Technomic’s “Bakery Café Consumer Trend Report” has some good news for those who own and operate a bakery-cafe. According to the survey and an article from Nation’s Restaurant News, 43% more respondents had been to a bakery than when they last surveyed in 2008. 72% of those people said that they visit bakeries at least once a month.
According to the article, “…the most common reasons given by consumers who do not visit bakery-cafés have to do with location and unfamiliarity.”
How can your restaurant marketing strategies be more effective? Well, if you’re on social media networks — such as Facebook — we have six tips to help familiarize your guests to your bakery without even leaving their house.
Tip #1: Start Posting Videos
Forget the fancy equipment and the video budget, because most of us have a decent HD video camera on our cell phones. And if you don’t, you probably still have one on your digital camera. No matter how you choose to shoot your videos, they will show customers the integrity of your work and will also give you an opportunity to inject some personality.
Tip #2: Post Photos on a Regular Basis
Just as bakeries put out fresh goods every day, the same rule needs to be followed for pictures on Facebook. In addition, the quality of the photos will reflect the quality of the goods to the online customer, so make sure the photos are top-notch.
Whether you are posting on Instagram of Facebook, you should be doing so frequently, but pay attention to what you’re posting. Not sure what to post? You can read some tips here.
Posting photos on a regular basis will remind readers to order that special cake or to check out a new cupcake flavor, and will get them through the door. Many bakeries find that taking a photo of the best creation of the day is an effective habit that will increase sales, but don’t forget to show the great variety that your bakery is producing as well.
Tip #3: Choose a Great Profile Image
The profile image for your business should be one that sticks in the memory of the reader and selected with as much thought as that goes into the ‘prof pic’ of a personal Facebook account. In some cases, it will be a very professional, straightforward photo of the front of the bakery such as this example from Louie’s Bakery. For others, it may mean a photo of a great product they have created such as this example from Zen Bakeries.
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For others, it may mean a logo that is used with other marketing material such as this great example from Munch Bakery.
Whatever image profile is chosen, it should be memorable in the mind of your customers browsing on Facebook and it should reflect your business in a positive light.
Tip #4: Network with Your Competition
A little healthy competition goes a long way. Using networking side by side with owners of competing bakeries keeps the creative juices flowing. It is also a great opportunity to explore what is working and has worked well for others. One of the most active groups on Facebook for bakeries is the North Texas Professional Bakers Guild. This group uses Facebook to encourage each other to attend special training so that they all get better at their skills.
Tip #5: Use Contests to Provoke Your Sweet Tooth Fans
More Cupcakes of Chicago, IL loves to play games with its customers. They often feature a fun, dessert-themed contest on their Facebook page and encourage participation from their fans with, of course, a sweet incentive for the winner. A past game challenged fans to name 30 songs with the word ‘vanilla’ in it. The first 30 correct answers were eligible to go to the shop and receive a free cupcake. Not only does this strategy make the customer feel included and connected with the company, it also encourages participation and eventually purchasing. More has no trouble getting hundreds of people to participate in their contests.
Tip #6: Host and Post Events
Hosting events and classes at your bakery will show off your expertise and also give you face-to-face opportunities to turn fans into customers. Mike’s Amazing Cakes offers weekly classes on cake decorating and doesn’t hesitate to use Facebook’s “Events” tab to post them for everyone to see and RSVP.
After the events it doesn’t hurt to recap them in a blog or on Facebook. If you’re having trouble starting a restaurant blog, you can read more here.
Customers often need a gentle nudge to order a cake for that upcoming special event which is why this is one of many reasons why bakeries should be on Facebook.
Facebook is a restaurant marketing strategy that increases awareness of any businesses and is perfect for reminding people that it’s time to order that special pie just in time for that big event. Try any one of these habits and see for yourself!