Are you in the restaurant business? Hotels, breweries, coffee shops? What about food manufacturing, food packaging or other food-related industries?
Any industry that deals with food or drink, either directly or indirectly, can benefit from focusing on a strong social media presence that takes advantage of food’s inherent appeal and avoids some common pitfalls.
Here are four social media mistakes to avoid if you’re in the business of food:
1. Not committing to good photography
Even with the increasing prevalence of video, the heartbeat of social media is still good pictures. That’s particularly true on image-driven platforms like Instagram.
Make sure your images catch the eye of social media scrollers by investing in good quality imagery. Ideally, that’s a professional photographer in a professional setting. But if that’s not in your budget, take advantage of the tools available to help even your cell phone photos look their best.
2. Thinking it’s all about the food
If your primary (or even only) product is food, you’d be forgiven for thinking that’s where you should focus your social media efforts. But it’s not all you should be focused on.
Increasingly, your customers — whether that’s consumers or B2B buyers — want to see the people behind the brand. Patrons want to know who’s making their meals or brewing their beers. Buyers can be motivated by seeing other customers satisfied.
No matter the business, it usually boils down to people-to-people interactions, so get a head start on those relationships. Put people front and center on social media with images, stories, birthday wishes, company Christmas parties and anything else that gives your brand a real face and name.
3. Saying it once
The lifespan of most social media posts is short. It flashes by in an instant and may or, more likely, may not be seen by the ideal audience at the ideal time. Increase your chances of reaching who you want to reach when you want to reach them by posting similar messages repeatedly.
A note of warning here: Don’t overdo it. There is a point of oversaturation when it comes to social media. The key is to strike an ideal balance between frequent enough posting that your #TacoTuesday message sinks in with customers but doesn’t start to negatively affect your overall reach or engagement.
4. Living in your silo
As a craft beer aficionado, I frequently follow and interact with breweries on Instagram and Untappd, a social network for beer enthusiasts. And I invariably get a little thrill when a brewery I visit interacts with one of my posts. Humans thrive on acknowledgement, and I am won over by a click of a button. Your customers will be, too.
Social media isn’t about screaming into the void. It’s a medium designed for and thriving on engagement. So while being able to announce special events or tout your latest award is important, don’t forget to take the time to interact with the patrons, customers or industry partners who keep your business rolling. Like their posts. Respond to comments. Share compelling content.
For more tips on using social media, check out these 5 common mistakes businesses make or 4 ideas for using social media to make the most of a trade show.