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Social Pros is one of the most popular marketing podcasts in the world, and was recently named the best podcast at the Content Marketing Awards. Listen for real insight on the real people doing real work in social media. You get the inside stories and behind-the-scenes secrets about how companies like Ford, Dell, IBM, ESPN, and dozens more staff, operate, and measure their social media programs.
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Posting with Purpose
In this episode we’re re-visiting one of the most fun episodes we’ve ever had here at Social Pros. All the way back in June, we had a chat with Senior Marketing Executive and Food and Hospitality influencer, David “Rev” Ciancio, who spoke about increasing engagement with a fine-tuned social media strategy.
We asked the question, ‘are you hungry for more engagement on Instagram?’ Let’s face it, whether you’re a business owner, or you own a fluffy, three-legged cat, everyone craves likes, right?
It turns out that it’s hard work being an Instagram influencer these days. No longer can you make it by posting the occasional photograph with a funny quip. Instead you have be on the ball, following the latest trends and making sure that every single post that comes from your account holds value to someone. It isn’t easy, trust us.
David (Rev) Ciancio was on hilarious form, as he always is, and gave us some food for thought. Looking back, one of the key quotes from the episode was, “you’ve got to have a reason why you are creating and sharing content.” The key is to understand your audience’s pain points and show them something that can actually benefit them.
Since the podcast took place, you can only imagine how many burgers Rev has eaten, he is an expert burger taster after all. Jokes aside, he’s worked his way up to become a Senior Marketing, Branding and Digital Strategist who helps brands and businesses up their game on Instagram. He is one of the country’s leading food and hospitality influencers, so if you love food, then you know who to follow.
In This Episode:
- 06:46 – Common mistakes to avoid with your Instagram bio
- 10:37 – What works when it comes to food marketing on Instagram
- 15:03 – How to use video effectively on Instagram and the importance of conveying customer experience
- 19:15 – Why UGC (User Generated Content) is so important when creating a successful Instagram marketing strategy
- 23:09 – How to take high-quality images to share on Instagram
- 27:12 – Rev shares his predictions for food trends
Quotes From This Episode:
“Instagram is a great channel where you can provide great value for people.” – @RevCiancio
If you're trying to build a strategy on Instagram, storytelling is one of the greatest strategies. Click To Tweet
“If you’re posting content without knowing why you’re posting it or what the value is to the intended audience, there’s really no reason to post it at all.” – @RevCiancio
- Get the new State of Marketing report for free from Salesforce
- Grab your free e-book from Salesforce Marketing Cloud, ’50 Social Media Best Practices.’
- Get your $100 FREE LinkedIn ad credit courtesy of our sponsors, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions
- Get David’s (Rev’s) FREE guide, “5 Mistakes That You’re Making on Your Instagram Bio,”
- Visit Rev’s website, ‘Burger Conquest’ for more marketing tips
- Find out more about Rev’s company, ‘Yeah! Management’
- Follow Rev on Instagram to keep up with his delicious posts
- Connect with Rev on Twitter
- Check out Weird Al Yankovic’s Instagram profile
Hey, friends. It’s Jay Baer from Convince and Convert. Welcome to Social Pros. Adam and I are both on the road this week, so bringing to you a very special encore presentation of the show. One of my favorite episodes in the last or so for a couple of reasons.
One, topic continues to be incredibly important. All about how to optimize and succeed on Instagram where organic reach is plummeting. And also, just a fantastic guest with a lot of knowledge, and a very funny, interesting man, our friend, Rev Ciancio, who is the master of Instagram engagement. Partially, it’s his topic. He does a lot of Instagram posts about pizza, and hamburgers, and steaks, which you’ll hear about in just a minute. But he also really understands how to make Instagram work at the post to post level. You’re going to learn a lot in this episode of the show, and Adam and I will be back next week.
Before we begin, just a quick acknowledgement of our sponsors here on the Social Pros podcast, thanks to them. Salesforce Marketing Cloud, of course, they’ve got a incredible new ebook. I want you to download it, it won’t cost you anything. It’s called 50 Social Media Best Practices. It takes a lot of things that Adam and I talk about here on the Social Pros podcast and pulls them into one ebook. Get it right now from Salesforce Marketing Cloud, the makers of Social Studio. It’s called 50 Social Media Best Practices. Go to bit.ly. That’s B-I-T dot L-Y slash tips, T-I-P-S 50, 5-0, social.
Let me give that to you again, bit.ly/tips50social, bit.ly/tips50social. It’s 50 Social Media Best Practices from our friends at Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Also, this week, the program brought to you by our pals at LinkedIn. LinkedIn is such an opportunity. We’ll talk some more about LinkedIn here in a future episode. Such an opportunity for paid social media advertising.
