While the hospitality industry has taken a huge hit due to the events of 2020, the U.S. food industry is still going strong. This is mainly through the increased dependence on online spending, with online grocery shopping sales projected to reach nearly $60 billion by 2023. And while this has affected physical food stores, the business climate for independent grocery stores is still very robust. It’s a $682 billion industry in the US, and it’s expanding much faster than other retail sectors. Even global online cooking classes are on the rise, so those who earn money from selling and promoting food have still been able to generate a profit.
But how do you start scaling your business? The answer is social media. Facebook alone has more than 2.7 billion monthly active users daily. Other social media platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, also have a big pool of users.
The market is there—you just need to know how to reach them. Here’s how you can:
Whether you’re looking to attract new customers or engage old ones, great social media content can get you both. Thanks to algorithms, the more people that like and share your posts, the more timelines they’ll reach.
We are back in #Sherwood tonight for more click & collect action— Nottingham Street Food Club (@nottsstreetfood) November 7, 2020
With Power To The Poutine and @CartyCurries serving quality street food.
Pre-order your food here: https://t.co/moN9aITSRg
Collections from 5pm until 9pm from Sherwood Business Centre
Happy days <3#nottingham pic.twitter.com/KuMG0IrqVB
The type of posts that get engagement varies depending on the platform you post them on. True enough, Instagram's interface highlights pictures more than texts, making images a much better option to share on the platform. On the other hand, Twitter’s big fonts really highlight texts. You can place polls, announcements, and promotions there.
Social media platforms collect information about their users, from their demographic to their preferences. If you’re looking to send your ads to a specific group of people on social media, you can. This is called targeted advertising. For instance, if you wanted to send your food truck ad to people in their mid-20’s who live near your location, you can easily do this.
Of course, you can also target a broad audience, like what kitchen specialists in Belgium do. A broad ad campaign can help bring more attention to your food business, potentially attracting unexpected customers.
Influencers already have large followings. Plus, people already follow an influencer for their unique niche, which should be food in your case. So, hiring a couple to market your business can help you bring your name to those who are already interested in food.
Credit @sarah_fel on Instagram
For example, Swiss blogger Sarah Brunella specializes in pastries, making her Instagram account the ideal choice for dessert businesses.
Credit: @emmamariehyslop on Instagram
Meanwhile, there’s Emma Hyslop, who advocates for plant-based meals. The key takeaway here is to choose food influencers not based on the number of their followers but by their niche and authority on the subject.
With the advent of chatting, businesses can now use social media messaging platforms to engage with potential customers. After all, the messages are more easily seen, enabling them to have 80% open rates and at least 20% click-through rates. Fiesta Mexicana, a small diner in Washington, occasionally sends promotions (like freebies and discounts) via Facebook messenger. You can also take a page out of Rapid Fired Pizza’s book and create a chatbot that processes vouchers. A lot of food businesses even use these chatbots to take orders and requests. Social media platforms will allow you to mass send messages like ads, so think about how you can use that to your advantage.
Social media has made it possible to reach your market wherever they are. Do your research; see what social media tactics can help you grow your business best.