The use of social media has exploded in recent years. One of the industries to have gained the most benefit is the food and drinks industry. The ability to put your products and services right in front of such a large number of people has meant that its now much easier to engage with potential customers.
Get found by optimising your SEO rankings.
Chances are your catering business is based locally to your potential customers.
This means that it’s much easier to narrow down your ideal customer to a desired location.
Including the names of local towns in your web page titles makes it much easier for search engines like Google to be able to find you when someone types in "Hog Roast in Leominster" or "Birthday cake makers in Hereford".
Most social media platforms will allow you to include a location on your business page bio. This has the
same affect as including a place name in a web page title. The more social media platforms that you have linked to a location and service, the more chances your potential customers have finding you.
Consider all platform options.
You may think that Linkedin may be of limited use to you if you're B2C, but have your considered catering for corporate events and functions? Offices need feeding too, and a convenient and reliable catering service is just what a busy office manager many be looking for. Don't rule out any platform, they could open up a whole new market to you.
Undertaking a social media audit is the best way of identifying which platforms are the best for your business and how they can be used effectively to ensure growth. You can find out more about our SM Audits HERE
Use a blog to demonstrate expertise and gain feedback.
Write about the products and services you provide. This reassures your potential customers that they are in the right place and that you are the right catering choice for them.
Provide interesting and relevant content . By providing helpful tips and advice around the area that you specialise in. You not only establish yourself as an industry leader, but customers are more likely to make repeat visits back to your website when they need your services in the future.
By allowing your customers to comment on your blog articles, you can gain valuable insights into what services and products are most desired. For example, if you were to write an article on "5 of the best wines for Easter Sunday". You could include a sentence at the end of the article asking what your readers plan on having for their Easter lunch. This gives you insights into your potential customers tastes and preferences.
Producing a blog can be time consuming. To find out more about our affordable content creation services click HERE.
Engage with twitter.
Get involved with local and industry relevant "#" groups. Here are some useful links to twitter hours in the UK;
#HerefordHour (Mondays 1-2pm)
#WorcestershireHour (Mondays 8-9pm & Wednesdays 12-1pm)
#LedburyHour (Tuesdays 12-1pm)
#LudlowHour (Wednesdays 2-3pm)
#RossHour (Tuesdays 8-9pm)
#WineOClock (Monday - Friday 6-7pm)
#FoodHour (Tuesdays 8-9pm)
#VeggieHour (1st Thursday of the month 1-2pm)
These hashtag hours are a fantastic way of networking with other businesses. If your business is B2B then they can be a great source of business leads and referrals too.
Promote loyalty with Facebook.
In the UK, Facebook is King. With a 71% share of the UK Social media market, to develop a social media marketing plan and not include Facebook would be madness.
Facebook is best for generating interaction and engagement with your customers. With the ability to easily create polls and interact in real time with the “live” feature, your customers get to see the business behind the brand. This is important for creating a feeling of ownership. If your customers feel that they have a vested emotional interest in your business, then they are more likely to be loyal to it.
Creating desire with Instagram.
Instagram is the most popular photo based social media platform in the UK. With 14,000,000 users it’s a fantastic way of reaching out to potential customers. Unlike Facebook which relies on you finding and being found by your peers, Instagram uses a hashtag search system. This means that your customers use a hashtag (#) to find images that interest them. So by using a particular "#" in your image description, you can potentially reach a much wider audience than a similar image on Facebook.
The table on the left demonstrates the percentage of businesses within a given industry that use Instagram as part of their marketing strategy.
If you're unsure as to whether you have the time to implement an effective social media strategy then click HERE to find out about our SMM packages.
Invest in your photography.
This is important for every social media platform but Instagram especially.
Take this image for example. Looks good right? It’s actually octopus, tinned hot dogs, smash and garden soil……… Good imagery can make anything look good.
Create a bank of images to be used when necessary. Don’t feel like you need to create a picture-perfect meal every day for social media. Just take appropriate images as and when you can and save then for future use. With a little forward planning and access to good natural light, you can create professional looking shots with just a smart phone and a few props.
If you don't change your menu too often, or you just want to demonstrate the sort of food that you can produce, then I strongly recommend you hire a professional photographer. Imagery can be make or break for a catering businesses and the cost of getting it wrong can be high. We work with several local photographers to ensure that we can provide the perfect imagery for your business.
If you would like any more information as to how social media can be used to help grow your catering business then CONTACT US today for a free no obligation evaluation.