There’s now more than 62 million decision makers on LinkedIn. You can connect to the right business leaders, people who might be interested in your products and services. And, of course, LinkedIn offers some targeting tools that no other platform can offers. Job title targeting, et-cetera. It’s super useful. They just did survey and found that 71% of people said they use the information they find on LinkedIn to inform the things that they buy. Makes perfect sense.
I want you to take advantage of this special offer that LinkedIn has provided just for you, Social Pros listeners. They’re going to give you a free $100 LinkedIn ad credit to launch your first campaign. Simply visit LinkedIn.com/SocialPros. LinkedIn.com/SocialPros. Terms and conditions apply. Take advantage of it, it’s a hundred free American dollars from LinkedIn, and we thank them for their sponsorship.
All right, here we go. Special encore presentation of Social Pros with the man, the myth, the legend, who knows more about pizza than any one man should. It’s Rev Ciancio, here on Social Pros. Rev Ciancio, he is back on Social Pros. Marketing consultant, owner of Yeah Management, influencer in the food space, Instagram genius, burger and pizza aficionado. Rev, welcome back to the show my friend.
Thanks for having me. I’m really, really excited to be here again.
Tell us what you’re doing now.
I am an independent marketing consultant, primarily working in the B2B software space helping local, or businesses with front doors, solve digital marketing problems.
And businesses with front doors, in many cases, have significant digital marketing problems because they’ve got a business to run. Right? Do you feel like sometimes it’s just Cobbler’s children have no shoes, and they’ve got, they’re making pizza, they’re not worrying about yelp?
Well, I think at the small business level, you definitely get a lot of people who are working in their business, not on their business. But the problems of the software I’m working with solve that from the local SMB, all the way up to home depot.
Fantastic. You have made quite a career for yourself over the last few years in Instagram, and being incredibly good at Instagram for food. If I have the sequencing right, you started with burgers, which is your first love, and then moved to pizza which is your second love, which sounds like a series of romances that I’d like to get behind. I’m here for that.
Progression I want to be involved with.
Do I have that sentence correct?
There was also french fries.
Oh? Of course there was.
Where was that in the sequence? Was that third?
It would have gone burgers, then fries.
Actually, technically, if you really want to get deep, it’ll gone steak, burgers, fries, pizza.
We’re doing the anti Atkins diet progression.
Yes. Yes. We had weight watchers on the show a few years ago, we have to maybe call them back. You’re looking trim considering you are the burger and pizza influencer to end all influencers, it’s impressive.
Thank you. As I look to tell people, I’ve learned how to learn black.
What’s next? Is it going to be marshmallow peeps? What’s going to be your next category?
I’m currently running four different food Instagram accounts, and it’s overwhelming, because I update, I think, a total of 19 times a day, which is absurd.
And I keep thinking, “Wow, it’d be really easy to do a new one.” And I don’t have a reason to do it, so this might be it.
Other than just showing off? I should say that Rev has an incredibly helpful little guide that he put together only for you, Social Pros listeners. It’s called 5 Mistakes That You’re Making On Your Instagram Bio. You can get it at SocialPros.com. Just go to SocialPros.com, look for Rev’s episode, his most recent episode, you’ll find it, and you can download it there at no cost. Rev, thanks for doing that. That’s very kind of you to do that.
It is my pleasure. My goal in life is to help other people be better in business.
Let’s jump into that real quick. We don’t need to go through the whole guide, but let’s give the audience a tease. What kind of mistakes are people making on their Instagram bio that they could fix, maybe as soon as this show is over?
Honestly, the biggest one is leaving the bio completely blank. Probably not a lot of enterprise level business doing that, but for sure, a lot of small businesses not putting their name, not putting their address, not putting their contact info. Just leaving it blank with just their name. That’s the biggest one I see all the time.
That seems like such a simple thing. I mean, any rationalization for why? It’s right there. It’s pretty easy to do, right?
People are lazy. People don’t think about it. People don’t realize the impact. People are busy working in their business, not on their business. I’m sure there’s a thousand reasons.
Yeah. I want to go back to one thing you mentioned. You mentioned that you update Instagram 19 times a day, four accounts. I’m going to assume that 19 is the amalgamation of all four of those. You’re not posting 19 times, times four, yes?
No. No. No. That’s the total for four accounts. Yeah. Yeah.
Talk a little bit about that strategy. Talk about, do you post different things at different times of the day? Do you have a day part strategy? Sometimes a little bit more on one thing than another?
