Baking business columnist Cydni Mitchell and blogger Chef Kimberly Houston provided tips on how bakers can leverage social media in order to boost their business during the “ChefsForum: Harnessing the Power of Social Media for Your Business” webinar, a collaboration with the Retail Bakers of America. Are you getting the most out of your social media presence? Are you looking for ways to maximize your efforts? The following are some of the tips offered (for bakers and cooks alike) during the webinar to help you really leverage social media to boost your brand and keep your followers engaged.
- Choose the Right Platforms
You only have but so many hours in the day, so you may think you can’t get traction on social media because you don’t have time to keep up with all the different platforms. The good news is, you don’t have to. You can actually focus on the social media platform that works best for you and spend the majority of your efforts there.
“I highly recommend that you pick the platform that you want to really engage on and build a community on,” says Mitchell. “So if you feel more comfortable on Facebook or if you feel more comfortable on Instagram or YouTube or whatever the different platforms are, then put your attention there and publish content that adds value to your community.”
However, even though you don’t have to post on all of the platforms all the time, Mitchell does suggest that you create a profile on each of them so no one else claims your business name and dilutes your brand.
“I would highly recommend that you have a handle on each of those platforms, so you claim the name that goes along with your brand,” she says. “Even though you may not post at all, just grab your handle so someone else won’t steal it from you, just like it would be with your domain name on the Internet.”
- Take Advantage of Apps to Help With Your Content
Maybe you want to make a video for social media, but you don’t want to be on camera all the time. Maybe you would prefer to showcase your work, rather than making a video of yourself. Either way, Chef Kimberly suggests that professionals take advantage of apps in order to use photos of their products for videos.
“If you are someone who doesn’t like being on camera, you don’t have to. You can take a whole lot of pictures, and then put those pictures into apps that will turn them into video,” says Chef Houston. “One of my things was I didn’t necessarily want to be on camera all the time because I’m always in my kitchen cooking or baking. So what I do is I just take a bunch of shots while I’m working and then post that.”
For example, the Life Lapse app allows you to make engaging stop motion videos that pique the interest of viewers and really show off your culinary talents.
“I realized that if I’m pouring something — pancakes, syrup, something like that —it’s not a really nice video, honestly, but it looks great in stop motion,” Chef Houston says. “And there’s a lot more interaction that happens between me and my audience because now they want to know how I did that. So it gives me an opportunity to share how I did it, and I’m providing education for my audience — which is why we’re using social media.”
- Be Social
Although people do use social media to promote their businesses, Mitchell says it’s important to remember the social part of the equation because users don’t want to feel like someone is selling something to them all the time.
“You can place an ad on social media and you can promote your business there, and then hopefully you can get some leads and people will purchase things from you,” she says. “But actually people are on social media to learn things, to be entertained, so consider that when you’re creating content for your business. You want to be social, you want to build community, you want to share things on a regular basis that adds value to your customers and to your potential customers. Keep those things in mind when you’re trying to figure out what type of content to share.”
To learn more social media tips, watch the “ChefsForum: Harnessing the Power of Social Media for Your Business” webinar on ACF’s YouTube channel. Click here for a full list of the ACF ChefsForum Webinar Series.