Have you heard of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube? Are they simply a way for people to communicate with friends and upload holiday photos? Or as a catering business Owner could this modern method of communicating attract more customers to your business and boost your revenue?
According to brandwatch.com there are a massive 3.03 billion active social media users, that’s almost half the world’s population! Social media seems to be the way the world is heading, should your catering business keep up with these modern times? With the help of some of our loyal customers and friends who are experienced in using social media in their catering businesses, let’s address some frequently asked questions and see why you should be using social media in your business.
Does Social Media have an impact?
Traditional methods of advertising such as flyer distribution, posters and approaching the public on the street are time consuming, a waste of valuable resources and only target a limited audience.
Alex from Altrincham HQ, a company with over 12 years experience in social media marketing, gives his experience:
“Like many businesses reading this blog my events business was a small business where I did everything myself. I was the person walking from one side of Manchester to another putting posters up and I was the one outside venues in the cold handing flyers out. I can now market via Social Media and reach thousands of people in an hour.”
Reach a huge amount of people in a small amount of time from the comfort of your own desk. With a few clicks of the mouse you are able to inform your target audience of your new up-and-coming products and events. With the power to reach, not only your local area, but half the world’s population, potential opportunities for your catering business to expand are also opened up to you. Don’t deny your catering business any opportunities!
What about negative comments?
Unfortunately, receiving the odd negative comment on social media is unavoidable. But does it have to be that bad? Or can the way you respond actually shed good light on your catering business?
Regarding negative comments we spoke to Martin Drury from Sandwich Express
“These can be easily turned into positives because not only can people see complaints and negativity towards the business, they can also see how the company deals with things.”
View negative comments as constructive criticism and an opportunity to show your customers you care and want to provide great customer service.
Mark Peach from Cafe ReFresh at Bolton Arena gives this advice:
“I always thank the person for their comments, and offer to speak to them over the phone or face to face so they can explain exactly what they mean. Sometimes things can be lost in translation online.”
To summarise, take these three steps into consideration when making a reply:
- Be sure to thank the customer for their comment
- Apologise for any inconvenience
- Encourage them to continue the conversation with you privately.
So don’t worry about negative comments, become a master at turning a negative into a positive.
Will it actually make you money?
This is the question that everyone really wants to know, does all your effort in the social media world actually pay off?
Lucy Wright, the owner of Get Fresh Bury, is a regular user of Facebook advertising:
“For as little as £5- £10 per week, we can reach out to well over 5,000 people – both new and returning customers! Even if only 0.5% of these people come and spend £10 in the shop, that’s still about a £250 return just based on one visit! Lucky for us, lots of our customers come back time and time again”
Lucy also advises any catering business owner considering social media to always asks customers where they heard about you, this way you’ll quickly find out what works best for your business.
Alex from Altrincham HQ relates an experience from one of his catering customers:
“One client we work with wins over 80 new customers a month from social media alone. Because the quality of the food and service is so good, many of those visitors become regulars. First, use social media to attract your customers, then let your product or service do wonders to ensure that they return again.”
Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth. Alex relates another experience:
“Another client we work with attributes 30% of their sales directly to social media – the other 70% is word of mouth off the back of social media sales. They do no traditional advertising.”
That’s right, with no traditional advertising you can still make sales. To do this successfully you need a strategy, you need to be willing to spend the time and make the effort. Like everything in life, you get out what you put in. Put in the effort and you will get good results for your catering business.
Don’t hesitate, join the 81% of all small and medium businesses using social media and start growing your catering business, reaching more customers and making more sales.
Are you interested in using Social Media in your catering business but not sure where to start? Check out Altrincham HQ for a wide range of social media training solutions.