How to Get More Out of Your Facebook Page Posts

by Munish Sangar

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In today’s world, we as consumers are so bombarded with information that we rarely have to go searching for the content we seek. Instead, it finds us. It takes the form of emails, texts, RSS feeds, push notifications, snail mail, and so much more. The goal of every blogger and online publisher is to stand out – to get their readers to stop skimming or scrolling and read a post in its entirety.

As Tony Robbins explains: “If you are doing the same thing everyone else is doing, then you at best will do marginally better.”

So, why not think outside the box and do things a little differently?

Cookpanion is the handshake between Facebook users looking for quality recipes and reliable brands, and their counterpart: recipe publishers. Cookpanion gives these publishers a more meaningful way to interact with and engage their readers, and this enhanced experience surrounding their content naturally leads to increased loyalty, deeper brand recognition, and more website traffic.

For food content publishers on Facebook, gone are the days when simply posting on one’s page was a reliable means of gaining attention. Today, if a publisher is lucky enough to get his or her post into fans’ news feeds, that post is unlikely to stand out in a sea of nearly identical recipes and food content posts being generated by other pages. Now think about your answer in relation to Tony.

Bloggers and recipe publishers today bank on attracting the eyes of their Facebook audience via page posts. The odds, however, are stacked against them in this cat and mouse game. The first challenge is that this is a topical interaction which, at best, may result in a single click back to the website. This click, albeit valuable, does little to actively engage the user for the purpose of deepening the blogger-reader relationship. Secondly, an individual post may be ill-timed, causing the post to quickly disappear down the ever-growing newsfeed, missing countless readers. By the time the Facebook scrolling “catch up” has occurred, your post has joined an ever expanding bog of similarly-themed content, and is nearly impossible to go back and find.

Timeline posts have become flash-in-the-pan experiences for users, in that multiple brands are serving the same exact type of content, then asking their users to leave Facebook and visit an external site that is often buried under other time-consuming ads and pop-ups. This is contrary to what Facebook users want to do and where they want to be. Users don’t want to bothered with leaving a multitude of spam-generating credentials all over the web in an effort to view and interact with a recipe post. Facebook is their home base, so why not meet them there?

72% of adult internet users and 62% of the entire adult population use Facebook

Another very real problem in the world of social recipe publishers is content desensitization among users. If you, the content publisher, are delivering the same “NEW RECIPE” post to your users every day or even every week, there is a high probability fans will stop paying attention to this post. They may see it, but they already know what it is going to say because they’ve seen it time and time again. At some point, the standard recipe post loses its luster.

Is there more that can be done?  Here is a real world situation:

Sally is having a dinner party and Blogger XYZ is her favorite source for recipes. Dinner was amazing, and Jane does NOT want to lose track of those fabulous recipes she used. What do you think she would rather do: search, copy and paste each and every recipe links from the blogger’s website into a text document and stored away, deep in her computer? Or save the entire list of recipes, in one click, on Facebook? I think the answer is obvious.

Cookpanion ups the ante by allowing bloggers and other recipe publishers to create unique, varied food content, and deliver that content to the Facebook user at a time and in a manner that is convenient for them. Publishers no longer have to hope that users will remember that recipe post as it flashes by them on their Facebook news feeds. Relying on users to like, share, or use Facebook’s “save link” feature as a means of keeping track of a post is inefficient and ineffective for generating true traffic or subscribers. 

The solution to these challenges is two-fold:
1. Multiple engagement opportunities in varied recipe content types
2. Deeper integration via tools for the end user on Facebook

Recipe List Share

Posting a variety of recipe content types keeps followers engaged by subtly disrupting their reading patterns. The truth of the matter is most of us go into auto-pilot when surfing the web. However, by disrupting your readers’ perspective on a typical recipe post, you can knock them out of auto-pilot and reframe their thought process to give new meaning content.

“humans have an unconscious ability to mold our behavior in response to a consistent stimulus” –LiveScience

Just like bread that has been left out on the counter and neglected, content and the impetus behind it becomes stale, resulting in your brand becoming an afterthought. Cookpanion solves this issue. In utilizing our multiple engagement recipe content types, publishers can re-purpose and extend the  lifecycle of their current recipes. Along with publishing and promoting exciting new content not available before on Facebook like Meal Plans and Menus, Cookpanion is really an apparatus where brands can intimately communicate with followers and in turn, fully maximize their potential to connect in more useful and exciting ways.  

