Business and Operations
Concepts for Success: How to market your bakery online
By Diane Chiasson
If you are not using social media, you are losing business. Social media will help keep your fans coming back.
By Diane Chiasson
A web presence will give your bakery business great online visibility, which in turn will enable customers to find you easily. Your new website is an effective marketing tool and will help generate awareness, exposure and extend your bakery brand. Your website should allow you to showcase your specialties, menu and services. As a busy independent baker, you may not have a lot of time left for marketing and promotion, but it is a necessary task if you want to keep your business going and expand your customer base.
Here is some important information on how to promote your new website and stand out from the rest:
1) Optimize your online presence
Other than joining your local chamber of commerce and other bakery-related business organizations, you should also claim your listings in local directories such as Yelp, Foursquare, TripAdvisor, and other bakery review sites. These sites provide users with reviews and recommendations of top bakeries, restaurants, tourist destinations, shops and more.
2) Find the best SEO terms
Four in five consumers use search engines to find local bakeries. You will definitely have to invest some time into search engine optimization (SEO) to help your bakery appear in related search terms. Search terms are what your potential and regular customers type into search engines to find what they want to buy. You want your potential customers to find your bakery shop, not your competition.
You have to imagine what your customers are searching for. This means optimizing your website for search engines like Google, so when someone searches for one or more of your keywords, you are more likely to show up on the pages with these search results. The goal is to rank the highest on search engine page results when people use search terms that are relevant to your bakery’s concept, type of bakery products, and location.
To get started, you should research relevant keywords or phrases for your bakery, and use them into your web and social media copy. Find the most basic and simple search terms possible like “artisanal breads”, “gourmet cupcakes”, “custom cakes”, “vegan bakery”, gluten-free and vegan bakeshop”, and “natural and organic vegan bakery”.
3) Use social media platforms
If you are not using social media, you are losing business. Social media will help keep your fans coming back again and again. Customers will often visit a a bakery’s social media profiles to see photos, read reviews and research both the good and bad in a business. Think of these platforms as gateways to your website. A strong online presence is a great way for your bakery to connect with your customers and get instant feedback.
Using social media will help you build a loyal following for your business, find new customers and engage with your current ones. There are multiple user-friendly ways of promoting your company on social media platforms, and I recommend maintaining a presence on one or two of these following platforms:
Facebook is still the biggest and the most popular social media platform for businesses around today. It’s a great tool to maintain customer relationships, promote new products, specials and events, marketing initiatives, customer service, and attracting new customers.
Creating a Facebook fan page for your bakery will not only give you a powerful advertising tool, but it will also help strengthen your brand image. When you are about to start a Facebook page, make sure that your information is complete and up to date.
By doing this, your customers will find you and contact you easily. You should set up your Facebook page as a business page, and you should have the following information:
- Telephone number
- Email address
- Opening hours
- Website address
- Special promotions
- Short description
- Long description
Just remember that people love pictures more than text. A customer cannot taste your product without buying it first, so the next best thing is to entice them with some high-quality photos. Pictures should showcase your bakery products and your expertise and services.
The only thing you will need is a good camera or smartphone and sufficient lighting so that your baked goods look delicious. You should always engage your audience and make sure you don’t create a stagnant page. Nothing is more irritating than following a Facebook page to find nothing new after the first couple of posts.
Post a maximum of two to three times per week to avoid inundating your audience. You can ask your Facebook fans what else they would like to see – and pronto – you will receive ideas immediately. Here are some ideas for content to post to Facebook:
- New baked goods
- New seasonal menus
- Special holiday events
- Funny stories
- Contests and events
- Event photos
- Special announcements
- Promotions and coupons
- Job postings
- Blog posts
- Media coverage
Instagram is where bakeries shine: It focuses primarily on great visual content. It’s the perfect vehicle for your other bakery photos. It will help you cross-promote content, spread awareness of your brand and promote special contents and events. Keep in mind that visually attractive and professionally curated photos or videos score best. You should post once or twice a day to Instagram. Here are some ideas for content to post to Instagram:
- Colourful photos of bakery items
- Packaging presentation
- Contests and events
- Contests and events photos
- Special entertainment
- Behind the scenes pictures
TwitterThis is the best platform for short and quick messages that are less than 140 characters. Use it for promotions, updates, customer relationships and customer service. One of the best ways to get others to engage with your brand is to ask a question. Tweet questions such as: What is your favourite bakery product? What exotic pastry items have you seen or tasted on a trip? What would you most like to have us sell? Here are some ideas for content to post to Twitter:
- Positive brand news
- Employee recognition
- Promotional codes or coupons
- Short videos and images
- Job postings
Don’t talk about yourself as it doesn’t provide any value. Instead, share your follower’s updates, events happening in your bakery and in your town, and promote your bakery products. Have fun posting!
© 2018 Chiasson Consultants Inc. All rights reserved.
Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 30 years. She is recognized as the industry leader in providing innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com