Earlier this month Zoe and I took a trip over to Shoreditch to attend the SoMeetUp blogger event for Foodies at Boondocks restaurant. It was an evening filled with interesting conversation, great people, valuable tips and to top it off, lots of tasty food – great for girls working in food PR!
First up on the stage was Bea Vo of @London_Bea, who started off her career in medicine before training to become a pastry chef! After such a drastic change in career she pioneered her way through London’s restaurant and bakery scene, opening Butterscotch London first, then expanding to Stax, The Famous Flames and Boondocks – where the event was being held. With almost 20,00 eateries in London, Bea offered some great advice on how to stand out in such an oversaturated market. Number one was this; ‘Success is all about attention to detail. When it comes to making burgers, buy the whole cow and use it! And when it comes to making milkshakes, make the ice cream and ingredients in house to ensure your shakes are like no others. That’s what keeps customers coming back for more’.
Mindful Cheftook to the stage next, and told us the story of how they came up with their idea for a health-focused food box company, which they launched in 2015 in their home county of Devon. The success of their business came from fantastic support from celebrities and influencers alike, including Victoria Beckham, who loved the idea of a healthy box of fresh food being delivered straight to their door! After a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign which raised £1 million in 12 days, the business took off and has now shipped over half a million boxes around the country.
Mindful Chef pinpoint their success to the fact that they had a great product which didn’t already exist in the market. They didn’t need to pay for any influencer collaborations as people were more than happy to get involved with such a great product.
If you’re looking for something fun & interesting which involves great food and drink, look no further than What’s Good London for a list of fantastic places to visit in the capital. Jens and Pete were next up and showed how they create high quality content for YouTube using a DSLR, a GoPro and a taste for adventure! Through rigorous planning, scheduling and editing, they’re able to create premium videos that showcase London’s hottest venues. For them, view time and engagement is far more important when it comes to SEO ratings than subscribers are. This shows that you shouldn’t get caught up in trying to get thousands of subscribers or followers - as long as you have interesting, engaging and good looking content then people will stick around to watch it!
We ended the evening learning about how much influence a simple, well promoted hashtag can have on a campaign. The @VisitLondon campaign is aiming to highlight the diversity of cuisines that exist side by side in the capital. #MyLondonDish is an initiative from Mayor Sadiq Khan to encourage people to share images of food that they are cooking or enjoying in London, to show just how mutli-cultural the city is, and illustrate how we are all enjoying food from around the globe together. The initiative has already had responses in the thousands, from foodies and venues alike.
Overall, the SoMeetUp event was incredibly interesting, and enabled us to find out how a wide range of people from the foodie industry use social media to launch businesses, promote ideas and include the consumer.