A blogger’s life is made of emotions and experiences. Especially if your focus is on a place or an area. Talking about your town or your region may not be so interesting as writing about some exotic destination, but still, especially in Italy, you have a bunch of histories to write about, which are exactly what your readers want to hear.
Food as a communication tool
Eating is one of the first thing you do when you arrive in a new place. For me, as a local blogger, is experiencing tradition, natural and unique products and the different ways of thinking the local cuisine. Ant that is why my interest for food is so high. My posts are often focused of food. The photos I post on social medias are about food or wine and I like following people who post photos of the dishes they eat, simply because it’ s something I would love to try.
Am I the only one who would try a restaurant after a photographic suggestion? Surely enough no. Can we consider social medias as a real tool that influence our food choices?
I had the chance to talk with Luca Bove, Seo specialist and creator of the Local Strategy, and Sonia Massari, teacher at the Master in Food Design of Milan, both speaker at the next edition of Be-Wizard, the most important Italian digital meeting in Italy.
“Food is the biggest social connector. And it always has been like this since food exists, tells Sonia Massari. Food is nourishment and sustenance, but it is also pleasant experience, which outlines the individual and social well-being. The trend is that of personalization. Rather than of taste, I would speak of values. One of the most important values are in relationships, in the recovery of sociality and connection with others. The experiential dimension and support that digital is giving, play a crucial role. Food and digital technologies will work together to bring individuals to make healthier and sustainable choices. Social Food is not just about sharing emotions or talk about food network. I think it is very interesting to study the successful experiments of co-eating, social eating and guerrilla restaurants, to see what could be their developments, and identify potential scenarios for food design. The two forms of social food (online and offline) contribute to increase the user awareness of what it means the individual and social well-being.”
It’s a matter of fact that food in itself has always been a “social media” once the developing of the welfare society transformed it in something pleasant, and not only a simple surviving moment. And also, the creation of Tv format, more or less professional, like Master Chef or Hell’s Kitchen, focused the interest more on quality food, local products and the good way of cooking, evolving the way in which people see it and choose it.
Food is local? Local is better
What do you search when you choose a restaurant? A charming location, the nearness, quality food, or a mix of different elements? Are available to drive kilometers just to live an amazing culinary experience? I would say that the stronger is your passion, the more you move and invest time and money. Just think about people moving for concerts or even for special fairs. The touristic flow linked to typical product such as truffles, wild pigs, saffron and many more, is growing faster and faster.
But this may not influence the normal flow of outdoor eating, but surely the way in which the restaurants compete one against the other, trying to follow their own strategy.
“Many researches show that about 80% of disposable income is spent within ten KM from where you live or work”, tells Luca Bove.
So the question is being local and work on local strategy. Luca Bove developed the theory of Local Strategy.
“The concept that’s behind it is simple and very old at the same time: it is that of the Yellow Pages. I need a product / service /, find it on paper and phone. Internet and the technological evolution of the devices has changed this habit from a practical point of view. But the not the way of thinking: Google Maps systems, Apple Maps, Yelp, etc.. are used mostly on mobile devices such as smartphones, navigators and the like.
In this way, with a simple search (done perhaps with voice commands), people can immediately get an accurate response of a service in the immediate vicinity. And we can do good marketing on that user behavior. Google’s research says that 18% of people who do a local search for a business on smartphones, convert, often within an hour.”
Google and all the apps available do move our choices wherever we are in the world. We are global but in a local way. We change our values considering where we are and what we are doing. Like single microcosms connecting to each other’s through technology and social media. We are social human beings and this is not a new thought!
Disclosure: thanks to the Press Office of Be-Wizard for letting me interview Luca Bove and Sonia Massari in a very detailed way. If you want to join us, please visit www.be-wizard.com