Seems like a breakfast pizza posting window would be the way to go.
Sounds like a french meal, seven courses.
That sounds like a new Instagram account, french fry pizza. Each account I treat differently. And over time, with testing and analytics, and audience, and what goals I want to achieve with each one, I’ve gotten into a rhythm that best represents what I’m trying to do with that chain, though. Steak, by example, I only update steak at 6:30 AM every single morning, and that’s it.
My french fry account, I update at 6:30 AM, 2PM, and 11PM every day, the same with my burger account. And then my main account, which is my screen name, Rev Ciancio, that’s where I’m posting marketing tips, and influencer marketing tips, and sharing food, and what not. It’s way more prescriptive. This will give you some insights into how I think. I ran a three month test of my Instagram account, where each week, I’d ran a different test. Where I place the hashtags, what time of day I posted, what day of the week I posted, which content I posted, what was my call to action? And I turned it, all of it, in a spreadsheet.
I took four different analytics tools and measured against some hashtag performance, impression aggregates, blah, blah, blah. And with, at the end of that, I came to that the best thing to do is post Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at the best time for audience engagement on each of those days.
I love that. Is that going to be part of the five tips that you’re going to be sharing?
No. Well, the tips are only about your bio. That’s just, “Welcome to my front door.” By the time the show will be live, I’m actually working with another agency called Foodie Tribe, who does influencer marketing on behalf of large enterprise food brands, and we’re actually running the same experiment with about 70 influencers.
Hopefully that report will be ready then, but it was my own experiment where I was like, “Well, that’s good for me. That tells me how the algorithm works for my account, and that’s how everybody should operate.” But nobody has that amount of time or obsession. What if we run it for them? What if we go run that experiment, and give people some clues about how they think? Hopefully by the time the show is live, that’ll be live on the Foodie Tribe site.
I can’t wait to read that. I recognize that you’re now doing strategy, and marketing, and consulting for, as you said, anything with a front door. But specifically around food, I was curious, because we had you on the show in August of 2016. Kind of curious about the differences you have seen in food marketing and food promotion, especially on Instagram.
We know on Instagram, image is king, but is it still kind of food porn, the products, and the food? Is it more about the chef? Is it more about the scene, and the interior of the restaurant? What do you find is resonating most with your audiences?
Well, what happens with my audience, and what happens with the broader food audience, probably not the same. What I would tell somebody who’s doing marketing for a food brand, whether that’s a CPG, or a restaurant, or whatever, is, if you pick one, if you just pick one content type, you’re going to fail. If I follow a pizza restaurant, and they only share photos of pizza, then you’re competing against other photos of pizza. But if you’re posting what the actually consumer experience is like, you’re competing on your uniqueness. Sorry, you’re creating content on your uniqueness.
And so, if I have six pizza accounts that I could follow in my town, the one that’s the most expressive with their experience through their content is going to be the one that I get most excited about, just like anybody else. And so, I would tell anybody that’s working on Instagram to understand, what’s the unique message that you convey? The unique experience that you provide? And then convey that through photos. Could be food. Could be pictures of the staff. Could be pictures of where you buy your food from. Could be parties that happen there. Could be reposting what your consumers are posting, any of that.
That’s really great advice. I think another, two other things that have happened since the last time you were on this show. Which was that, 30 months. Something like that? 32 months? It’s been a little bit.
I don’t do math, I’m a marketer.
Yeah. Good point. Okay. We’ll put our best people on that, let’s get back to planning that out. No we won’t. What we see on Instagram now, more than then, are use of carousels, right? Multi image arrays. And also, more use of video. When it comes to your own formula, or the things that you’ve seen, if you had a choice in saying, “Hey, I’ve got one great photo.” Or, “I’ve got four pretty good photos I could put in a carousel.” What would your advice be?
I would tell everybody to test it on their own account. As it relates to my own tests, I found that carousels actually perform better. And I read a whole, there was a huge experiment that went online a year ago where somebody had actually tested this, and the results that were carousels performed worse. But I ran my own test, and it worked better. That’s the thing.
I think that was Agorapulse on the Agorapulse blog.
Yes, that’s what it was.
If I recall correctly. And yeah, you’re exactly right. Same thing with email back in the day. “Here is when the best day is to send an email.” Well, for me.
I mean, look. If you said to me, “Hey, what’s the best time to send an Instagram photo about steak everyday?” I would not say 6:30 in the morning.
Well, it backs out to, it’s easy for me-
Unless there’s eggs involved.
