My Dish recipe sharing website

I love food and I love talking about it. Good, bad, hot, cold, sweet, spicy, I’ll try anything once (with the exception of jellied eels). People’s eating habits are fascinating. It’s a bit like that reliable British conversation staple: the weather. We have so much of it here!

So, when I was approached by MyDish to help them with a social media campaign I jumped at it. Talk about food all day? You bet!

Who are My Dish?

A unique social networking recipe website dedicated to saving British family recipes for future generations.

When Carol’s mother-in-law, Maureen, passed away, Carol discovered scraps of paper with Maureen’s handwritten recipes on them. The recipes brought back memories for Carol’s husband, reminding him of his childhood whenever he tasted them.

It dawned on Carol that many family recipes that have been treasured over generations are lost because they’re not stored properly – and so she came up with the idea of MyDish.

Carol made headlines when she became the first person on Dragon’s Den to be offered double the amount of money she was pitching for. MyDish received investment from Deborah Meaden on Dragon’s Den, and she remains a board advisor to the company. (Dragon’s Den is the popular BBC2 programme where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to millionaires willing to invest their own cash).

The request

MyDish were looking for help raising their profile and increasing visits to their website.

Being an online portal, leveraging social media was an obvious choice. It’s accessible, low cost, campaigns are easy to implement quickly, it achieves results fast, and there’s a community already there who are familiar with online networks.

The idea

We decided to run a two week online competition around the topic of nostalgic food.

MyDish has previously run a smaller nostalgic food campaign on their Facebook page. As it had been successful we agreed to take this idea out to a wider audience.

Everyone has a favourite dish that reminds them of childhood whether it’s school dinners, or something more homely and hearty, so it was an natural topic choice. It’s an easy question to answer, it inspires conversation, and makes you feel warm and fuzzy! It also fits nicely with MyDish’s values and purpose.

The plan

The basis of the competition was to encourage people to tell MyDish what foods make them nostalgic and be entered into a prize draw to win £100 Marks & Spencers vouchers in time for Christmas.

I created a short video with people talking about their nostalgic food memories to get others thinking about their own and to demonstrate it’s simplicity and feel good factor. The video was uploaded to YouTube and used on the competition landing page. You can watch it here:

We then create a simple landing page where people could include their entry to the competition:

MyDish competition landing page

The landing page included a big tweet button to encourage people to share the details with their friends on Twitter and help the competition spread:

Tweet about My Dish competition

During the competition period we engaged the MyDish fan base on Twitter and Facebook to promote the competition and generate more interest through nostalgic food themed conversation.

The bloggers

I enlisted a number of targeted bloggers to write about the competition and generate interest by talking about it on Twitter and Facebook. They produced fantastic reads that really captured the essence of the competition! Here they are:

What Food Makes You Nostalgic – Yummy Choo Eats

My Dish Nostalgic Recipe Competition – Come Dine With Rach

I’m Lost In Lovely Memories! – Jenny Eatwell’s Rhubarb Ginger

Bringing Back The Nostalgia – Lite Bite

A Nostalgic Nut Roast with Pine Nuts – Becoming A Vegetarian

Nostalgic Food – Just Annie QPR

The Result

With still a few days to go there have been 2000 entries to the competition, a big increase in visits to the MyDish website and raised brand awareness. I’m waiting for final figures – will report back soon!

In the meantime, there’s still time to enter the competition – you can do so here: My Dish Competition but be quick – it closes November 20th.

Good luck!