UBC Undergraduate Research

UBC Foods & fair trade : social media content plan Marxsen, Alexandra; McCutcheon, Andrew; Markwick, Nicole; Ponnoosamy, Steven Mar 31, 2015

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata


18861-Marxsen_A_et_al_SEEDS_2015.pdf [ 4.43MB ]
JSON: 18861-1.0224504.json
JSON-LD: 18861-1.0224504-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 18861-1.0224504-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 18861-1.0224504-rdf.json
Turtle: 18861-1.0224504-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 18861-1.0224504-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 18861-1.0224504-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

 UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Student ReportAlex Agmar, Andrew McCutcheon, Nicole Marwick, Steven PonnoosamyUBC Foods & Fair Trade: Social Media Content PlanCOMM 486SMarch 31, 201512221772University of British Columbia Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS Program provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or a SEEDS team representative about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”.
UBC Foods & Fair Trade:Social Media Content PlanPrepared by Alexandra Marxsen, 
Andrew McCutcheon, 
Nicole Markwick, and Steven PonnoosamyMarch 31, 2015  of 1 9Executive SummaryUBC Food Services is responsible for the provision of food services in the majority of UBC’s cafeterias, residence dining halls, as well as providing catering services and running the upscale Sage Bistro. UBC Food Services has been an instrumental partner in UBC’s certification as a Fair Trade Campus. The designation from Fair Trade Canada requires the campus to commit to providing a certain number of fair trade choices across campus.Recently, UBC Food Services paired with UBC Social Economic Ecological Development Studies (SEEDS) and students from Dr. Alfred Hermida’s ‘Decoding Social Media’ course to generate a social media approach to promote fair trade products across the UBC campus. This approach had to suit the limited financial and human resources available at UBC Food Services, while providing the organization with high-value social media content.Initial objectives for the project involved suggestions for improving UBC Food Services’ social media presence and impact, increasing student awareness and understanding of fair trade options on campus, and creating a simple, transferable fair trade social media toolkit. The following document seeks to meet these goals.The first section, entitled “Social Media Strategies”, provides recommendations specifically tailored to the needs of UBC Food Services on social media. It articulates ways in which the organization can improve the impact of their Twitter account, @UBCFoods, establish a useful presence on Facebook, and potentially become engaged with Instagram as well. In the second section, a schedule of social media content is provided. The content plan includes sample content for all three relevant platforms, targeted at less than 10 hours of social media time available per week.It is our sincere hope that this document will be of assistance to UBC Food Services in the future.  
  of 2 9Social Media StrategiesThe following section of this report outlines social media strategies recommended for UBC Food Services, with a particular focus on their fair trade products.TwitterIdentify 1-2 handles to regularly feature contentAs previously outlined, there are multiple Twitter handles housing Fair Trade content. It is highly recommended that UBC Food Services focus on 1-2 accounts in order to form a more cohesive, simplified and consistent Twitter presence. As @UBCfood and @UBCrez have been identified as key opportunities for Fair Trade messages, it is suggested that UBC Food Services capitalizes on these followers specifically. By concentrating on particular accounts, this will not only result in the efficient use of resources, but also allow for a better understanding of the target audience and their needs. Hashtag To further promote coherency, UBC Food Services may wish to incorporate a unique and identifiable hashtag into all of their tweets, e.g. #thatsfairubc, #omnomubc, #myfairtrade, #myfairtradecampus. Tone & VoiceGiven that the target for all Twitter posts is being targeted toward tech and pop culture savvy students on campus, it is also recommended that the tweets adopt a more youthful, fun and relevant tone to ensure that the posts add value and are engaging for our audience. In an effort to make Fair Trade cooler & sexier, posts should generate the impression that Fair Trade chocolate is for quality-seeking, adventurous, young good-timers. Frequency and Timing of PostsGiven the limited resources being devoted to generating content, it is suggested that UBC Food Services feature several times per week on their primary Twitter handle, @UBCFoods. It’s recommended that UBC Food Services establish a routine of posting content, outlined in the content plan of this document.Facebook Create UBC Food Services Facebook PageUBC Food Services must develop its own dedicated Facebook page. This is the first step for establishing a true presence on a crucial web platform for UBC Food Services’ key demographics. The idea of this page is to