True. True. And it’s easy for me to make recommendations based on generalities. But the reason that I post steak at 6:30 in the morning, is it matches to the goal I have for that account. Right? If you’re posting content without knowing why you’re posting it, or what the value is to the audience or intended audience, there’s really no reason to post it at all.
One of the things that I don’t see very much of, and maybe it’s just the accounts that I follow, is use of carousels sequentially. Right? To tell a story almost like a flip book, step one, step two, step three, step four. It’s typically several photos of the same thing, different angles, or whatever. I don’t see as much sequential photography in carousels. Do you, A, agree? And, B, why do you think that might be?
You’re making me rethink this. I hadn’t even considered that idea. That is a great idea. I would actually, it’s funny, I think about stories in that way. If I’m going to post to my stories, I try to do three posts about something, because I’m trying to tell the story, typically with me. My account is food, so it might be three different things I ate at the restaurant, so there really isn’t necessarily a story unless it was apps made for desert.
But you could go, bite one, bite two, bite three.
Two to three, yeah.
But that is actually a really great idea. But look, I think that if you’re trying to build a strategy around Instagram, storytelling is really one of the better strategies. That makes sense to me, and now you’re going to see me try it.
And I love stories, right? But stories is still up here, right? It’s like it’s a different engagement mechanism, and obviously expires, as well. I don’t know, maybe I’ll play with it, too. Adam, go ahead.
No, I was curious. Jay brought up video, and kind of one of the big changes we’ve seen in the 30 months or so since you were last on. How are you finding video working, or not working? Obviously, is video going to work at 6:30 in the morning for steak, as well as a photograph? Or are people not ready for a moving image at that particular day?
I think I could name three people that I’m in contact with right now that would want to watch steak videos at 6:30 in the morning. That aside, I’ve found that, again, in testing my own audiences, I’ve actually split stories, feed, and IGTV into different types. And so, IGTV being a video format, I put all my videos there, and I different content theme there.
If you want that particular type of content, which for me, is inspirational marketing tips, how to do Instagram. It’s all video. I don’t think of it in terms of, “What’s the content type?” I think about it in terms of, “What’s the message or theme?” I don’t really post food on my videos. You want my videos, you want marketing tips, go watch my videos. If you want gorgeous looking photos of gratuitous cheese polls, well, that’s on the feed.
When you go in and consult with companies, and you said, it goes from the smallest brick and mortar store to the largest big box retailers around the world. Any mistakes that you see them making? And is there any mistake that’s consistent with both small kind of mom and pop type stores that the big guys and gals are making, as well?
That is an awesome question, and there are two mistakes. And the one is, prioritizing social media over other pieces of digital marketing. Facebook, and Instagram, and Twitter are names that, my grandmother knows those, so they seem like the channels you’d be using, and I believe that’s a mistake. The biggest mistake that they make is not updating basically their listings, and ratings and reviews on all the sites where they live.
Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, Foursquare, TripAdvisor, OpenTable, whatever is relative to your business and industry. If you’re not in control of the information on those sites, your name, address, phone number, hours of operation, replying to customers through your ratings and reviews. Customers experience all of that before, typically, they see your Instagram, or your Facebook, or Twitter, I guess, unless you’re angry at your airline.
But prioritizing putting great content out there is a mistake if people can’t even find your business when they’re looking in Google Maps. Prioritizing getting that great looking offer you’re putting on Facebook over replying to customers who are talking about you on Yelp is a mistake.
It’s such a good point, Rev. This idea that, A, a social follow is usually a trailing indicator of support, not a leading indicator of support. I’m not going to follow a restaurant account unless I’ve eaten at the restaurant, unless it’s a destination restaurant. It’s like, “Some day when I’m in Botswana, this is the place I’m going to go.” Right? And let me just roll around in their feed until that day comes. That’s one thing, but that’s not most restaurants. Right?
It’s, “Hey, I went there, had a great experience, now I’m going to follow them because now I’m down with whatever they’re all about.” Absolutely. Whereas, Yelp, et-cetera, that’s a filtering mechanism for whether or not you’re going over. Especially now that everybody’s using mobile to find restaurants. Right? You just use your phone, and boom, here’s the review. If this place is a 4.6 with good responses, and this place is a 3.6. Well, dude, I’m never even showing up at 3.6 guy.
Yep. My example would be the Meers store. There’s a restaurant in Meers, Oklahoma, that I’ve never been to, but is on the top of my burger bucket list. I follow everything they do, and I’ve never been there. But that’s one. Right?
Yeah, that’s one.
