Research Shows which Foods Boost Social Media Engagement
New research published recently in the Journal of Consumer Psychology indicates that visual displays of calorie-dense food is a key factor in boosting viewer engagement on social media.
According to the study, co-authored by Theodore Noseworthy, associate professor of marketing and the Canada Research Chair in Entrepreneurial Innovation and the Public Good, the caloric density of food dishes depicted on food sites positively influences social media engagement. Researchers examined visual depictions of food on popular food sites such as Buzzfeed’s Tasty, the world’s largest digital food network, which has more than 100-million followers on Facebook and over a billion monthly views.
Their findings were published in a research paper titled, “Content Hungry: How the Nutrition of Food Media Influences Social Media Engagement”. The paper was co-authored by Noseworthy as well as Ethan Pancer, an associate professor of marketing at the Sobey School of Business, Saint Mary’s University; Matthew Philp, an assistant professor of marketing at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University; and Maxwell Poole, a graduate student at the Sobey School of Business.The researchers examined the recipes and ingredients of hundreds of videos from Buzzfeed’s Tasty on Facebook using a text-processing algorithm. In particular, researchers determined that nutrients people can readily see, like saturated fats, are more likely to draw positive comments, likes and shares.
“Understanding the specific characteristics that shape engagement on social media is of critical importance to content producers looking to tailor media towards viewer preferences, to advertisers seeking to increase impact, and to health advocates interested in helping consumers make better food choice,” says Noseworthy.
A video summarizing the research paper can be found here.