Thursday, January 10, 2013

5 Ways I Would Use Social Media to Market a Bakery

Can a bakery really benefit from using social media?

Truthfully, a bakery has never been my client, but I have directed many people to a bakeries, based on my descriptions, laced with genuine enthusiasm. (I LOVE my baked goodies! Mmmmm…..OK…back to work here! :)

It seems like some bakeries do not have to market, but most do.

Certainly, there are traditional ways I would market a bakery, but that is not my focus here.

I really don’t know whether you CAN market a bakery using social media, but here are five (5) different ways I would use social media to market a bakery.
  1. Post Pictures of Baked Goods
  2. Post Special Deals/Coupons
  3. Share Fun Facts
  4. Be a Community News Source
  5. Help Sell Things for Community Members
I will explain each of these in more detail below here, but they all focus on one (1) major thing. Most successful bakeries somehow become part of the local fabric. However, most people are not looking for excuses to spend time online with a bakery, no matter how good it is.

So my focus is finding ways to help a bakery become more involved with the community with more than constantly posting ads for its baked goods or begging people for more “Likes.”

Used correctly, social media marketing can be a key way to reach a lot of local people.

1. Post Pictures of Baked Goods

I’m sure that you’re heard that a picture is worth a thousand words.

Many people have a true sweet tooth. They can control themselves, UNLESS there is a donut (or something similarly sweet and tasty) in the room.

When people are on the computer, we cannot dangle a donut just below their drooling mouths. We can, however, have pictures of our goodies…that look REALLY GOOD! Make them think about us…just one more time during the day.

I would post pictures on Twitter and Facebook. I would try to drive them to my blog, which would certainly contain my “picture” of the day (if not more than one tasty demonstration of goodness).

If your pictures are good enough, people WILL SHARE them with other people…probably other junk food junkies…possibly ones who might decide to visit your store to get “one of those thingies you posted.”

2. Post Special Deals/Coupons

Social media can be used to promote certain specials.

Are certain days of the week a little slow, say Tuesday, for example. (Probably not Friday or Sunday! :)

Then on Monday, around 4:30 PM and again at 8:30 PM or so, you might post a Tuesday special. Only you know your profit margin, but I suggest making it a good enough deal so that they THINK about coming to your store.

I’m guessing that a loss leader is better than a discount off the entire tab, but you know your profit pieces better than I do.

Using social media this way will help you reach your groupies, and they will often share your “great deals” with their possibly just-as-excited friends. Either way, you’ve made people consider coming into your bakery store when they ordinarily would be more likely to wait until the end of the week to “treat the office” or whatever else makes them buy goodies from you when they do.

3. Share Fun Facts or Feel Good Quotes

As much as some people really like donuts, not everyone wants to spend their time on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn talking about donuts or other bakery sweets.

However, we want the neighborhood thinking of us as often as possible. This way, they’re more likely to think to recommend us to someone, even when they don’t feel like eating our junk food.

Be a source of enjoyment!

What? A source of enjoyment? How?

Here are some examples:
Baking Hints
History of Baking Goodies
Calorie Count: Our Donut vs. Twinkee
Fun History Fact about Town (County, State, etc.)
Motivational Quote of the Day
Joke of the Day

By themselves, people will not take you seriously as a bakery, but if you are known to share a few things outside of your “normal” bakery stuff, now you give people a reason to look for your social media posts to Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

It won’t all just be self-promotional!

4. Be a Community News Source

Continuing on a similar path, be a reliable local news source. Post the latest updates about things that matter to people, even if they’re not that important.

Here are some examples:
Local Community Events
Upcoming Referendums (Be careful here, though!)
Local Police Blotter
Community Awards
Features about Local Neighborhood People
Upcoming Garage Sales

You don’t want to compete with the local news outlets, but you want to keep people thinking about “having to check your posts.” That means that they are thinking about you…and your bakery!

5. Help Sell Things for Community Members

This is my own specialty, but I think it might be the best suggestion I am offering here.

For most local bakeries, success or failure depends so much on being able to be considered as part of the community. Once your bakery gets to that status, people start to have your back. Until then, you’re an outsider, mostly unknown, not completely trusted.

Again, in the interest of finding reasons for the community to include you in its “habits,” why not be a bulleting board for the community.

Know someone who is trying to sell something? Post it on your social media sites.

Know somebody who is looking for some help with something? Help them recruit that help by posting it on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Imagine how much of a hero you’ll be when you help connect a happy buyer and seller.

Important Note: When (and if) you do this, be careful to make sure you are NOT guaranteeing anything other the fact it is for sale. If you learn that somebody is wrongly abusing this privilege of your help, decline to help in the future. You want to promote good will in the community, not foster scams.

These are the first places I would start for marketing a bakery store, if I owned one.

Do you have any other suggestions? I’d love to hear (or read) them.

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