All the other restaurants I follow are probably either in my neighborhood, I’ve eaten at, or I know the owner, or I really like them. But yeah, for sure. Like you said, trailing indicator, people are on, they’re searching for restaurants before they’re finding restaurants.
How important do you think UGC is for restaurants? If you think about, “All right, look. I’ve got an Instagram account. I’m running a restaurant. I could either post all of my own food pornography, and we could take really good pictures of our key dishes. Or, we could really encourage our customers to do the same.” Or, maybe we nudge them in some way. Maybe it’s a contest, maybe it’s not. What’s your take on that? Obviously when customers do it, you have a little less consistency and less control, but it has more authenticity, or maybe the answer is a little bit of both.
I would say that there’s … First, to answer the question, is I think ECG’s really, really valuable, and the two biggest values it has is, A, time saving. If you could just repost somebody, you don’t have to go out and create the post, that saves you some time in a pinch. That’s good. Everybody needs more time back in their day. But moreover, I think reposting one of your customers piece of content is similar to saying thank you to them when they review you on Yelp.
They’ve said something nice about you. They cared enough to recommend your business to their friends, followers, and family, and by you reposting, and that would include giving them attribution. “Hey, my customer posted this. Here’s their screen name.” Yada, yada. You’re saying thank you. In addition, right? The power of reviews is that they recommend businesses. If I see a restaurant has lots of customers because they’re sharing their content, recommending them, that gives a stronger signal to me that I might want to go try it.
I kind of want to talk, Rev, about from that intersection of three things we’ve just brought up. And that is user generated content, ratings and reviews, and kind of that endorsement/thank you. I love, Jay, your leading versus lagging indicator kind of type concept. And I think, so often, we as social media marketers are hyper focused on creating that, that new content. Which again, to get someone to follow us, is a lagging indicator. Ratings and reviews are so important, I think especially in the travel and hospitality industry. Rev, I’d love your thoughts on that.
I know, here at Salesforce, we just overhaul our social studio products to have more ratings and reviews, technology to allow our customers to be able to do that. When you go in and consult these small, medium businesses, how are you telling them to divide up their time between creating content, and then spending some time on Yelp? Spending time on trusted reviews? Spending some time on Google reviews?
That’s an awesome question, thank you for asking it. I don’t know that there’s a magic formula in amount of time how you should slice that pie, but I would tell you, whether you’re a single location, you’re a billion locations, manage that map data. Right? That’s number one. That’s first. And secondly is, respond to ratings and reviews.
If you are McDonald’s, and you have 30,000 units around the world, that’s pretty hard scale of thing to do, so you have to come with a coherent way, and a scalable way to do that. And it might be just monitoring them. It might be having local managers or regional managers responding to them. But I would say that at least acknowledging, maybe the ones and the fours, in terms of star ratings, are a good way to get started, that way you’re addressing the biggest problems. Right? And then maybe things that could improved.
Typically a four is, “Oh, this is really good. I just wish … ” X. Right? And so when somebody’s slicing up that pie, I would tell me, if possible, reply to every single customer that rates or reviews your business on every single platform that’s relevant. If you can’t, do the best you can, and then figure social out afterwards.
If only somebody wrote a book about that.
I would read that book. Maybe I have read that book. Maybe I would recommend that book. Maybe I would leave a rating and review for that book.
Oh? Ooh. Oh, wow.
One thing I wanted to ask you, because you’ve done so much work in specific food categories. Right? We talked about french fries, stakes, burgers, pizza. Those do not seem to be naturally photogenic, in some cases, right? The stuff that you post is always super great. It looks really, really appetizing. I guess that’s the whole idea. How much work does it require to pull a burger out of a restaurant’s kitchen and say, “Hey, we’re going to photograph this for Instagram.”
Is that just like, “Yeah. We just got lucky.” I mean, how much prep are you doing? I know you’re not a food stylist, as at a commercial shoot. But, what does that really take? Because my impression is that it takes a little bit more than most people think.
The quick answer, and the one that everybody wants to hear, is that it takes a couple of minutes, for me. But I’ve been doing this for 16 years, so I wasn’t always this good, and it used to be really, really, crappy, cruddy, unappealing, unappetizing photos. From doing it all the time, and doing it over, and also, testing my content, I’ve learned what people want to see, and what draws people to the content for the reason I want them drawn.
16 years of taking pictures of hamburgers like this, or pulling a pizza, or knowing that the steak is going to get more engagement if it’s sliced than if it’s not, is 16 years of institutional knowledge, and testing, and trying. There are a few obvious tips and tricks that I could share with somebody that would get them to not have to spend 16 years on it. Which is, use natural light, have it back lit, but not forward lit. Don’t shoot directly in the sun. Always edit your photos. I use Snapseed. I can edit a photo in less than a minute. I carry a handheld light. There’s tips and tricks, but still, it’s like anything. You don’t become Don Mattingly without swinging the bat few times.
