[Guest Post] Hi, my name is Alison Battisby and I’m a Social Media Consultant and founder of Avocado Social. I have worked in the social media marketing industry since 2008 with brands including Nokia, Tesco and Pringles, as well as a range of UK start-ups and growing enterprises. Here are my top 3 social media strategies for growing your small food and drink business online.
It’s surprising to still see a number of food and drink brands underperform in social media. Food is one of the most popular subjects in social media, with conversations around ingredients, recipe inspiration and nutrition advice dominating plenty of the newsfeeds.
The hashtags #food #instafood and #foodporn have over 385 million posts on Instagram combined. Food brands consistently see success not just through sales, but also by engaging audiences in their stories and building brand awareness.
So what kind of strategies can you adopt today, for your own food or drink company in social media?
1. Mouthwatering photography
The golden rule in social media is to use eye-catching photography that will stand out in newsfeeds.
As food and drink brands, you have a wealth of content available to you – pictures of your preparation process, inspiration on how to eat your products, happy customers, ingredients… I could go on!
Make sure you set some time every month to gather fresh content, as you don’t want your social media channels looking repetitive. I love Deliciously Ella’s images on Instagram. You could also be producing video content, or fun GIF type content such as Boomerangs. The Mindful Chef always uses gorgeous, bright photography and have now started using GIFs and videos too for recipe inspiration too.
2. Great customer service
Especially in the early days, offering a fantastic customer experience is going to help grow your brand as people will tell their friends both online and offline about how great you are. Make an intention to reply to every single comment you receive, and make sure you make just as much effort for negative and positive comments. The majority of customers will want to get in contact to let you know how much they enjoyed your product, so reward them for doing so!
Jimmy’s Iced Coffee and Innocent are two brands completely committed to their customers, and take the time to reply to each message they receive. Jimmy, the founder of the iced coffee success story, often replies personally to customers while on the go. Smaller brands like Moju Drinks also do this well and tend to send some nice personalised responses to people, rather than the standard ‘Thanks for the tweet’.
3. Tell your story through social media
Your customers are just as interested in the story behind your company, such as where you make your products, where your source your ingredients, who works for you and what life is like behind the brand. This is the sort of content people are following you on social media to see!
One of my favourite brands doing this is Pip and Nut, and they are very good at telling their story through social media.
Just a quick scroll through their Instagram shows off what they are up to, their happy staff and where they are popping up over London. You could, of course, focus on each of your team members, as chocolate company Doisy & Dam does on their blog and then shares the content via social media.
There you have it – three key strategies to growing your brand by boosting your social media content and approach.
*** Special Offer for Smoothie PR Readers! ***
I offer social media consultancy sessions for small food and drink businesses, in person or via Skype, and I’m offering 10% off my Start-Up Coaching Package for Smoothie PR blog readers.
This is an ongoing discount, no matter how far into the future you’re reading this post!
If you’d like to find out more about this 1-1 support, take a look at my website, then email me quoting ‘Avocado Smoothie’ for your discount (I couldn’t resist!). You can of course definitely find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
More food for thought…
Hey, Charlotte here, thanks for reading through to the end! If you’re looking to grow your business, check out these blog posts written by other food industry experts, full of tips about Phone food and drink photography tips for start-ups and 3 tips for writing a winning marketing plan for your food business.