Hands up if you’ve ever taken an image of your food before you've tucked in? Chances are you probably have and you’re not alone. According to research by Zizzi, 18-35-year-olds spend five whole days a year browsing food images on Instagram and the numbers are continuing to grow.
The growing trend of taking photos of your food doesn’t just apply to those eating it but extends to businesses as well. Ensuring a strong social presence for food businesses is becoming vital and it’s also leading the path for more creative ways to make and deliver food.
Consumers are now more aware and informed before they make choices, not only looking at reviews but they want to see what the food looks like and be able to ask questions - that's where social media plays a big part.
As part of our ‘promoting your food business on social media’ series we’re giving you a run down of the top tips to help you grow your food business online.
- Create a profile: the first step is to choose social channels which align with your purpose and that you will be able to manage. Instagram and Facebook are great for selling, visually sharing your products and building communities whereas Twitter is great for conversations and listening into trends.
- Follow similar businesses and individuals: think of it as networking online, the more you get your brand out there the better chance you have of your audience finding you and connecting.
- Create a unique hashtag so all your posts can be easily found: this is key in helping you have all your content in one place which people can find you from.
- Follow and use hashtags which relate to your content: hashtags are like gold, find ones that have relevance and consistently use them.
- Once you’ve built a foundation, you'll need to work on attracting customers: you can do this via paid advertising which allows you to set a budget, time scale and type of audience you want to target on both facebook and Instagram, targeting only the people you wish to be seen by.
- Customer engagement is where you’ll create loyalty and a community: have conversations and ask questions to your audience in order to keep them actively engaged. A great example is asking people what flavours or types of products they'd like to see and then running a limited run to test it.
- Encourage your customers to share their purchases and use your hashtag: make sure you continually use your # and get your customers to do so too. User-generated content is great at helping you grow online organically.
- Engaging with accounts that hold influence over your target audience can be a great way to help amplify your content into these communities. Try building a rapport with these influencers so that they can share your brand and content in front of new audiences.
- Be consistent with your activity and post regularly: this will keep your audience engaged and shows you are investing in your social media, also if anyone has concerns or questions they know they are likely to get a quick response.
- Utilise free sites such as Hootsuite and Buffer to schedule in posts during busy times and help keep you consistent. There are hundreds of great tools out there to help manage your social media activity and make it easy to look after.
- Continue to post, be consistent and engage with your customers to help you build your brand awareness on social media and help your business succeed!
To find out more about how Virtual College can support your food business’s growth, contact us to speak to one of our Learning Technology Consultants or find out more about our training packages to boost your team’s training and development here.