Nice Don Mattingly reference, I appreciate. We are all men of a certain page that appreciate a Don Mattingly reference.
Still my favorite baseball player of all time.
Yes. My favorite Yankee, for sure.
Rev, I think you just answered my next question. I’ll caveat this by saying, just because you have desktop publishing software on your computer, or Photoshop, does not make you an artist or an illustrator. Having a iPhone or Android does not make you a professional photographer. But you mentioned three things. You did mention Snapseed, so I’m assuming you’re using your smartphone as the camera. You mentioned an external light. Anything else in terms of equipment? Any other secrets? Get close to the products? What would you tell the aspiring food pornographer.
Well, I’m sort of lazy. I know I may not seem like that, but the reason I’ve not gone to DSLR, or professional light, is I don’t want to carry those things, and I hate things in my pockets, and I hate carrying a bag. I set a bar for, “Okay, I’m only willing to do this much. Let me optimize at that level.” You can, for sure, take better photos than me if you go get a better camera, and a better light, and you have set up, and you the restaurant’s clear at the time you go, or whatever your subject. I don’t do any of that, because I don’t have the time, and I don’t want to do it.
Tips and tricks? Edit every photo. I can’t express enough. Even the slightest white balance adjustment is worth doing. And yeah, Snapseed, I think, if you’re using a mobile platform, is for sure the best one. Some people really like Lightroom because it has desktop and mobile phone options, but I just found it to be too much.
You’re out there all the time in the burger, steak, pizza, french fry ecosystem, especially in the New York area, a unique system to be a part of.
That sounds like a universe that Rick and Morty travel to.
It does. I would love that. What’s next? What’s on the horizon? Is there some sort of a pizza trend, a burger trend, that you’re like, “Hey, kids. In the next year, watch for this.”
If I could predict food trends, I’d probably have a lot more money in the bank than I do. And, if I could also predict social media trends, I’d probably have even more money in the bank than I do.
Good point. Good point.
I don’t think, in terms of food, the basics will ever go anywhere. French fries, pizza, wings, burgers, sushi, whatever you consider those to be.
There are a number of types of burgers, now. Right? You’ve got the classic kind of backyard burger. You’ve got the super overloaded, almost like, “You won’t believe that we made this with a burger. How is that possible?” Kind of a circumstance. Especially on Instagram, I’d follow your account which kind of got me into the whole burger rabbit hole, and some of it is just borderline absurd. Right? It’s like, “Okay, that doesn’t … How do you … That won’t even work.” As a consumer, are you looking for the rollercoaster of beef? Or, something that’s a little bit more approachable and viable?
I want to start by saying, thank you for not just saying, “Hey Rev, what’s your favorite burger?” Because that is another version of this question that I get asked all the time that’s impossible to answer. If I’m going to choose, what’s my favorite style of burger? Man, two to three ounces of fresh ground beef smashed on a flat top grill that’s been well seasoned with griddled onions, American cheese, and a squishy bun, and that’s it.
If I happen to go to a restaurant where they are producing the rollercoaster beef and all that crazy stuff, I’m for sure going to try it, and I’m for sure interested. But I will always go back to that classic, really simple, American roadside burger.
This episode of Social Pros brought to you by Lipitor.
I use Crestor.
There we go, Crestor, as well. We’re an equal opportunity cholesterol drug show here. I do want to ask you another food oriented topic question, and that is, is sriracha over? Are we done with sriracha? I know that’s been the big food flavor ingredient for the past year or two. Are we done with sriracha, and what’s next in the food flavor seasoning condiment trajectory.
Let me ask you a question, Adam. Do you want sriracha to be over?
Can you just assume that from the tone of my voice?
Well, I mean, you-
I’m done with the rooster. Yeah, I’m done with it.
You are in the West Coast, right? I mean, that’s where it came from. The impact is probably greater there than-
Austin, Texas. I mean, give me my Tabasco, or my Willie’s Hot Sauce.
Oh, right. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t think sriracha’s over in the least. I think we’re going to see a more diverse sriracha world. Gluten free, sugar free, hotter, colder, different peppers. I think that’s going to continue to iterate. And what’s terms of next, I think you’re going to say, I think a trend that’s coming, again, I just said I can’t guess trends, I think you’re going to see a simplification of menus as a trend. Less things, less options, less fomo when you’re deciding. Less standing at a menu for hours going, “I don’t know what to get.” I think you’re going to see less.
