Sharing Your Story Through Social Media

Social media is a highly effective resource for reaching consumers, especially in key demographics.

“Eighty-one percent of millennials check Twitter at least once a day, and Snapchat reaches 41% of 18 to 34-year-olds,” says Retail Bakers of America director of operations Bernadette Shanahan-Haas of the importance of addressing younger shoppers.

Strike a balance with your social media posts, she recommends. Twice a day on Facebook, one to five Tweets a day on Twitter and a consistent presence on Instagram are just a few of the best practices that social media experts say are best to follow.

“How many of you wear eight hats in the bakery?” Shanahan-Haas says. “What we don’t want to do is waste time.”

Ken Jarosch of Jarosch Bakery in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, employs his niece, Jamie, to keep the website current, create signage, promote weekly and monthly specials, and post regularly on social media.

Just make sure you are recognized. Shanahan-Haas shares a notable quote from Neil Patel of Forbes.com: “If you post too infrequently, your audience will forget that you exist and you will quickly fade into the deep dark recesses of their minds.”

For example, 2tarts Bakery in New Braunfels, Texas, does a fantastic job, boasting 13,600 followers on Instagram and 8,206 followers on Facebook.

When sisters April Weilbacher and Ashley Landerman opened 2tarts Bakery in 2010, they already had been working as a team since before they could remember.

Both their husbands, Eric Weilbacher and Pete Landerman, work hard to make sure day to day operations run smoothly, while their mother, Mom Tart, is a local celebrity and community representative.

Jim Murphy, owner of Sweetish Hill Bakery in Austin, Texas, says they hire professional writers to craft the stories of their bakery, aiming to deliver compelling copy that grabs the attention of potential customers. “Sometimes really well done copy makes a big difference,” he says.

Bill Hanisch of Hanisch Bakery and Coffee Shop in Red Wing, Minnesota, hosts Facebook Live videos on his bakery’s page in which he portrays “The Bun Man” and guides viewers through the bakery to see what’s special going on this particular day. One recent video featured “bringing donut thunder” to a local school.

Flavor Right also uses Facebook to turn the spotlight on local bakeries through its creative Mix Master Mondays series. Videos show different ways to use products and helps engage bakery shoppers throughout the year.

Beth Fahey, co-owner of Creative Cakes in Tinley Park, Illinois, points out that Facebook Live videos are “awesome” because “people really want to see the owners of the bakery.

“Show customers how you make your cakes. Tell them what you do for the community. Share anything that shows how your bakery works, and customers will love it," she says.