Case Study: Food52 Builds Community Through Visual Storytelling

Compelling content and building cult fans are at the top of the list for today’s leading marketers. At PLANOLY, we’ve made it our mission to build tools and resources to help creators, marketers, and businesses simplify social media marketing. Our Pinterest case studies dive into what it takes to build an active community and grow through Pinterest marketing.

In this Pinterest case study, we’ll learn from Food52: an online food community where millions browse recipes, shop for kitchen goods, and get advice from their award-winning food editors. 

It’s all about joyful living and crave-worthy recipes.Food52 was born out of a need to create a space for cooks all over the world by bringing them together in one place to exchange recipes and support each other in the kitchen. 

“We wanted to create a buzzing place for others who do what we do all day long: talk about food!” – Food52

 

Let’s dive into their stats:

Brand: Food52 / Pinterest Page: Food52
Tagline: Eating thoughtfully, living joyfully.
Industry: Food
Region: North America (New York City)
Products Used: Marketplace, Educational Material
Follower Count: 288.1k followers
Monthly Views: 10m + monthly viewers
Number of Boards: 100 boards

The Goal

Continue to ignite a love for food and cooking in existing users and draw new audiences through thoughtful and visually delicious Pinterest boards. Food52 actively maintains over 100 boards, all with the user in mind. The board names and images are intuitive and make it easy for their community of almost 300k to stay updated.  The brand’s website and Instagram consistently highlights the latest in delicious recipes, living, travel, and their community. Their Pinterest Page ‘serves up’ all of this and more! 

Food52 defines itself as the destination to view thousands of test-kitchen approved recipes, shop the kitchenware you need to make the recipes, and discuss the results of your culinary creations with other like-minded cooks in the community. Both online and offline, food brings people together.  So how does Food52 satiate their Pinterest community? 

The Solution: Generate Awareness from Pin to Table 

  • Every image is an opportunity to story-tell through thoughtful recipes, original content, and creative partnerships 
  • Keep engagement healthy with their audience through community-driven incentives and partnerships and a mutual love of food
  • Visually consistent and aesthetically cohesive imagery 

Through storytelling and community-driven content, Food52’s Pinterest boards became a reliable extension of their overall digital brand.

Food52 partnered with Lonely Planet to bring a taste of authentic France to your kitchen with their book “France, From The Source.”  The partnership is an excellent example of a brand partnership that mutually benefits from merging audiences – travel and food – without compromising the value, they add to their audiences. (Source: From The Source France )

Did they achieve their goals?

With 10m+ monthly viewers on Pinterest, Food52 is leveraging their content in a way that’s both inspiring and appetizing! Food52 has been able to set themselves apart from others within the food industry by creating a community-centered space with their audience and bringing everyone together for one like-minded purpose: their love of food. 

Key Takeaways 

Value creativity and experience of the senses

Food52 wants to appeal to the senses, and transport you to a place where you’re sure to be tempted by their many delicious recipes and offerings. They strive to bring other like-minded creators together by having a community forward mentality with all that they do. This rings true through the content that they share on their Pinterest Boards.

“Nearly half of the content published on @Food52 comes from friends of the brand, contributors, or other Instagram accounts we love. When the brand first launched, we held weekly recipe contests centered around one specific theme.” – Patrick Moynihan, Senior Social Media Manager for Food52. (Planoleaders Series)

Original vs. Curated Content

Food52 is sharing a balanced mix of both curated content from its website and inspirational user-generated-content. Within their boards on Pinterest, they highlight brand partnerships, curated shops, and mouth-watering recipes tested for you in and outside of their kitchen. 

Their “The Shop” board serves as a thoughtfully curated space filled with their favorite kitchen tool finds from like-minded makers and artisans. They repurpose content from “The Shop” by sharing it on their respective Pinterest Board, getting the most value out of the content and recipes across all channels. 

Great food isn’t just about ingredients, it’s about everything that makes a meal—it’s the platter you serve tacos on; the composter in your kitchen; the knife you take on picnics. And joyful living goes beyond just the kitchen; it’s the beeswax candles on your table, the wreath on your doorway, the linen throw that accents your couch.”Food52

Identify and focus on their demographic: The modern-day Martha Stewart

It’s no surprise that Food52 is most popular among today’s biggest foodies. The content that they share on their website and again through their Pinterest Profile helps to educate, inspire, and indulge their audience’s BIG love for food. Through continuous engagement with their audience and elevated organic content, they’ve been able to grow their views on Pinterest in a monumental way. 

Optimize content for Pinterest

Food52 creates similar graphics, photo edits, and a variety of angles to keep the content on Pinterest engaging and cohesive across boards. One of the ways that Food52 is optimizing their content on Pinterest is by creating a direct reflection of their website content within their shared content on their Pinterest boards. We especially love the “Recipe Roundup” board, a board filled with community-favorite recipes from their website. 

What’s next?

Food52 plans to expand on its social media strategy with a greater emphasis on storytelling by featuring their team and behind the scenes moments. “A newer initiative for us, on social, is to produce more storytelling that highlights our Food52 team —how that all comes to life will be a big moment to set us apart.” – Patrick Moynihan, Senior Social Media Manager for Food52. (Planoleaders Series)

This new pivot has already made its way onto their Pinterest and we can’t wait to see more! They have truly made a name for themselves in the food industry, and have shaped the way that we look at joyful living both in and outside of the kitchen. 

The PLANOLY app and web platform simplifies social media marketing by allowing you to visually plan, schedule, and analyze your Instagram and Pinterest content.

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