Moving forward, we will delve into greater detail about each of Cookpanion’s content types, but here is a brief overview of each:

Meal Plans – Publish a collection of recipes in a week- or month-long format, giving your followers educated and thought-out meal structures to make things easier on them.

Menus – A great way for publishers to give their followers ideas for events in their lives like dinner parties with their friends, or office events with their coworkers.

Recipe Lists – Publish collections of recipes under a unifying theme, like Top 10 Super Bowl Recipes.

Recipe Contests – A tried and true fan-pleaser, and our most engaging recipe content type.

Trending Topics – A great platform to publish blog posts, cooking how-tos, or other food-related articles.

Cookpaion Pro_Edit Profile

A real world user-engagement scenario (non-Cookpanion) might play out like this:

  1. Recipe posted by brand
  2. Follower clicks on recipe link, transported out of Facebook

Cookpanion changes this dynamic for the better. Here’s an example:

  1. Meal Plan posted by brand
  2. Follower clicks on link, stays inside Facebook, and saves the meal plan
  3. Follower views brand’s meal plan 3 times per day for the duration of the meal plan
  4. Follower shares the meal plan with friends and family in one click
  5. Follower accesses the saved meal plan and uses it again 6 months down the road

Notice how the follower was never forced to leave the Facebook environment in the example above. Now that’s a lot of return for one Facebook post.

Naturally, being fresh in your followers’ minds and giving them useful content will lead to increased engagement, follower retention, and traffic back to your website.

Stay tuned for the continuation of this post next week! Until then, happy cooking and happy sharing.

Sources: http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/facebook-beats-pinterest-foodies-go-social-platform-166652http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/10/16/12-trends-shaping-digital-news/http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/08/19/the-demographics-of-social-media-users/http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/08/19/the-demographics-of-social-media-users/http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/10/16/12-trends-shaping-digital-news/http://www.businessinsider.com/the-social-engagement-report-2016-7http://www.livescience.com/345-scientists-learn-knowing.html

Law & Food: Nutrition Decoded

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Nutrition facts

The FDA plays an important role in ensuring that the products you buy are properly labeled and non-deceptively enticing. While many of these decisions translate easily onto the “Nutrition Facts” label, others hide away and turn into gimmicky marketing schemes.

While your best bet towards a healthy body can be found in counting calories and measuring out daily values, there’s something to be said for understanding the quick-glance offers that food products claim. Here’s a quick educational guide to help you navigate the trenches:

Calorie Buzzwords

Calorie-free: A serving is less than 5 calories. Careful with those tic tacs as a box does indeed add up.

Low-calorie: Most food products end up at 40 calories or less per serving. Main dish/entrée products run right around 120 calories or less per serving.

Reduced-calorie: Calories for these products will measure out at 25 percent fewer calories than the original food product.

Total Fat Buzzwords

Fat-free: The product will have less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving.

Low-fat: The product will have 3 grams of fat (or less) per serving.

Reduced-fat: The product will have 25 percent less fat when compared to the original version of a food product.

Saturated Fat Buzzwords

Saturated fat-free: The product will have less than 0.5 grams of sat. fat per serving..

Low in saturated fat: The product will have 1 gram or less of sat. fat per serving size OR no more than 10 percent of calories coming from saturated fat.

Reduced saturated fat: The product will have 25 percent less saturated fat when compared to the original food product.

& Daily Value Guidelines

Percentage Breakdown: Don’t stress on terms like less, light, low, free, etc… It’s more important to understand your intake with some simple guidelines. For daily values, 5% is a low amount per serving while 20% represents a high amount per serving. Using these percentage points, make sure to balance different types of foods that are high and low in their respective daily values.

Being educated with these tips means you can cut down on time stuck in the grocery store while beefing up on some food math! Keep that in mind the next time you see the too good to be true “miracle” product and stick with your newfound intuition.

Sources: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm079449.htm#videohttp://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm20026097.htmhttp://life.familyeducation.com/nutritional-information/nutrition-and-diet/48693.html?page=2http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/5-ways-to-outsmart-nutrition-labels

3 Ways to Win Your Coworkers’ Love

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Source: http://www.momsneedtoknow.com

Valentine’s Day is upon us! It’s a glorious time of champagne, chocolate, and strawberries covered in chocolate.

