Buy West Eat Best awarded for its innovative use of social media

The Department of Agriculture and Food’s Buy West Eat Best (BWEB) program took out the national prize in the social media category of the Australian Web Awards in Sydney on Saturday 1 November, having previously shared top billing in the awards for WA.

Department Food, Trade and Agribusiness Development director Stuart Clarke said the award recognised the dramatic success of its social media marketing in promoting the BWEB WA’s Signature Dish campaign.

“As part of its activities promoting locally-grown food and supporting the WA food industry, the WA’s Signature Dish competition for amateur foodies was launched this year, to showcase top quality dishes using Western Australian and, in particular, BWEB produce,” Mr Clarke said.

“The competition involved regional cook-offs to determine the four regional finalists who were subsequently mentored by leading chefs.

“From the start of the campaign, it took just three months for interested and engaged foodies to ‘click up’ almost 10,000 likes on the WA’s Signature Dish Facebook page.”

At the finale, the finalists cooked their dishes and served them to high-profile judges, including restaurateur Guillaume Brahimi and restaurant critic Rob Broadfield.

The campaign was focused on increasing the visibility of local produce, explaining the BWEB program, and driving consumer engagement.

Mr Clarke said Perth based communications agency Clarity Communications was engaged to promote the inaugural competition and develop the social media strategy.

“The social media component was targeted at Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and included posts intended to generate conversation about the competition and WA produce through news, food facts and farmer profiles,” he said.

“Influential food bloggers were provided detailed itineraries and engaged to provide regular coverage and deliver third party endorsement of the competition, leading to significantly increased reach.

The social media campaign reached 315 000 people and was complemented by an additional 780 000 people exposed to WA’s Signature Dish message by way of the bloggers.

The social media strategy profiled the BWEB program to a wide audience and led to the establishment of an ongoing social media presence that will enable BWEB to maintain its conversation with enthusiastic food consumers and continue to promote local produce.

More information about WA’s Signature Dish competition can be found on the BWEB website, and Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Planning for 2015‘s WA’s Signature Dish is now underway.