Use it to your advantage

The demographics within the varied social media channels change all the time. For example, many millennials have left the Facebook world while their parents have taken it over, and Pinterest continues to grow more popular than Twitter.

For the retail bakery this shouldn’t make a difference, free advertising is free advertising. To truly take advantage of the advertising power of social media, all channels need to be utilized in unison to maximize coverage. But instead of just randomly posting pictures of your products and offering specials, strategies exist that make the most of these free advertising media.

The first rule you should follow on all social media platforms; post more than just your products. Do your best to engage followers on a human level and develop relationships. Include your employees as people with personalities in posts. Show some behind the scenes action going on in your kitchen and your bakery’s “lifestyle,” says April Weilbacher, co-owner of 2Tarts Bakery in New Braunfels, Texas.

Instagram

Instagram might appear to some newcomers as just a social media platform that allows users to post pictures, but it is more. The popular smart-phone app now offers analytics through a separate website, www.iconasquare.com. Once there socialsafe.net gives users the ability to save your entire social networking activity to your computer. Because the Instagram app only exists on a mobile phone, the memory is limited.

Instagram makes Facebook and Pinterest better, Weilbacher says. Using the Instagram filters, or if you wish to other filters from the app store, you can make all of your images a certain quality across all your social media. Remember to use the same filters for all your photos. This adds consistency to your posts.

The engagement numbers on Instagram are great, says co-owner Ashley Landerman. Instagram activity does translate to revenue. Instagram makes a great source for inspiration and offers an open dialogue with other bakeries and customers.     

For Facebook

Engage your customers when you use Facebook. It serves you better to do more than just look over and record what your followers do and say when they’re online. Try not to sell and advertise directly, Weilbacher says. You want to build relationships, not advertise. Another way to prove you’re not just going for the sale and increase engagement and relationships, it to 

Facebook feeds default to what Facebook feels is important for you to see and real time continues to pass whether you’re logged in or not. To ensure you maximize your exposure to your followers, try to post frequently and when your followers are logged in. The insight buttons at the top of your page provide great data to start with. If this happens during non-business hours, you can schedule posts at later times through existing Facebook tools.

Sharing other links that you and your staff like shows customers your commitment to the relationship beyond trying to sell them products. Watch other pages that you like and linked to them the things that interest you and that your followers might also find interesting. You also have the option of following their engagements through analytics and seeing what works for them.

Products on Pinterest

The first thing you should do when using Pinterest is to register your website if you haven’t already. Pinterest now offers analytics for activity, but your website needs to be registered. If you don’t know how to do this, speak with your web designer as soon as possible to get this done. While you’ve got your web designer’s attention, also discuss getting a “pin it” button to appear when your images are hovered over with the mouse. This allows users to pin your pictures straight to boards from your site.

When you post to Pinterest, try and post your images vertically. Vertical pictures show better because of the way the Pinterest feed appears. Use Pinterest to monitor trends and search for ideas when working with customers on custom projects and always engage with users by making comments on pins. Pinterest also has the capacity to act as a catalogue for projects you’ve already done.