Less cheesecake factory, more sandwich board.
More in and out burger.
More in and out burger, yeah.
Good. Good analogy.
And I think if I’m going to be, not trying to be funny and be really serious, which is hard for me, I think the grab and go concept is really going to get some serious legs under it. It for sure is in New York City.
You’re starting to see it in hotels all the time now, too, right? Instead of having room service, you just come down to the lobby, and it’s right there, and you take it with you, and it just … The customer experience is pretty sound, and it’s kind of easier for both sides. Right? Easier for the customer, easier for the restaurant. And I think the same is true with smaller menus, right? If you can make 10 things great, I’d rather have 10 great things than 75 mediocre things.
Yeah, and I think if you look at a town like New York City, or Chicago, or San Fran, people get to work, and they’re busy, and if they work in a large building, for them to go out to lunch, it’s like 10 minutes just to leave the building, 10 minutes to get to their destination. Nobody’s got the time, and the option is, now, to use delivery. And with the skyrocketing costs of getting something delivered to you, with fees, and up-charges, and tips, and taxes, and all that stuff, grab and go presents and option where you’re like, “Oh, I can order three or four meals at once, put them in the office fridge, run and get them. I have three, or four, or five great meals.” It’s almost meal planning from restaurant delivery space. I think you’re going to see a lot more of that.
That actually makes me think of something, Rev. I do want to ask you about you being a food expert. And that is, of course, delivery. Delivery’s not going away. Food delivery, high margin, high profitability. You’ve got some leisure dining restaurants that are making 30-40% of their revenue out the side door with the Uber Eats, and the Grubhubs, and the like.
Is that sustainable? And number two, is that actually going to have an impact on menus? And three, you hear these stories of these commissaries in New York where one address may have five, six, seven, eight restaurants, restaurants that exist only for delivery and nothing else. What are your thoughts on that?
Oh, yeah. I mean, you see it. I think there’s one around here called My Belly’s Playlist, which is the most Instagrammable millennial-based name of restaurant I’ve ever heard. They don’t exist, but they have like five addresses. How is that possible? It’s for sure one of these kitchens where they’re doing exactly that. I don’t know how well that’s going to work so far out in the burbs, but for sure, in an urban environment like this, or Chicago, it makes sense. Right? It’s a much more scalable business model. You don’t have to maintain the customer, whatever the cost of customer service is that walk through your door. You only have to maintain the delivery. You can also outsource the delivery, it’s a great way to scale that business.
I think you’re going to see more if it, and I think it’s going to create more competition. And for businesses that traditionally relied on people walking through their door and having that experience, it’s going to be hard for them compete, because they aren’t able to iterate or change as quickly as somebody who doesn’t have to worry about the customer service side of the serving business.
It’s the H&M of the food industry, you’re exactly right.
We’ll have to ask you this again, Rev, before we get to the last two questions, because I know our audience wants to know. How did this happen? I feel like a lot of people would want to be a foremost Instagram hamburger expert, or a pizza influencer. That seems rad. Tell me a little bit about that career path.
I used to be in the music business many, many, many life times ago, and prior to being in the music business, I’ve wrote about music because I’ve always fancied myself a writer, and so when I got in the music business, I didn’t want to write about the music business, I just wanted to write about something else, because I still wanted to write, so I started reviewing hamburgers just because I wanted that creative outlet.
And, one day, I decided the music business was silly, and nobody could make money anymore, and I wanted to be in the food business because you can’t download a hamburger or a pizza. And I just kept doing it, and I kept writing, and I kept iterating, and I kept thinking about it, and I realized it was a channel that could help me achieve other goals, and if you go read two out of five things I put on Instagram, the photo is, for sure, pizza porn. Steak porn, gratuitous french fries.
But if you read the text, it’s about digital marketing, influencer marketing, marketing inspiration, Instagram tactics. The food is just my headline, and how did it get started? I realized that I could provide greater value, and that these were great channels and great methods by which I could provide greater value to people.
And you absolutely do. We’ll make sure to link up all of Rev’s accounts at SocialPros.com Also, don’t forget to go over to SocialPros.com, find Rev’s episode, and get the free guide that he produced just for you, Social Pros listeners. Five Mistake That You’re Probably Making On Your Instagram Bio.
Rev, I wish I would’ve stayed at it, as I think you and I had this conversation. My wife in Arizona, we had a blog, and a radio show, and a TV show, and a newspaper column, called Hottie and the Fatso. I was not the hottie, I was the fatso, and we did it all, man. We had a whole restaurant review thing going on there, but then, when I started to travel a ton, we had to set it aside, unfortunately. But one of these days, I’m going to bring her back.
