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RESTAURANT STARTUP GUIDE

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Catering Social Media

Catering and Social Media: The Basics of Social Media for Your Catering Company

Social media is a buzzword heard around the marketing world today, but how does it apply to a catering business? Engaging with customers and prospects in social media is a great way to build loyalty and reach out to customers you may not have reached before. This is the first in a series of articles on making social media work for your catering business.

Marketing Your Catering Business via Social Media—Getting Started

How exactly do you marry a catering business with social media? It’s not as hard as you may think. Social media can be a great way to communicate with your current customer base and potential customers. Here are some ideas for how you can incorporate social media into your catering business marketing strategy.

Make Sure You Show Up in Directories

Local business guide sites put a lot of time and energy behind getting listed near the top of search engine rankings. The best way to find out which ones are important is to do some keyword searches for catering in your local service area. Make sure your business is listed with the first page of results, an easy way to drive traffic to your site.

Alert Yourself with Google

Set up some Google Alerts to see what’s being said about you online. It’s also a good idea to set up a few alerts on your competition. This gives you some ammunition in your marketing arsenal.

Showcase Your Expertise in a Blog

Even if you’ve only been in business for a short time, you can use a blog as a way to showcase your catering knowledge and give potential customers ideas for how catering can complete their gatherings and functions.

You can discuss tips for hiring a great cater and give your visitors ideas on how caterers price events. Discuss trends in the industry, and you can also provide ideas for what works best for different event types. Your blog is also a great place to post photos and recaps of successful events.

Use Your Blog to Gain Customer Insight

A blog is also a great place to listen for customer feedback. Be sure your blogging platform allows for comments on posts. By listening and conversing with visitors, you are creating sales leads, building your credibility and positioning yourself as an expert.

Be sure to prominently display your contact information on your blog because visitors often find you via web searches. Updating your blog on a regular basis increases your search engine rankings—a plus in potential customers finding you.

Twitter—Share and Listen

Think of Twitter as a mini blogging platform. You have 140 characters to engage with your customers. Here are some ideas for using Twitter in your catering business:
  • Announce open dates
  • Announce specials and deadlines for holiday orders
  • Link to blog posts or press clips
  • Give quick tips on successful events
  • Give a snapshot of the inner workings of your business
Twitter is a great place to listen for customer feedback. Twitter users love to ask questions and tweet about the experiences they have with businesses. Be sure to set up some alerts such as TweetBeep.

Facebook—Create Loyalty & Engage with Customers

Facebook isn’t just for kids. It’s where people are organizing their class reunions, weddings and other events. In other words, it’s a goldmine of opportunities for the catering business owner.

Set up a fan page for your business. Be sure to engage in the conversations with your customers in a timely manner. You can do much of what you do with Twitter via Facebook. Because it’s a community, you have an actively engaged audience to communicate specials, successes and relevant information.

 
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