How to Grow your Food Business through Social Media
Are you trying to grow your food business? Offering your customers good food is crucial but it is only half the picture. Today, social media is one of the best way of promoting your business. Often free to use for businesses, social media is where you can get a new audience without the cost of running a major traditional marketing campaign. The social networks come with many benefits but they are not all apparent. In this guide I will train you about the best tactics that will give you authority in social media. My aim is to help to grow your food business without spending a fortune.
1. Use them all
All social media platforms can help transform your food business. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, are some of the best marketing tools where the business owners can keep in contact with their clients. All these platforms use different styles and have different customer bases and objectives. It will be advisable to use all of them so that you can reach out any possible interest.
Twitter: start by setting up a Twitter account for your food business. The account should have the company name and logo and your profile should be completed with all information. It seems obvious but you will be surprised to see how many business have incomplete profiles, it does not really look good.
You should send tweets to your customers regularly. Twitter has a very fast content flow which is rapidly consumed by its users, this will ensure that all your customers are kept engaged. When you maintain an active twitter account, you will not only inform your customers about your business but you can also use as a customer care service platform, as many brand do so now.
An interesting feature of twitter is ability to use hash tags, you should use them to help users to find your content.
Facebook: in the past, Facebook was used as a communication tool between school mates and friends. However, as times went by, it grew exponentially becoming the largest social site ever. Business owners are now using the platform to promote their business and you should do the same. Facebook is also working hard to ensure that it is business friendly by adding new marketing tools all the times (find out who is visiting your pace with Facebook insight). Starting a Facebook page for your food business will be the first step. Post interesting and fun items on your Facebook account to attract clients regularly. Here the pace is much slower (when compared to twitter). It is a good idea to post on facebook at strategic times when your users are online. Start the easy way, post some content about your business and ask your friends to like and share it, you might be surprised to see your content going viral with little effort. If you think that the average person has 300 friends on facebook it does not take much to get more eyeballs on your business.
Instagram: Instagram is an image-driven version of the social media networks. At the moment, the site is owned by Facebook, so it is growing fast and you might be want to be in there too. You can use your phone to snap a picture and post it to the platform. The most distinguishing feature of this platform is that you can play with the appearance of the photos using the filters giving them a cooler look. As you do food, taking pictures of your succulent preparation is a win win move for your business. Ensure that your shots are neat and enticing, instagram user will like and share them.
Create written content
You need to create good content for your food business by starting a blog. Since you are an expert in your field, you will increase traffic to your site and in the process gain more customers. Write articles and share them on social media. Writing original content is always the best option as the search engines will help your site get the best exposure. If your content is copied no one will link to it and as such it will defeat the purpose of writing content in the first place. Focus on creating strong headlines for your content as this spark interest and invite readers to your site. The headline is as important as the article or post itself. Research shows that 80% of people will read your headlines but only 20% will read the content. Make your content actionable to give the user a sense of how they can get to apply the information.
Pictures: be visual
People usually learn differently. Some will learn better by reading while others prefer images. Most people however prefer visual aids and as such use pictures, diagrams or videos so use them to better illustrate your points. Visuals will help to sustain the concentration of your readers to your content. Nobody likes to look at plain texts and paragraphs unless they are reading a textbook. Add images that add value to your content and be careful to avoid boring stock photography.
Run giveaways, give your products to social media user and blogger, use their feedback to your advantage.
You can give offers and coupons to people to get discounts at your food store. Most people like gifts and discounts this will encourage reciprocity, you give them something your customers will write praising words. Offer exclusive coupons to social media followers for example $10 0ff their next order. Allow for feedback from your newly acquired customers asking them to review your services and post them on social media. Make sure to take their feedback seriously and offer positive response. The reviews from social media users will help to promote your business further. Most customers will only be interested in something that has been proved to work for others and they will go through the reviews to see what other social media users are saying about your business. Address negative responses and appreciate the positive ones to create a transparent and friendly online persona online about your business.
It is also a good idea to give free products to influencers. Influencers are bloggers with many followers and they might act as testimonial for your business. So go ahead and offer freebies in exchange of honest reviews. The reviews can be then shared on social media to generate more energy and buzz around your business.
Social media competitions are fun, introduce them in your food business
Do you know that contests can help promote your food business? These contests can be done through social media platforms. The winners of the contests should be awarded prizes that are good enough to convince more people to participate. Everybody loves free food. You can use fun games such as picture caption contests in exchange coupons in order to engage your social media followers. Pick one or a few winners with the most creative comments and send them a free coupon to use the next time they visit your food store or restaurant. These contests are a quick win for both the fans and your restaurant too. There various types of contests that you can run on social media ranging from riddles, trivia questions, photo contests, fill-in-the blanks to caption contests. You do not need huge budgets for this you just have to choose the ones that works best for you and your social media fans.
Be a brand
If you need your food business to grow fast, you must make it a brand. Always make sure you act like the big food companies in the market. These companies use different strategies to make their business successful, copy them. It is advisable to emulate what they do. Use their marketing ideas on your food business, and you will become successful. You can learn many valuable lessons from the big-brand approach to social media. The following are some of the things that you can emulate and will surely work for you.
• Find where your customers are talking and go deeper – Choose a platform where you have the highest fan base and post a content or promotions. You will be leveraging the promotion on a platform where you are sure to get the highest visibility, giving your followers an incentive to become loyal to your brand.
• Create amazing content that will get people talking about – Only give visitors the content they need in order to spark a conversation. Create engaging and thought provoking content that leave readers with questions. Have an important and promising introduction and throw in a story somewhere within. People love stories and as such it can be an antidote for boredom and it can also help clarify a point in your blog post. A good introduction will come in handy as it can help people make quick judgments about your blog posts. If it’s boring they won’t even think of reading it.
• Use your social media accounts to listen to the customers – You need to be available to your audience in real time to have more meaningful back-and-forth conversations. Auto-posting might be an effective way to communicate to your customers but it is one sided as it does not allow for feedback from the correspondents. However, engaging with your social media fans in real conversations will add more value to your social stream and bring your food business better results. You can also frequently update you posts and content to assure your audience that you are there.