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Advanced Social Media for Caterers

How Should You Use Social Media in Your Catering Business?

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In this article, we’ll share the who, what, when, where, why and how on social media as it relates to your catering operation. For a beginner’s guide to social media and catering, read our guide on Catering and Social Media.

Who Cares about Social Media, Anyway?

Your target audience is who cares about it. By participating in the social media arena, you are building a relationship with your target buyers in the places they hang out online. This complicated puzzle of tweets, nudges, links and traffic really boils down to you hearing what your customers and potential customers want from your business.

Why is it Important to Respond Immediately?

Make sure you are listening to your customers via surveys, any social media avenues (Facebook, Twitter, Google Alerts, etc.) Part of listening means that you respond—quickly. Just like when you get a beep from call waiting or a text message, be sure to respond promptly—or you’ll be sure to hear about it. The last thing you want to happen is for an unhappy patron to comment about you on Twitter and you not respond.

What Do You Say in Social Media?

Our social media primer has some great advice on what caterers should say via social media channels. What you say goes back to listening and responding to what your audience wants to hear. One of the best ways to know what to say is to share what’s happening in your business, industry and even your personal life. Just like the local general store of old where people caught up on the latest happenings in town, your patrons want to know about you. They want to know that you understand the nuances and problems that accompany the events you cater.

When Do You Talk?

This really depends on what you’re hearing from your customers. If you aren’t hearing anything, then it’s time to start some conversations. Just like every other contact you have with your customers and potential customers, it’s going to require some incentive or “what’s in it for me?” marketing to get customers involved in your social media conversations. The “what’s in it for me?” piece is easy. “Join our email list to receive discounts and announcements.” “Follow us on Twitter to get a discount.” “Check our Facebook page for the latest availability and event photographs.” Once you’ve started with promoting social media through traditional marketing, it’s important to stay on top of what’s being heard and respond. Respond immediately to both positive and negatives.

How and Where Do You Start?

Consider any e-newsletters, email marketing, videos and information sharing part of your social media strategy. Here’s a quick list of “other” social media tools you can use to grow your social media presence:
  • E-Newsletter – You need to communicate with your customers and prospects on a regular basis. Capturing email addresses as part of your website and referral process is easy. You can use these email addresses to communicate information about your business on a regular basis. Offer specials to incentivize sign-ups on your website.
  • Videos and Photos – Since you are a caterer, this is a definite social media avenue. Share videos and photos of your events on your website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
  • Information Sharing – Share how to be successful, cost-conscious and trendy in catering your events. Share this information through e-mail, your blog and link back through Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites. This is a credibility booster and revenue driver.

    Written by: Amanda Brandon

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