From a manufacturer’s point of view, social media has been a way to connect to consumers, create brand loyalty and develop a community of food lovers that would rally around their brand. Add a continued presence of influencers and bloggers to the mix, putting out either company-sponsored content or boasting about a product or brand organically, and social media has become the new word-of-mouth.
Now, it seems that social media as well as the bloggers and influencers that have found a home in the realm, have become too big to ignore in the housewares segment.
“Mainstream media still has an effect on sales, but bloggers are beginning to become more influential,” said Dan Saklad, owner of Cary, NC-based Whisk. “Blogs come in all shapes and sizes, but they do have a good share of the voice in the market.”
While he said he doesn’t usually hear customers mentioning one particular blog, he does know that customers are influenced by the content and often have questions that will enable them to garner the same results as the one posted or shared.
“Sometimes, they try something at home and it doesn’t turn out right, so then they come to us and want to know why,” he said.
He explained that Whisk employees happen to see this with pizza trends, as consumers are not getting the pizzeria-style results that people are showcasing on social media. This, he said, sparks a conversation about what tools will work better.
Bloggers, he said, may have a higher reach than the norm, but he also explained that social media itself has home cooks, bakers and entertainers branching out to try other things based on what their immediate group of “friends” are doing.
“Sometimes people will come in and say, ‘I saw this photo on Instagram and I want to try to make this,'” he said. “It’s a lot less formal, but all of a sudden we have noticed more people talking to us about things they have seen on social media.”