Does Social Media Help or Hurt Allergy Friendly Brands?

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This past week the Gluten-Free buyers guide was promoting their survey for the 5th annual Gluten-Free awards. Anyone could vote on their favorite brands in multiple categories and the results would be shared in their annual list later this year. I was curious to see what brands were mentioned so clicked through the link to vote for my favorites.

There were several categories with brands listed that I had never heard of before. There were also several where I was aware of the brand, but don’t use it because while they may be free of wheat and gluten they contain other allergens that my family must avoid. Several of my favorite brands weren’t even on the list.

help or hurt

This is concerning. How do I not know about some of these brands? They could be safe for my family, but they clearly aren’t available in my area or they don’t promote themselves in our little corner of the Rocky Mountains. I know we live in a somewhat remote area, but Denver is just a few hours away. What about my favorite brands? Are they too regional to be included in the list, or too small that people aren’t aware of them? Or is there another brand out there that is more popular and tastes, dare I say, better than my favorite? So I decided to do a little digging on a few brands in the list.

Unknown brands on the list:

Bumbalooza – They are on twitter, but I’ve never seen a mention or tweet from those I follow or follow me. They have a Facebook page and are an east coast brand. Interesting mixes that all look yummy, but nothing I would buy since I have recipes for most everything they list.
Simple Mills – Has a Twitter page, but immediately saw from the photo they use almond flour – no good for my family. Also promoted as dairy, soy, GMO and weird product free. Cute, but you use nuts, a very common allergen.
Better Batter – Here’s a confusing one, 19 people I follow or follow me also follow Better Batter, but still I’ve never heard of them. Somethings not adding up here. Maybe not promoting their brand the right way on Twitter?

My favorites not on the list:

Tinkyada pasta – Best gluten-free pasta hands down, but their website is extremely outdated and no social media presence at all. This really hurts them, but you can still find the #tinkyada hashtag all over Twitter.
Bella Gluten Free flour mix – Easily my favorite gluten-free flour mix. They have a Facebook page but not a Twitter page. They have a link on their homepage to share a twitter link to their site to your followers. Very odd, why no physical presence on Twitter when you have a Facebook page? They are also a local brand, made in Colorado.
Simply Organic sauces and spices – I follow them on twitter along with three other mutual followers. Do they not promote that many of their packaged sauces and seasoning mixes are also gluten, wheat, egg, nut, and soy free? Missing a big market here!

It should have been a bit more obvious on my favorite brands when I realized I hadn’t followed a few of them on twitter. There’s just no twitter presence there and in this case it hurts the majority of them. This tells me that you can have a great product that sells well, but if you’re not promoting yourself properly on social media you’re missing potential new markets and growth opportunities. It also tells me that you can be on social media, but if you’re not using it properly why are you even there? It doesn’t take much time to be successful on Twitter or Facebook, don’t be afraid of it! There are so many articles and books out there that offer advice and support to get you started. *Take heed above mentioned brands, you could be doing so much more on social media with very little effort!*

Have you voted on the Gluten Free Buyers Guide annual list? There’s still time, vote here.
Any other brands you think should have made the list or were you like me wondering why you’d never heard of certain brands before?

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6 thoughts on “Does Social Media Help or Hurt Allergy Friendly Brands?

  1. Minden,

    Great examples. It is amazing that some of your favorite brands have virtually no social media presence. Social media is a free or very cheap way of marketing products to a wide audience who then have the ability to use TAF (Tell a Friend) marketing and increase brand awareness. Those companies need to develop and sustain a social media presence.

    Josh

    Like

  2. I like the format of your blog. It is neatly organized. Great graphic and I give you credit for calling out these brands who don’t seem to be using social media effectively. Seems as though some brands don’t realize the impact that social media can have on their business.

    Like

    • Thanks Sarah. I tried to model it towards my main site (www.allergy-friendly.weebly.com). The images were all put together using Canva, a great site for creating social media images. A little social media can make a big difference for these small brands.

      Like

  3. Minden,

    Excellent post! I also agree that small growing brands have continuous issues trying to push themselves because they are refusing to use social media. Some people are still struggling with the idea of promoting online, rather than using traditional advertising (i.e. billboards and newspapers).

    Like

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