Carlos Rascon of El Rancho Gilbert in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa, Arizona, understands the valuable role of marketing to the success of his family’s business, which recently celebrated its 28th anniversary.

Social media, in particular, has permanently altered the way a lot of retailers do business.

“Now, we have to have something that people can take a picture of, and you have to be able to say something special about it,” Rascon says.

The bakery owner has witnessed more dramatic influences by social media on the popularity of their taco shop business. They pay a social media expert to manage that business, and the taco shop features a large mural.

“Social media has had a big influence on our taco shop. It is necessary,” said Rascon, noting their bakery is about ready to ramp up social media efforts. “I’m seeing ways we can incorporate it in the bakery, while at the same time I have to focus on keeping my family’s roots and authenticity top of mind and combining that with today’s culture.”

Their bakery business is “not cute and not trendy,” he admits, but what is important to emphasize online is that they are an authentic and traditional bakery with delicious products available.

“The appeal has to be there,” Rascon says. “You have to hold on to – and emphasize – the reasons we are here 28 years later, and now how do we keep this going for another 28 years from now. That’s the challenge.”

Tailor your messaging

One of the important lessons learned by experts in the world of social media marketing confirm that today’s consumers want an ongoing “relationship” with their favorite bakeries and food shops more than ever before.

Marketing consultant Cydni Mitchell of Sweet Fest in Atlanta emphasizes that every social media platform has its own audience, and users rely on each app for different types of content.

Consider TikTok, she said. TikTok Made Me Buy It drew 7.4 billion views in 2021.

“The key to success is relationship building – interact, celebrate others, and support community involvement,” Mitchell advised. “Once you find something that gets more engagement, keep posting that type of content – and then use analytics to develop and refine your content strategy.”