I, however, join the ranks of single folks and am celebrating accordingly. In other words, I’ll chow down on some delicious takeout from whatever happens to have the quickest estimated delivery time. For me, takeout is an act of love and self-compassion. I’m pretty sure that definition of takeout can be found somewhere on the Internet (especially if self-referenced material counts).

Valentine’s Day is also a time where we can appreciate one another, single or not. While I’m throwing my feet up and ordering food Sunday night, I’ll have made a batch of cookies for the coworkers beforehand. I invite you to join me in bringing some cheer to your office through these quick cookie recipes that alleviate the Monday grind.

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1. Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies by Kitchen Monki

Perfect for dietary restrictions and healthy lifestyle choices.

These are what I’m making. I score points with both my roommate and coworkers by going the gluten-free route.

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2. Chocolate Chip Cookies by Amanda Gross

Classic and essential.

No one will scoff at the classic. This is the perfect choice for all around fun and good times.

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3. Peanutty Valentine Cookies by Kathleen Kwiecien

Cook with love (and hearts).

Now is the time to take advantage of the surplus of heart shaped chocolates. Add in peanut butter and you’ve got a dangerous friend maker.

 

Super Bowl 50: Fans and Wayward Spectators Rejoice!

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Source: jcbspecialties.com

For the fans, this weekend will be all about the big game. For the rest, this weekend will be all about hanging by the cooler and catching up with friends and family. For all, this weekend will be about food.

Falling between the two groups puts me in a precarious situation. Unable to focus on the game or the camaraderie, I’ll probably settle on the potluck-esque feast that is to come. The feast itself will lead to its own problems, as I’ve yet to commit to bringing a specific dish (the cardinal sin of shared food activities).

And yet, when I think of what I could make, I always end up falling into the “pick up a sixer” category.  Just know that it’s not for lack of trying or an inability to cook. What it really comes down to lies in the fact that I know the “basics” are taken care of. So, cue a listicle of recipes that inspire and cut through the basic food necessities to help both you and I blow everyone out of the water.

Pro Tip: Save these recipes for later by clicking the “Bookmark” tab on each recipe page. Make sure to create a new bookmark category (Potluck, Sunday Funday, Superbowl)!

1. Buffalo Balls by Terry McBriarty
Frank’s RedHot Recommended

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Finger food!
Perfect for when you want to avoid the bones. Great for kids, great for your uncle on his fifth beer who really shouldn’t be trying to swallow chicken wings whole. To top it off, you can make these in under an hour.

2. Buffalo Chicken Dip by Tiffany Holmes Lampe
Frank’s RedHot Recommended

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Everything you love in one bowl.
Everyone loves a good dip. On top of that, everyone loves a good dip that indulges in a little gluttony. With this recipe you’ll be dipping your chicken and celery into a dish made with chicken and celery. This is innovation.

3. Pomegranate Cucumber Guacamole by Alicia Michelle

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Guac with a fresh kick.
The perfect way to tailor a mainstay in order to combat the hot sauce that runs rampant in Super Bowl apps (see above recommendations). With the addition of pomegranate arils, you can even talk up the health benefits of double (read triple) dipping.

4. The Burger by Skillet Street Food

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Back to the basics on a not so basic combo.
The Burger is the burger that brought the words “bacon” and “jam” together. This recipe gives you the opportunity to perfect a new classic and show off the professional chef that’s hiding inside all of us.

5. Bacon Jam Infused Vodka by Skillet Street Food

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Okay, you’ve decided to go the bartender route…
Heat jam, mix with vodka, and infuse for 48 hours. Let sit while you dream of the weekend.

So, go forth, cook something delicious, and feel free to drop some food facts on Sunday courtesy of good ol’ market research:

*  1.25 billion chicken wings are eaten during the game
*  69.9 million pounds of avocados are mashed and munched upon.
*  11.2 million pounds of potato chips are consumed during the game. This doesn’t include the cumulative 1.1 million pounds everyone will find hidden in the couch after the game.

Sources: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2932857/Fresh-not-fried-popular-Super-Bowl-food-Sunday-VEGETABLES-not-chicken-wings-pizza.html, https://www.franksredhot.com/, http://skilletstreetfood.com/shop/usa/bacon-jam/, http://www.jcbspecialties.com/events/super-bowl-sunday/

By Benjamin Porter

Resolution Management: Looking Past January

By February 1st, according to one 2015 study, 64% of those who have made new year’s resolutions will have stuck with them. Unfortunately, six months out, only 46% will be actively maintaining those same resolutions. What the data tells us is this: Maintaining a goal is hard.

