- The importance of educating your audience
- How valuable are paid ads? Should we try something else?
- Persistence and experimentation
The emergence and explosive growth of the use of social media in the last decade or so has been nothing short of phenomenal. It wasn’t so long ago that the phrase ‘social media’ wasn’t even in use, while now, it’s an inescapable part of our lives. Even if you’re not particularly fond of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, your prospective customers are, so it pays to learn to use them in order to better reach and connect with them.
However, for all the opportunity social media offers, the truly mindboggling amount of content posted every day makes it challenging for your food business to cut through the noise and get noticed. But challenging means exactly that, and making an impact through social media is possible. To help get you going, here are some excellent tips for how to thrive on social media.
This is so important that you should constantly keep this principle in mind whenever you utilize social media. Don’t just use your social media accounts to sell your products. As well as promoting your brand, post content designed to educate and entertain your followers. Perhaps even find a way to give them a freebie every now and then. You’ll distinguish yourself as a business that gives, in contrast to others that are simply trying to take.
Become an authority
Closely related to offering value is the idea of being an authority in your field. This means posting content related to your product range or market segment in general, and not just your brand. For instance, if your brand offers low-fat, healthy snacks, then post information about living a healthier lifestyle which will help them achieve their broader aims. Remember that your products should solve a problem or satisfy a need or want, so post content that will help them do the same and you’ll create a deeper connection with your followers.
Define Your Niche
Following on from the last point, the smaller or more refined your niche, the more you should promote the entire niche and not just your product. If your product is vegan chocolate for instance, then you should talk about vegan chocolate, sweets, and snacks in general. You’ll succeed in educating your audience and establish yourself as someone who knows what they’re talking about
Build a community
Build a community by connecting with your audience - who may or may not be customers. Respond to every message, comment and tweet, even if it’s just a ‘like’. If someone likes a post, invite them to like your page.
Share personal stories
People love real, raw insights into other’s lives, so give them a glimpse! Post videos of you at work, interacting with your staff or perhaps even your family. Let them see you preparing your products and let them know the passion and care that goes into creating them. Chances are, you’ll endear yourself to them and they’ll have a greater appreciation for you, your brand, and your products,
Team up with other businesses to cross-promote and grow your audience base. Look at complementary businesses in your market and propose that you promote each other’s products. You’ll gain access to each other’s customer base who may really appreciate a recommendation for a product that you feel they’ll appreciate. Also, it pays to remember that promoting other products is a way to establish yourself as an authority figure.
Call To Action
Have a clear call to action (CTA) on everything you post: like our page, visit our website, share this hashtag, click here, etc. This makes your social media activity interactive instead of passive and it’s this engagement that creates a community.
If you decide to make use of paid ads, make them a part of your marketing strategy instead of the entire strategy. In other words, supplement your organic efforts rather than replacing them altogether
Promote your social media pages everywhere you can. Add links to your website on your email signature as well as offline on your business card, flyers, and even your packaging. If you have a market stall or a doing a demo somewhere, offer an incentive for your customers to check in on Facebook, post a pic on Instagram, etc. This could be something as simple as a free sample of your product, but be sure to make it as enticing as possible.
Repurpose and repost popular content. Not everyone will have seen it the first time around; particularly as your audience grows. So it’s fine to repost content you think is especially valuable, even if you have to tweak it slightly before sending it out. If you come across some new info that modifies or enhances an existing post, that’s a great excuse to send it out again!
While paying for ads is fine, paying for an audience is not. Keep it real: don’t buy followers, likes or links.
Learn how to read your Facebook and Google analytics and insights
Experiment with when you post content - do it when your audience will see and/or your competitors are asleep/inactive.
Finally, don’t be afraid to try something, try something else, then try some more. Success on social media is all down to persistence and experimentation. You’re not going to build a rocking, fully-engaged community overnight; it takes time and effort. So put in the effort and give them time to yield results.
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