When Facebook became the number one obsession in the US, it wasn't as an advertising platform. The same goes for Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms. However, today they are all used for marketing and sales. There are sponsored posts and companies we follow that show up in your feeds with a call to action to buy their products and services. You see "Contact me for a discovery call" and "Link in bio" on so many posts. There are so many things to link in a bio now that there is an app called linktr.ee so you can link everything.
You're marketing and selling every day. What you're not doing is being social and engaging with your customers and prospects in a way that allows them to get to know you and leaves a lasting impression. Your followers hit "like," but how soon will they forget your post amid the dozens they see daily?
It can only help us to get more social on "social" media. Your followers don't want to see all your vacation photos or hear about why you are angry with your partner. Instead, they want to relate to you and be comfortable buying from you. As a food entrepreneur, you have a lot to be social about!
- Tell us about yourself and your food business. How and why did you get started? Tell us about your training, the kind of equipment you use, or the ingredients that you selected. There is a story in every decision you make, and people are interested - post photos of yourself, not just your products. People want to see your face, and you should want them to remember it.
- Show us how you make your product. Nothing will whet someone's appetite more than watching a cook put final touches on a product. It could be chocolate or sriracha sauce. Either way, it will entice your audience. Don't give away the secret sauce, but video clips or pictures of you in the kitchen can be very interesting, especially to the person who wants to buy from you.
- Give shout-outs to your most loyal customers. Those customers will love you all the more, and other people will think, if it's good enough for her, I need to try it. By involving your customers, you are creating a community of supporters. Take selfies with your customers or photos of them with their purchases. Ask them for photos of their families enjoying your food. Don't be too shy to ask for testimonials too.
- Share funny stories. We've all made blunders in the kitchen, and as long as no one gets hurt, they make for great stories that you can embellish in a variety of ways. This is a great way to make use of videos. People may not read a long post, but they will listen to your funny story if you're a good storyteller.
- Share fun facts. How many cookie cutters do you own? How many cupcakes have you made in the past year? How much flour do you purchase every month? What kind of music do you listen to when you are in the kitchen? What's your family's favorite thing you make? Most people love trivia and will remember it.
- Follow and interact with other people. Don't simply "like" someone else's post. Make comments, give encouragement and offer compliments. Their followers might decide to check out what you have to offer based on these comments. The trick here is not to go down the rabbit hole and waste a lot of time on social media.
- Pictures, pictures, and more pictures. And videos too! Here's the deal on images of food. They have to look appealing, so they make the viewers' mouths water. Get rid of the goofy background props and highlight your product. Make sure to show the layers of what's there or the combination of items.
Periodically you can share how people can buy from you, but that can't be the only thing you post about if you want to increase sales. You are operating a business, so you do want to include a call to action when appropriate. A weekly schedule of where people can find you is helpful. Precise details on how to pre-order are helpful so people can do it without second-guessing themselves.
Above all else, remember that social media marketer is not your full-time job. Marketing serves the vital purpose of acquiring customers. Your food will keep them coming back. Finding the balance is essential, and doing what feels natural to you is key.
We'll see you soon on Instagram!