It makes sense, especially when one’s goals need to be balanced out by the responsibility that comes with everyday life. Eating right, losing weight, and trying new things are all on my 2016 resolution platter. However, all of these goals need to be constantly planned out and acted upon between connecting with family, fixing up the apartment, and working the good ol’ 9-5. To say I’ve mastered it, well that would be a lie.

What’s worked for me, however, is echoed by Confucius: 

“When it is obvious goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”

In my life that means finding ways to incorporate my goals into my everyday responsibilities. Instead of driving to work, I walk. When I splurge on a meal out, I take the time to plan some cheaper meals in. All of these moments allow me to live my goals instead of working them.

As a company, one of Cookpanion’s goals is to be an advocate for those who love food, and for those who want to engage in acts of self-improvement by expanding their culinary palates. That’s why, day in and day out, we work to bring businesses and individuals together in ways that foster fun and active relationships with the food we cook and enjoy every day.

So, as we move into February, here are some recipes to help you live your goals, not just work them.

Pro Tip: Save these recipes for later by clicking the “Bookmark” tab on each recipe page. You could even create new bookmark categories for each of your resolutions!

1. Pork Tenderloin (Slow Cooker Recipe)

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Pork Tenderloin – Slow Cooker | Kara Gonzales

Free time galore!
What’s not to love? Slow cooker recipes give you the benefit of being able to tend to other tasks while the meal prepares itself. Have a date night? The crockpot will do all the work while you clean the place up!

2. Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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Asian Chicken Lettuce Wrap by Coley | MyHotDip.com

Healthy and different.
Avoiding carbohydrates? Try some of these delicious wraps and load up on protein and veggies. Lettuce wraps like these are a great way to spice up what could’ve been a bland piece of baked chicken!

3. Waldorf Mason Jar Salad

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Waldorf Mason Jar Salad by Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods

Save money and enjoy a unique take on lunch.
Here’s a sweet way to avoid the lunch rush that wipes out both your time and wallet. It’s a resolution triple threat that contains healthy ingredients, a wallet-wise price, and spill-free transport.

4. Bourbon Crunch Iced Latte

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Bourbon Crunch Iced Latte | Torani

Moderation and espresso!
Feel free to reward yourself with one of Torani’s signature sweet treats while knowing that moderation is a part of the key to success.

Know someone looking to live his or her goals this year? Send them a link to our recipe app: apps.facebook.com/cookpanion

Sources: http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/confucius140548.html

By Benjamin Porter

8 Healthy Food Trends Worth Trying

Happy 2016 everyone! If January finds you renewing your gym membership, restocking your refrigerator, and swapping out cookies and candy for quinoa and kale, you’ve come to the right spot. To start the new year off right, we’ve zeroed in on eight trendy health foods that live up to the hype. Incorporate these power picks into your diet and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier, happier you this year.

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1. Coconut Flour

Why It’s Awesome: The coconut is at it again. As if coconut oil, coconut water, and coconut milk weren’t enough, now you can start utilizing coconut flour, which adds a delicious, subtle coconut flavor to baked goods. This flour packs a fibrous punch with 5 grams of fiber per 2 tablespoons, and it is well suited for those with diabetes, as it can lower the glycemic index of baked goods. Plus, it’s gluten free!
Our Favorite Brand: Bob’s Red Mill
Recipe Pick: Coconut Flour Zucchini Bread with Crumble Topping

 

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2. Acai

Why It’s Awesome: Acai berries are loaded with antioxidants, with more than double the amount found in blueberries and nearly ten times that found in grapes. The specific type of antioxidants found in this berry–anthocyanins are particularly good for heart health. Acai has also been associated with weight loss, as well as healthy skin and digestion. Finally, the berry is known to be immune-stimulating and energy-boosting.  Not bad, eh?
Our Favorite Brand: Navitas Naturals
Recipe Pick: Kale, Berry And Acai Power Smoothie

 

