The creation of social media might just be the second largest technology innovation in the world, after the invention of the internet. Social media is a powerful tool that has a much more significant impact on our everyday lives than we might think. Because of this, caterers need to keep up with the race to stay ahead in a time with constant change.
But whether you’re a seasoned pro or diving into the wonderful world of using social media for business, there’s a lot of information circulating the web that isn’t always as accurate as possible. There are assumptions about social media and its uses that can confuse your business strategies, ultimately leading you to not being the successful caterer you want to be.
Myth #1: Tag Everyone You Know To Grow Your Account
For many, social media is a numbers game. Get enough people to follow you, and there will most likely be some potential catering clients in there somewhere, right? Not so much. One of the biggest misconceptions that most foodservice businesses believe is the way to success is tagging everyone they know or popular media outlets on each photo. Unfortunately, your business won’t become an empire overnight, and this is not the way to realize growth.
Tagging people who already know about your business isn’t going to help spread awareness about your new menu offerings, service concepts, or seasonal ingredients. You’re constantly reminding people and possibly annoying them to the point that they unfollow.
The best way to grow your account is to start following and engaging with users that seem to be your ideal customer. Send a request to accounts who follow complementary businesses and competitors. Don’t forget to initiate the conversation. Comment on their posts, like photos, and share their content. That will pique their interests, and these total strangers might just become your next client.
Another way to pinpoint the right audience is to use relevant hashtags that speak to your unique value and how you can solve the pain points of your current and future followers. People following these hashtags can see your posts when they perform a simple search.
Myth #2: Followers Don’t Matter Because They Are Fake
Have you ever heard someone arguing about their follower count with another person, and they use the excuse that followers don’t matter because they’re all fake bots and spam accounts? If so, you might have been left with some sort of doubt upon hearing this false and inaccurate declaration. Followers are more important than you might think.
For some people, your follower count can be a way to gauge credibility. The more followers a business has leads people to believe that they are a brand that is widely used and trusted. Similarly, more followers also means there are more eyes on your content. Having a more extensive reach can increase the opportunity for more people to click, read, and engage with your content.
The goal is to have a follower base made up of your ideal customer. If you are a catering company specializing in weddings, proactively connect with people who are using hashtags like #engagement #couple #shesaidyes and #loveislove. That will encourage them to follow you and will build a squad of potential leads. After that, your job is to consistently produce relevant, helpful content to allow them to know, like, and trust your brand. Instagram makes this easy by allowing you to follow a hashtag directly.
Myth #3: Hashtags Are Just Clutter
When you see that infamous tic-tac-toe symbol coming up across your news feed, your eyes may glaze over, but hashtags are more than just for vanity and catchy phrases. They are powerful search tools that can help you better target and build a valuable audience.
Hashtags are a digital database for the web. Each hashtag is used as an identifier for posts about a specific topic. A simple search of a hashtag can quickly pull up all the results on that particular social media platform that contain that hashtag. That can be beneficial when trying to find your ideal audience. You’ll attract your tribe by using hashtags related to the issues and topics that interest your niche.
Are you jumping on the micro wedding trend? Start using hashtags like #intimateweddings #intimatewedding #elopement #tinywedding and #petitewedding. Couples looking for more intimate gatherings will be searching for and using those hashtags. You will be able to draw them to you and better connect with them by getting specific. You can check the strength of your hashtags using tools like Hashtagify.
Beyond common hashtags, you can create personal tags that reference your business or special events. These can help you track your branding and help promote these events and help spread the word.
Myth #4: You Have To Wake Up At The Crack Of Dawn To Post During Your Audience Sweet Spot
Just because your followers are online doesn’t mean you have to be. If your audience is on in the early hours of the day, there’s no reason to wake up with the chickens just so your content will be seen.
There are various scheduling programs, like later.com and Hootsuite, that will help you send out social media content whenever you’d like. Simply write up the material ahead of time, set up a release schedule, and you’re good to go.
Start by choosing five main topic themes and writing six posts per theme to generate an entire month of content. A fine-dining caterer could choose subjects like luxury ingredients, plating techniques, dining etiquette, behind the scenes, and food sustainability. Create posts for each, pair them with captivating photos, and rotate through the content as you build your schedule. You will be educating and inspiring your audience on autopilot.
Using a scheduling tool, you’re able to quickly stockpile content without constantly worrying about writing something at the moment. That can also help you remain consistent with your post schedule, so there aren’t significant breaks between your posts. Consistency is the number one way to be successful in building your audience on social media.
Myth #5: Using A Business Page On IG Will Make Me Less Visible
Visibility is essential in managing a successful social media plan. But some people believe that using a business page on Instagram will hurt your profile.
That’s simply not true. Instagram has a variety of tools in place that can help you get even more attention. One of the ways this is achieved is that business accounts do not have the option to go private. That means everything you post and say is there for everyone to see. Business pages also allow you to add your contact information and relevant links to make it even easier for followers to reach out.
Another opportunity not offered to personal accounts is the ads feature. This feature allows you to promote your business and services in a unique ad experience equipped with call-to-action options to help initiate the buying process. While hashtags will allow for organic growth over time, ads are a powerful method to use social media to increase the money in your bank account.
Now that you know the truth about some of the biggest rumors and myths surrounding social media, it’s your chance to take the time to reflect and see which of these myths has been doing the most harm to your business’ success. Now is your opportunity to take the information you learned today and apply it to your future. By listening to your instincts and utilizing social media for your business, you’re already well on your way to growing your catering business.