conversation as “How do you get the word out?” The answer is predominately Facebook, Twitter, Instragram; and various other niche foodie networks such as Food Gawker, a specific recipe sharing food photo site, and of course Pinterest.

Certain forum networks are opposed to blogger self-promotion as part of their rubric, such as Reddit, mentioned Hernandez. However, all of the bloggers have found a widespread following across the online social sphere.

“We all want to be loved,” said Paventi.  And after all, who doesn’t like to eat?


Joe CunninghamA former Internet Marketing Manager, Joe Cunningham is a dad, a screenwriter, playwright and all-around adventurer. He blogs for Kinani Blue, charms Google at Terakeet and enjoys running through the city. You can follow him on Twitter at @IndianaJoe77 or he can be reached at [email protected].





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