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3. Kelp & Dulse

Why It’s Awesome: Not only is kelp is high in iodine, which can improve thyroid function and control metabolism, but it can also help with healthier skin and hair. All in all, kelp has 46 different minerals, 16 amino acids, and 11 vitamins…wowza. Kelp is most often seen in the form of kelp noodles, but you can also find kelp buds, which make a tasty addition to many savory dishes. Dulse (say it like “pulse”) is another nutrient-packed seaweed variety that can be crisped up like a potato chip, and is also rich in iodine.
Our Favorite Brand: Maine Coast Sea Vegetables
Recipe Pick: Smashed Avocado, Kelp Noodle, and Lemon Bowl

 

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4. Kimchi (or fermented anything, really)

Why It’s Awesome: Kimchi, or spicy fermented cabbage, is most known for its digestive health properties, which stem from the enzymes and probiotics contained within the food. But it doesn’t stop there. This trendy condiment can also aid with cholesterol, obesity, and even cancer. It acts as a natural inflammatory,  contains loads of antioxidants, and can help boost the immune system. Lastly, kimchi can help with diabetes by decreasing glucose levels.
Our Favorite Brand: Ozuke
Recipe Pick: Pad Thai With Kale & Collards Kimchi

 

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5. Kefir

Why It’s Awesome: Speaking of fermentation, kefir, which is a fermented dairy beverage, is an uber-healthy yogurt alternative that is packed with immunity-boosting probiotics (good for tummy trouble!). One 6-ounce serving contains 6 grams of protein and 20% of your daily calcium, phosphorus, and B2 needs. This health food has been shown to improve bone health and lower the risk of osteoporosis, and it may even be proactive against cancer.
Our Favorite Brand: Trader Joe’s
Recipe Pick: Kefir Potato Salad

 

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6. Hemp

Why It’s Awesome: This trendy super-seed, which tastes similar to sunflower seeds, is loaded with phosphorus, magnesium, and fiber, and is extremely versatile: it can be incorporated into baked goods, sprinkled atop yogurt or salads, blended into soups and smoothies, and more.
Our Favorite Brand: Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods
Recipe Pick: Quinoa Hemp Cereal

 

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7. Bee Pollen

Why It’s Awesome: Bee pollen, the food of small bees, is made up of 40% protein, with about half of that protein in the form of free amino acids that are ready to be absorbed by the body. Bee pollen has been known to increase energy, act as an anti-inflammatory, aid with allergies, sooth the digestive system, boost the immune system, and even improve skin. The best part? It tastes awesome, like crunchy little granules of top-shelf honey. Sprinkle it on cereal or yogurt, enjoy with chocolate or ice cream, blend into smoothies, or just enjoy with a piece of fruit.
Our Favorite Brand: Uncle Harry’s
Recipe Pick: “Honey” Mustard Dressing

 

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8. Matcha

Why It’s Awesome: Matcha is a bright-green powder produced by finely grinding matcha green tea leaves. The powder contains 130 times more antioxidants than the average green tea, and is said to boost energy levels, lower stress, improve mood, and aid metabolism. Enjoy it stirred into hot water or milk, blended into smoothies, or even made into ice cream!
Our Favorite Brand: Encha
Recipe Pick: Green Tea Ice Cream

Other healthy food finds that get honorable mentions include green juice (and veggie smoothies), tiger nuts, chia, and rooibos tea. Check them out if you’re interested!

Hope you’ve enjoyed our healthy new year findings! Until next time, folks!

Sources: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/thousands-overdosing-on-caffeine-as-coffee-crisis-sparks-call-for-urgent-action-10491259.html#gallery, http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/10_super_healthy_food_trends_you_haven_t_tried_yet, http://acaiberryeducation.com/, http://www.stylenectar.com/stylenectar/2014/09/how-to-make-kimchi-for-probiotic-health.html, http://janiceameesglutenfree.com/cranberry-chocolate-chip-bread/, http://resources.gale.com/gettingtogreenr/uncategorized/kelp-its-whats-for-dinner/, http://www.bodyenlightenment.me/blog/2011/05/little-known-ways-to-use-hemp-as-a-beauty-elixir/, http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/10-amazing-health-benefits-of-bee-pollen, http://www.beepollenbylaura.com/Ingredients-Benefits_c_13.html, http://www.karenskitchenstories.com/2014/03/green-tea-ice-cream-scoop-adventures.html, http://authoritynutrition.com/9-health-benefits-of-kefir/