I think Adam and I might just bring it back for you.
Thank you. I mean, I still have the domain.
You still have that URL, Jay?
Yeah, I think I have many. We were in a mountain, so we would rate things one to five pine trees. That was the sort of metric. Pretty great.
Rev Ciancio is a food influencer, as we’ve been talking about, owner of Yeah Management, marketing consultant, Instagram consultant. Rev, I really appreciate you being back on the show. We’re going to ask you again, the two questions that we asked you 30 some months ago. We will check the veracity if your answers, and the consistency of your believes here, momentarily. First question for you is, what one tip would you give somebody who’s looking to become a social pro?
The last time I was one the show, which I was super stoked about, it was a bucket list item. I answer that question with something I would still answer it with today, which is my life motto, be awesome at two things, and outsource everything else. There’s no point in you knowing everything. A jack of all trades is going to get nobody anywhere today, and to provide extra value, I’m actually going to give you a different tip today, and that will be, have a reason why you are creating and sharing content.
And that reason could be entertainment, that reason could be marketing tips, that reason could be, “I want to share the life of my family.” But have a reason, have a point. Don’t just do it because you can do it, do it because you should do it, and it provides value to somebody, somehow.
Boy, that is so well said. That is a very utility philosophy. I love it. Well said. Rev, last question for you. Thanks again for being here. Friends, don’t forget to go to SocialPros, get the guide to Instagram bios, and check out all of Rev’s accounts. If you like steaks, if you like pizzas, if you like burgers, you’re going to have a hell of a time. It’s going to be a wild ride for you. If you could do a video call with any living person, who would it be, and why?
The last time you asked me this question, I said the Chief Marketing Officer of McDonald’s. I would still want to have that call. The person has changed now. Now, her name’s Morgan Flatley. And I would still be curious what goes into a marketing decision at McDonald’s. I just want to know, is that three months? Is that six months? Is that nine months? How many people?
I’m still curious, but for the sake of the show today, I’m going to change my answer to Weird Al Yankovic, because, oh, my god, if there is anybody in the history of the world that has continued to be relevant better than him, I don’t know who that is, other than, maybe, the Queen of England, and I’m less interested in speaking to her than Weird Al.
Yeah, and she’s constitutionally relevant at some level.
He is not. He’s just a dude. Right?
Yep. Yeah, that is well said. I mean, he’s been in the game for a long time, and still executing.
Yeah, and you don’t have to like a single song he’s ever written. He’s still hilarious on Instagram. The picture the other day, he’s like, “Oh, my new Grammy.”
“I’m throwing away the Grammy’s” Yeah.
Right, “I’ve been throwing away the old ones.” It was hilarious.
Okay. We’ll link that up too, in the show notes. We’ll make sure that we go to SocialPros.com, we’ll link up Weird Al on Instagram, as well. Rev, man. Thanks so much. I really appreciate you, as always. Thanks for coming back on the show. Congratulations on all the success, as usual, and I know you’re doing a lot of good work out there for a lot of good people, so we appreciate you.
Thank you, guys. It is my honor and pleasure to hopefully add value to what is one of the podcasts I look to for value, and it’s a pleasure.
That’s very kind of you, we appreciate that. Hey, hopefully you guys find value in this show, too. If that’s the case, we would love a rating. We’d like to know how we’re doing. We talked about ratings and reviews in today’s episode. Go to iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, wherever you happen to listen to the show. More and more of you are listening on Spotify, according to the analytics. That’s great, thanks. We’d love to get your feedback. Just leave a little rating and review, that’d be super fantastic. We’ll be back next week with another very special guest here on the Social Pros program as we careen towards vacation, for me. I’m pretty stoked about that.
Yeah. Vacation, I’m moving, my kid’s graduating high school, I got all kinds of stuff going on. It’s going to be a wild ride this summer, for me. Indeed, I’m going to be consoling myself with a series of burgers and slices of pizza. It’s going to be great.
I’m planning to go to a dinosaur zoo.
I love that. That sounds like a perfect place.
Without your eight year old.
Yeah, I’d love that.
Well, there is one in New Jersey, and it is literally going to the zoo, and there are dinosaurs there.
I love it. Well, we’ll have to have you back on the show to tell us the tale of the dinosaur zoo. Until that episode, I am Jay Baer from Convince and Convert. He is Adam Brown from Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Thanks so much for listening to, what I hope is, your favorite podcast in the world, Social Pros.