Social media continues to boom. Research shows that 61 per cent of new customers are finding bakeries and other food stores via social media.
Not only are they finding them, but they’re following them, engaging with them and buying from them.
If you are not on social media, or you have no strategy, you could find yourself usurped by local craft bakeries who are better prepared. We’ve put this guide together to help you get the most out of your social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or another), perfect for new starters, and those looking to improve what they have.
We’ll break down channels, strategy and analysis to give you the best fighting chance of sticking out against the competition.
Choose your platforms, but don’t be excessive
Trying to achieve results across multiple platforms is likely to be a nightmare for small or medium-sized bakeries. If you plan to be on multiple channels, you’ll likely need a full-time social media executive or manager to achieve success.
If you’re not in the position to hire help, narrow your focus to two channels.
Be ready to post one-three times a day, interact with others daily and offer something only you can.
Start with strategy
Like any form of marketing, treat social media with the same level of detail. To be successful across a channel, you’ll need to be ready to dedicate time and commitment to the content you show the world.
Whichever channels you chose, you need to start with the basics. Instagram, Pinterest and other picture-based social media continue to work best for bakers.
Audiences, and what they interact with, will be different. You’ll need to build a bank of high-quality images for Instagram and Pinterest and be ready to write when it comes to Facebook or Twitter (although you’re confined to 280 characters on Twitter). Having access to quality video content will put you in a position of strength on any channel.
Start by asking yourselves these questions:
- Why would we exist on the platform?
- What can we offer our audience?
- What will make us different?
- What do we want out of this channel?
By answering these initial questions, you’ll be able to define a plan moving forward. And that plan should come in the form of building your social profiles, and subsequently creating a content calendar.
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Build a winning profile
Winning profiles include:
- A brand logo as their profile picture
- Some clearly written contact details
- A well-defined list of specialisms
- Your business’ location details
- Your opening hours
If you’re using Facebook, you will get more space in your profile bio to use, whereas, on Twitter and Instagram, you will have to be much more concise.
When it comes to the stricter profile descriptions, try to use the keywords you’d use to find yourselves. That way, your followers will better understand what you do and what you offer.
Create your content calendar
Once you’ve chosen your channels, the goals, your audience, and you’ve created your profiles – it’s time to create a content calendar.
It would be best if you aimed to create content in batches to post across your selected channels. This way, you could have months prepared in advance, and you can ensure value and consistency across your content.
The best calendars have themed days—customers like consistency.
As a starting point, we’d suggest posting once a day, for all five weekdays.
- On Monday, you might showcase new recipes or ideas.
- On Tuesday you might show images of customers enjoying your bakes (if they are open to it).
- On Wednesday you might share a signature bake or take it off-piste by posting about your local community and the work you’re doing there.
If each day has a theme, batching your content will be much easier.
Here are some more content ideas:
- Behind the scenes content
- Personality based content (about you)
- Workspace videos and pictures
- Customer pictures and videos
- Recipes, new and signature
- Time-lapse of bakes or a day in your bakery
- Today’s specials
- Limited offers or competitions
Make sure each post asks for action. Tell the user how they can get their hands on your bakes, how they can enter a competition or how they can be part of your story. Whatever it may be, ask for action that may draw them into interaction or turn them into a customer.
Why be on Facebook?
Although Facebook reach has declined over the last few years, due to algorithm changes, Facebook is still an excellent place for your business to be.
The channel has 2.45 billion active monthly users, and this user base is changing. Gen Z and millennials are beginning to reduce their platform use, opening Facebook up to an older user demographic.
With 17 per cent of users taking to Facebook to follow their favourite businesses and brands, this can be your opportunity to be one of them.
The platform is ads compatible, allowing you multiple ways to reach new audiences.
Why be on Instagram?
Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social channels, currently hosting over one billion monthly active users. Of those users, 71 per cent are under the age of 35, so if you’re aiming for a younger demographic, Instagram is a place you’ll want to be.
An active platform for images and videos, this is an ideal place for bakeries. Many are already reaping the benefits of an active profile.
There are other hugely intriguing statistics such as:
- Instagram can generate over four times more interactions compared to Facebook.
- Instagram helps 80 per cent of its users decide to buy a product or service.
- Half of all Instagram profiles follow at least one business.
The channel is also ad compliant, allowing you to reach a wider audience and actively promote products or services.
Why be on Pinterest?
Pinterest is also a growing channel. Last year, its active user base grew 26 per cent. The platform is home to a large number of women, and mums—research shows they make up for two-thirds of the channel.
Pinterest also sees itself ranked among the most inspiring and creative platforms.
It’s also engagement friendly. Your pins and pinboards can be racking up views, likes, comments and shares long after they’re published.
With image search becoming a more sought-after feature, Pinterest users benefit. If you’re happy to tag and optimise your images and boards, you could be found through search engines for your bakes.
For design-led stories, this is the channel. You can also advertise there.
Why be on Twitter?
Twitter is a fast-moving, opinionated and news-heavy channel. Brands who are in the know and have the time to post in high frequencies perform well on Twitter.
The primary demographics of this channel are between the ages of 35 to 65.
The competition is stiff when it comes to marketing ads, yet 67 per cent of B2B business has a home on Twitter, due to its appeal for customer engagement and targeting. Due to the fast pace of the channel, building a following takes dedication.
That said, if you’re willing to put the time in, Twitter can be very rewarding and gives users a place to have instant interaction with your business.
Have a plan, create your profiles, create a calendar that promotes action and stay consistent
Social media could be your greatest investment. You can reach new audiences, inspire action and create real connections and relationships with your local – and wider – community.