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Gluten-Free Social Marketing

My wife came home with $300 bucks worth of Gluten-Free food from Whole Foods last week. All basically identical to the $250 of regularly over-priced food we get from Whole Foods every week. She also bought a cookbook called gluten-free girl and the chef.

I had heard about gluten-free of course but mostly because of a couple friends who have kids with Celiac Disease. Lately though it’s everywhere. I don’t know whether it’s a fad or something sustainable but I love the way it’s been marketed. Both in general and by the woman who wrote the book about gluten-free cooking, Shauna James Ahem. There’s a nice article about how she marketed the book by Dianne Jacob

She seems to have done four things right:

1) She spent her time in the community. Shauna has 42,000 Twitter followers and 15,000 Facebook fans. She talks to them every day. Pros and cons, recipes, Q & A’s, curation, it’s all there. And she did this community engagement first.

2) She writes a blog, called of course, gluten-free girl. Producing longer form content is critical in the social space for becoming an influencer and leader on a topic. It can’t all be curation. Even if your long form is point of view. Ahem’s is recipes and the stories, all of which then flow through other bloggers through Twitter, and to her community through Facebook. It’s perfect.

3) She wrote a book. This is wonderful not just because she sells a book, but because for the social community the book is now big news. Bloggers are dying for news, and content, and interviews etc. Ahem has just created a trifecta of new content for the entire social system. From big foodie bloggers to the regular joes and janes like us trying to figure out how we’re going to eat healthier.

4) She went out to the community and engaged in an interesting and newsworthy way. Instead of a traditional book tour Ahem went to NYC and had a picnic in Central Park with her social community. Ditto in San Francisco at Dolores Park. Guess what, this isn’t just engagement with her fans, it’s also NEWS for the blogging community to report on.

All four of these components put together is the perfect model for every marketer. Engage with the community, create and curate content, do things that are newsworthy and cycle it all back through the system over and over again.


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