Social media tips for food businesses

By Helen Chantrey

I’ve picked out four things that local food businesses should consider using social media for.

Showcase your story

Social and digital media is a dream as it’s inexpensive. Use the free online space to tell your story visually through photos and videos (remember to load them on to YouTube and tag them to help with search engine optimisation). This is a sure way to get close to your customers.

Get feedback

Once you’ve got a following on Facebook or Twitter, you have a ready-made panel of researchers, and plenty will be willing to give feedback. Some national brands have done this brilliantly. Marmite, a firm favourite of mine, set up an exclusive Facebook group called the Marmarati whose fans helped design a new type of spread called Marmite XO. Why not ask your followers how you could improve?

Get more fans

Social media is only useful if you have a big enough following. There are smart ways of getting more fans. On Twitter or Facebook, why not give away freebies to your 100th follower, for example. I was enticed to follow Wensleydale Creamery on Twitter because of their offer to give away a selection of cheeses to their 100th follower. I missed out on the freebie but I’ve become a fan of their cheeses and now take interest in their news. Something else to consider is paid-for Facebook ads. These can be cost-effective and a handy way to boost your fan base.

Give each medium a role and connect them

The clearer you are on what you want to get from each medium, the easier it is to write suitable content and judge each one’s success. For example, Twitter can be good for connecting with bloggers and journalists. Research who you want as an advocate and follow them, inviting them to follow you and sending them tasty treats and info. Facebook is a good place to showcase a brand’s story and can help direct people to your website, which needs to be a hub of activity, information and ideally a place to sell your product directly. Collect data about your consumers, particularly email addresses: you don’t need to bombard people with email marketing, but select offers could really help to drive sales.

Helen runs How Now Marketing and previously worked for Unilever. She’s managed the growth of a range of brands including Marmite, Peperami and Charlie Bigham’s. She loves helping brands develop the right strategy for growth. How Now Marketing



The author:

Matt lives in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. He is passionate about the independent food & drink sector and founded Great Food Club in 2010 after being inspired by local producers near his home town.