provide instant access and complementary information to the new Food Services website. Students likely aren’t checking the website during the day, yet will be active on social media - especially with Facebook. Posting regularly around lunch time will help direct and steer students to food outlets. In order to get something   of 3 9from the audience, UBC Food Services will have to first provide students with value on social media. By providing incentives, described later, students have a reason to continue to check the page and are more likely to contribute content to it. Direct ‘UBC Student Housing’ Members to ‘UBC Food Services’Keeping the target audience of students living in on-campus residence, it will be important ensure that this audience is connecting with the new page. At current, 2146 people like ‘UBC Student Housing’ on Facebook, and it is difficult to tell how many of those are current students actually living on-campus as opposed to prospective students, staff and faculty, or graduated students. Posting regular links from the housing page to the food services page will likely attract only current students and faculty, as many others would not care to like the page. Transfer Photos from New Website to Facebook PostsThe recently launched website is full of beautiful stock photos waiting to be shared with students. As Instagram is the perfect place to provide photos of the food from food outlets, Facebook is ideal for promoting fair trade and linking it back to the Food Services website. Facebook brings the idea of fair trade straight to students where they spend their time online. Use the platform as a tool to post at least one fair trade concept per week. Instagram can be used for highlighting products, while Facebook will be the tool to bring people more information and encourage them to explore further.Provide Incentives for Students to ‘Like’ the Facebook PageMuch like Food Services used to offer 10% off discount tickets when AMS student handbooks were still printed, discounts online work to grab audiences’ attention as well. In order to use this tool effectively, promotion of under-performing locations could be highlighted. For example, on a Tuesday, rather than promoting Triple O’s, highlight and provide a discount to students at the Hungry Nomad. As highlighted by the UBC Food Services website, food trucks incorporate responsible food items, including local, sustainable, and fair trade items. By using this method of promotion, it is not only providing an incentive for students to check in on the page from time to time, it also allows Food Services to promote fair trade without having to directly promote the ‘boring’ aspects of it. Accumulate All Content on FacebookLast but not least, use Facebook as a hub for the website, Twitter, Instagram, and the posts made on Facebook. By linking these accounts where possible, it provides a succinct and unilateral experience for students. Creating a UBC Food Services brand online has been started the website, and that look/feel should be carried out and hosted on Facebook as the central social media. InstagramAlthough Instagram is well suited for promotion, especially in terms of food/drink visuals, comparable accounts from other institutions have not garnered significant numbers of followers. Similarly styled accounts, even from institutions with award winning dining services, average   of 4 9200-250 followers, with 500 followers being at the extreme high end. With limited resources dedicated to social media promotion, UBC Food Services must decide whether Instagram is worth their focus and time.Cross-posting/Re-gramsCross-posting from other platforms and curating Instagram content from other users are two simple ways to keep a presence on Instagram without allocating much in the way in time and resources. In the realm of cross-posting, it is quite easy to simply take photo/text content being created for Facebook or Twitter, and publish it on Instagram as well. Despite the content being identical, it is recommended that UBC Food Services stagger their releases in order to reach the most followers. Curating and re-gramming pictures from other Instagram users represents another possibility. There is not as much activity currently on #ubcfood or #ubcfairtrade. We’d recommend curating through the #ubc hashtag to find relevant content, then re-gramming it with the #ubcfood, #ubcfairtrade, or #ubcsustainability tags in order to cross-promote those avenues. “Regram" is an app that allows you to easily re-gram photos to your own account. These posts must always include a direct message to the content’s owner requesting permission before using a photo. Instagram Specific Created ContentAlthough content made for Facebook and Twitter may be cross-posted to Instagram, Instagram may also be used for platform-specific content with some extra resources and time. On one end, a filtered picture of a steaming coffee and an unwrapped chocolate bar, paired with a quote on fair trade, and appropriately tagged, is a simple and visually appealing piece of content that may attract the attention of your followers. However, Instagram already has an abundance of the content of the aesthetic and the edible. It will take more creativity, and as such, more time and resources to produce Instagram-specific content that will stand out against every other coffee-and-chocolate picture on UBC Food Services followers’ feeds.Instagram VideoA relatively untapped area of the Instagram content is the film portion. Despite the short length of the video clips (15 seconds maximum), these would require a bit of time investment to imagine and create. However, the process of brewing and then pouring a steaming cup of swirling black coffee into a cup is an aesthetically pleasing process that may make this client account stand out from the crowd. Despite limitations on human resources at UBC Food Services, we strongly suggest keeping this approach in mind for future growth in social media.  