Today is all about engagement. Customers want to feel included and not treated like just another number in a line.
Catering to Customers Online
Social media is a great way for catering services to communicate with their customers when they are not serving them. For those not accustomed to using social media to market their services, be forewarned that it has to be more than a sales pitch. The best social media content is relatable, relevant and encourages customers to engage with your brand. The most important factor in any successful marketing plan is to actually plan. Companies should develop a strategy for how they want to approach social media. In the early planning stages, it is best to consider a few questions:
- Who is your target market? Why are you focusing on them?
- What content/photos/news/information is appealing to this market?
- What do you hope to achieve through social media?
Put Your Plan Into Action
With a strategy underway, the next issue to overcome is finding the time to implement it. The catering industry is already fast-paced, so there is rarely free time to scroll through Instagram and post a cool photo. If the budget allows, hiring a social media manager is an efficient way to have a consistent presence online. This is not as simple as choosing someone with the most friends on Facebook. Consider these qualifications during the hiring process:
- Proficient marketing skills
- Ability to analyze data, track insights and create relevant and engaging content
- Solid understanding of the market and catering industry
- Excellent writing skills and a keen eye for visual imagery
- Good understanding of hashtags and tools within social media platforms
The DIY Approach
For catering services preparing to handle social media on their own, it is possible! Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you find your voice:
- Always use high quality images and correct spelling
- Track insights but look at the bigger picture – focus on reach, engagement and clicks to your website
- Have rules and inform your staff to keep your brand on point
- Schedule your posts – utilize free services like Hootsuite and Later to schedule content all at once
Though it may seem overwhelming at first, the social media storm can be contained. Just don’t dive without a thorough strategy. Consider why you would follow your favorite catering services online.
Written by: Natalie Earhart