Social media has impacted life in so many ways and become entwined in almost everything we do. Sometimes it’s very obvious and sometimes it is almost indiscernible. Let me share an example. My husband and I are self-proclaimed foodies. We love trying out new recipes, new foods and creating our own recipes. Many evenings you’ll find The Food Network or some type of food show on our TV.
The Foodie Movement is a big one, estimated at over 53 million, and growing daily. The growth of this phenomenon would have been impossible without the advent of niche programming on television (Food Network, Iron Chef, Master Chef, etc.) and social media networks (food blogs, Facebook, Zagat, etc.) Pulling niche audiences together and igniting them is what social media does best.
A while back my husband, Tom, entered a local cooking contest for his specialty “Shrimp Tacos” and won the opportunity to appear on Green Bay, Wisconsin’s Fox affiliate on the “Living with Amy” show. I bet it’s fair to say that even this highly ranked lifestyle and cooking show came about largely because of the popular foodie trend.
This week Tom appeared on the show, and he won! Here’s the video of Tom making his Shrimp Tacos.
Needless to say, since then his celebrity has soared! Gone are the days when one goes to the local County Fair, enters their pie, and maybe wins a ribbon. Today, one likely appears on an actual ‘Live’ TV show and because of social media, the contestant is able to alert all his or her friends ahead of time, so they can watch it or set their DVRs. The possibility of drawing a larger audience is exponential.
On the day of Tom’s appearance, I surprisingly found myself coordinating a play-by-play of the event on Facebook where people ‘critiqued’ how it all went down (vastly favorable). That evening, Tom posted a link to the video on Facebook, so those that hadn’t set their DVRs could watch it, too. And they did. We are still having people inquire about it, from all over the country, and Tom has been asked to cook by more than a few –including his boss.
It’s a lot of fun, but thanks to the power of social media, it’s no longer like cooking for the judges at the county fair. So… going back to the original question. Is interacting in social media blatantly obvious to its participants? Did everyone that became involved in Tom’s fun this week think about the fact that they were willing participants in a ‘social media event’ or was that aspect almost indiscernible? Honestly? I think they just wanted an invite to dinner the next time we have a cookout. That’s the magic of social media, building a willing and active audience without them even realizing it. And having fun.
What’s next in our foodie lives? Foodie Travel. Combining our love for travel and food. Not only is that the next logical extension, but is also the next BIG trend.
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