of 5 9Fair Trade Content PlanMonday8:30am - As students are rolling out of bed to commence another week of classes, this is the perfect opportunity to kick-start the week with a Fair-trade Coffee. The ease and necessity of obtaining a Fair Trade coffee should be emphasized using Twitter.LOW RESOURCERetweet a quote or image about coffee by browsing #coffee hashtags. On the next page are examples of some of the images currently being shared.MODERATE RESOURCEFeature certain coffee suppliers as the perfect Monday morning destination in order to create awareness of availability and ultimately drive traffic in-store. Below is an example tweet put together featuring Fair Trade supplier Ethical Bean. The humorous quote was obtained through searching hashtags but the image manipulated to feature the brand’s logo. Although requiring more resources, the result is an entertaining yet targeted tweet (below).  On Facebook, use Mondays to provide information content about fair trade in general. As many students will have stocked up on fresh groceries over the weekend, encourage students to buy their snacks (such as fair trade chocolate bars) on campus. An example post is provided to the right.  of 6 9 TuesdayTuesday is a highly competitive day for food outlets, with many retail locations offering discounts on and off campus. To generate traffic, re-gram or cross-post content from other Instagram users. Content may be found using targeted content searches, potentially for the hastags #ubc, #ubcfood, #omnomnom. Example content is posted below.Further, highlight under-performing food services locations and those which are not busy on Facebook and other platforms. If possible, offer a discount coupon or share a deal such as the example Facebook post above.Wednesday 4.30pm – On Wednesday afternoon, students are beginning to make the commute home. This may be a good time to publish more serious content about the benefits of buying fair as they have the time to digest more dense information. Precedents suggests that posts may be more engaging and comprehensible where conditions are personified (i.e. feature an individual’s story) or facts are made visually appealing (i.e. infographic).  of 7 9LOW RESOURCERetweet facts, insights or news stories from established accounts. @FAIRTRADE, for example, frequently publishes relevant, consumer-facing content about the Fair Trade Industry.   On Facebook, counter the mid-week blues by sharing the personal story of a UBC Food Services staff member. Provide a quote and 2-3 sentence biography. MODERATE RESOURCELocate interesting, visual facts about Fair Trade and generate original text copy to accompany the image. Example Twitter content is provided at right. HIGH RESOURCEEngage with influencers and connect with the Fair Trade conversation on Twitter. By participating in the community surrounding Fair Trade, UBC will establish itself as a committed, loyal and passionate leader of the cause. Possible hashtags include #fairtradecampus, #RippleEffectUBC.ThursdayFood Services is always providing new meals and ingredients. Thursday is an ideal day to try and spice up a student’s week as they have gone four days through the same weekday routine. Highlight a new food services location and a new product or unique ingredient that is fair trade. Cross-post across social media platforms. On Instagram, re-gram another follower’s scrumptious food photo.   of 8 9Friday As there are no Fair Trade whole meal options, we suggest using Twitter to promote the snack and beverage offerings available to students to get them over the line and one step closer to the weekend. These posts should be feel-good, encouraging students to treat themselves after a long week of school. LOW RESOURCEJust before lunch, highlight a fair trade option that will make people feel good on Facebook. The week has been long….give people a reason to smile.Retweet a quote or image about coffee (preferably around 2 p.m.) by browsing #chocolate or #chocoholic hashtags. Below are examples of just some of the images currently being shared, such as at right.MODERATE RESOURCETweet and re-gram photographs of the fair trade chocolate and snacks available on campus. If images currently exist on the website or Instagram account, this may be a good way to share the content across a different platform. The sample images provided below generate the impression that Fair Trade chocolate high quality, exciting and synonymous with a Friday afternoon.  of 9 9


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items