You may already have read it in the new Debic e-zine. As an independent baker, you are often busy with other things than just bread or pastries. You also act as entrepreneur, marketing manager and coach to your staff. You may not have a lot of time left for marketing. Many bakers see marketing and promotion as a necessary and costly evil. Yet they are essential in keeping your business going and expanding your customer base. Most importantly, it really doesn't have to be expensive. Thanks to the various social media today, you have various opportunities to promote your bakery free of charge. Can't see the wood for the trees any more? And not really sure how to use these digital channels? We are pleased to bring together a few examples for you.
Is Facebook worth the effort?
Facebook is still the biggest social medium around today. Are you still wondering how useful a Facebook page is for your business? Stop doubting. By the way, did you know that consumers are increasingly using social media as a search engine? Do you remember the last time that you yourself looked for information about a restaurant, fellow baker or electrical business? Did you wind up on their Facebook page? Then perhaps you saw their opening hours right away. Nowadays, a Facebook page is usually an abbreviated version of a company's website. As well as opening hours, it includes the address and contact details, and you can send a message immediately via the page. In short: the distance between consumer and business has become a lot smaller. Thinking of starting a Facebook page for your business today? Do it!
Ensure the information on your Facebook page is complete
Are you on the verge of starting a Facebook page? Or do you already have one? Make sure that the information on it is complete and up to date. In this way, you ensure that you are easy to reach for (new) customers, and prevent them from calling the wrong number to place an order. Ensure that the following information appears on your page:
- Telephone number
- E-mail address
- Opening hours
- Short description
- Long description
If you take a good look around your Facebook page, you will see that there is a lot more you can fill in. You can do that of course, but place the emphasis on the points above. That way you can be sure that your customers can find you and contact you easily.
Keep it fun (and not too promotional) on Facebook
The question that a lot of bakers ask themselves: what should I post on my page? You could post all your bakery's promotions there. But be honest, when you log onto Facebook after a busy day at work, do you like seeing all those promotional posts that you get? Three eclairs for the price of two may well be nice for your customer's wallet, you won't score a lot of likes with it. Alternate promotional posts with light-hearted, fun Facebook posts. Perhaps a look behind the scenes, the new creation that you have thought up, that photo of students from the school around the corner visiting, what ingredients you use in your most popular bread or a short film about your production process. The only thing you need for these posts is a good camera or smartphone and enough lighting so that your creations look delicious on your photos. Looking for inspiration? Take a look at this short film from Kristoffel Burez. It was simply filmed using a smartphone and then sped up.
The customer is king
What works every time: focus on your customers. Turn your loyal customers into ambassadors by rewarding them. Think up some nice offers to thank them for their trust in your company. Have you just made a new creation? Get them to come up with a name for you new creation via Facebook. It gives them the feeling that they too are a part of your business. Do you need new inspiration? Ask your Facebook fans what else they would like to see, and you will receive ideas immediately.
Frequency is important
Not sure how often you should post on your page? Nothing is more irritating than following a Facebook page and then finding there is nothing new to see after the first couple of posts. Start with at least once a week and try to maintain that. The ideal frequency is two to three times per week. Facebook rewards you with a broader reach and it allows you to demonstrate to your (new) customers that your business is alive.
What about Instagram and Twitter?
Are you already familiar with Facebook and want to venture into other social media? Then Instagram and Twitter may also be suitable. These media are a little different from the familiar Facebook. Instagram focuses primarily on visual content. Visually attractive photos or videos score best. With a good camera or smartphone, you can conjure up a few Instagram-proof photos. Download the app and search for the hashtag #bakery or #pastries. You will immediately find some inspiration for presenting your bread or pastries on Instagram.
On Twitter, the focus is on short, quick messages. In particular, interaction with your followers is important. The rule here too is: alternate fun posts with promotional posts. You interact by liking or retweeting tweets you are mentioned in so that they appear on your timeline.
Social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are a user-friendly way of increasing promotion without major investment. They are also a way of attracting new customers to your company, and of rewarding loyal customers. In the Debic e-zine #05 we look at the different roles you take on when you as a baker run a business. Discover it here!