What is the spiciest photo being shown on Americans’ social media news feed?
It is Pork!
More Americans are inspired to take a photo of their meal featuring pork and socially share it with friends than any other animal protein.
Enjoying great food has always been a social affair but now it is the hottest trend on the social media scene. Scrolling through news feeds on active social media outlets – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest - it does not take long to come across someone’s shared picture of food.
Interestingly, Ceci Snyder, National Pork Board vice president of domestic marketing, explained to me while writing for Feedstuffs that pork was the most frequently photographed and shared with certain hashtags.
Social sharing is now bombarded by hashtag usage – typing the small symbol “#” followed by a word or short phase. Simply placing the # in front of a word turns any word or group of words that directly follow it into a searchable link.
Once only used by Twitter in 2007, the hashtag is now widely used across most popular social platforms. Social-foodies can be quite creative on the chosen hashtag used – such as #fooddesign, #foodpassion or #foodstyle. However, most just keep it simple by using #pork, #recipe, #foodpic and #foodie.
The hashtag is an easy way for marketing professionals to capture the latest topics of discussion trending online. Combined with digital analytic tools, like the Crimson Hexagon's ForSight tool used by the NPB, does make examining a year’s worth of social media posts a much easier way to grab a snapshot on what exactly is being discussed online.
So, why is the online conversation important?
Over one-quarter of the world’s population use social media which means 1.79 billion people in 2014 were tweeting, posting, pinning and instagraming. It is estimated that worldwide social media users will grow to 1.96 billion. Back in the states, more than 73% of the U.S. population is actively engaged on some type of social media outlet.
Moreover, a recent study revealed that more than 74% of consumers depend on social networks to guide buying decisions and 55% share purchases online.
Just think, if 98 billion (50%) of the projected social media users inspired others to choose pork for their next meal.
Meanwhile, the online conversation also gives a glimpse into the many ways consumers enjoy pork.
The NPB analysis showed that American consumers are not as traditional as one would assume. One meal did not take the leading spot as the ultimate American meal but rather diversity is the most common denominator of taste, the NPB noted.
Furthermore, nearly half of socially shared food content from Nov. 1, 2013, to Nov. 30, 2014, included smoked, hot and spicy flavors paired with popular proteins.
Even more interesting, pork was paired, in comparison to beef and chicken, the most with the top flavors – hot, spicy and smoked - shared on social media.