How to leverage social media as a chef

  • Before social media only those that consumed your delicious dishes could see their beautiful aesthetic. Only those that were in the vicinity could stand in awe at your creations.But guess what?

    Social media has changed the game. Food marketing is the future now.

    Now the whole world can see the food that you are preparing. Social media should now be part-and-parcel of your process. We know everyone keeps telling you “you need to post more to social media”. The truth is, social media has reformed the way we think about food.

    What we see now dominates what we buy. When it comes to the food industry, social media has now overlapped traditional forms of advertising.

    You probably already use Facebook, or Instagram, or some other social media site in your personal life, but don’t overlook its potential benefits to growing your brand as a potential chef.

    Here are the tips and tricks to food marketing for social media.

Create a brand voice.

I’m sure your food has a distinct style and taste, your brand should be no different.  Think long and hard about your personality and that of your food. That will help you into creating consistent imagery and messages for your food. Show the love and joy you have for what you’re creating, and your followers will see it to. Seeing your food on social media may get people excited to come to you to make a purchase

Reviews, reviews, reviews.

Word-of-mouth spreads fast. Customers that enjoy your meals will usually tell their friends and family about you, therefore, bringing them to come enjoy your meals. Responding to every review is a great way of also interacting and engaging with fans of your food, and yes, sometimes that means responding to negative reviews.

Share user-generated content

As with the previous point, your customers will be the biggest promoters of your brand. Give them social media handles or hashtags to link their experiences to your food and platforms. Share the pictures your customers are sharing about you and your brand. User content will show the great experiences customers have.

Offer specials to your social media followers

Incentive your followers to go the extra mile for your brand. By sending out specials exclusively for your followers, it will encourage all those who are online to follow your platform. The added incentive will boost your online presence. Reward your social media network for talking about your food. Additionally, coupons are more likely to be shared among friends and can inadvertently increase the size of your network overall.

Show off your team

Profiling the people behind any business is a great way to humanize the experience for customers. Whether or not your team is big or small, posting pictures from “behind the scenes” or sharing their stories and short bio’s about the staff can make followers feel more connected to the business and the people that make it possible. People like to support the people they know. Therefore, give your brand a personality that your fans can love and support.

Ask questions

Social media is a 2-way street. Just sending out your message is not going to get happy customers to engage and interact with your brand. You will have to have a conversation with them by asking them questions. Social media is about more than just telling your followers what’s happening with your brand. It’s also about listening to them. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are a great way to create a two-way dialogue with your customers.

What’s trending?

Trending topics are a great way to quick and easy exposure. Jumping on topics that are already trending on social media is a great way to increase exposure for your posts, especially if you have a clever take on the topic. Marketers call this strategy “newsjacking” and use it as a way to be seen by everyone following the popular trend.

Social media contests

Everybody loves free things. There are a million types of contests you can run on social media. They’re quick wins for both the brand and the fans. By asking guests to participate in fun trivia questions, riddles, fill-in-the-blanks, photo contests, or caption contests, you are is creating an experience guests and encouraging engagement online.

Stand out from the crowd

In order to stand out, you can make use of consumer behaviours and create menu items that are trending on social or are created towards online sharing.

The impulse of customers to share photos of meals on Instagram or other social media has broadly changed the way restaurant, cafés etc. think about their dishes and their visual presentation.
It’s affecting not just the menu and the plating and the packaging, but what items they’re actually creating.

Why social media will build your brand

While starting and maintaining a vibrant social media network can seem like a daunting task, the bottom line is that it’s about people. Social platforms provide a direct line of communication with existing and potential customers.

Social media is a one-stop shop for many of the tools you need to grow your business. It connects you with people who are interested in products like yours. It is a source of instant feedback and a market research tool. It helps you bond with customers and potential customers.

It can be used to promote a sale or other special event in an instant. But you have to be proactive.

Stay in touch for more awesome content from JHB Culinary & Pastry School 

Tag @jhbculinarypastry on Instagram and hashtag it #jhbculinarypastry.

Author: Shona Mills

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