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Top 8 Social Media Platforms for Caterers

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Social media has been a buzzword for years and years—but we still have questions about it.

This is mainly due to the ever-increasing number of opportunities that come out in social media every year, whether they be new features in existing platforms or new platforms entirely.

In general, the world is going mobile, and so are each one of the following places to connect with others. Beyond that, however, there are a few things you might want to know as you launch, build, create, perfect and maintain your social media strategy.

Here is a breakdown of the essentials for the top eight social media platforms.

Facebook

The “biggie,” as they say. Facebook is home to the largest social network of potential consumers.

What you need to understand:
Facebook is today’s second form of verification in a consumer’s research phase. First comes a website—which every consumer will judge you on—and second is your Facebook page. Additionally, Facebook offers some of the most precise targeting out there on a paid advertising level. There is a lot one can do on this platform that would benefit a business.

What’s in it for you:

  • Page “Likes,” which put your brand name in front of a consumer over and over
  • Clicks to your website, which bring traffic to your online storefront
  • Opportunities for engagement, which give you both insight into your (potential) customers and the opportunity to communicate with them
  • Reviews, which entice others to click on your links and visit your page/website

Who’s on this site:

Source: http://sproutsocial.com/insights/new-social-media-demographics/

How can you measure success?

  • Page engagement, including page likes, post likes, comments, shares, etc.
  • Website visits; both Facebook and Google Analytics report these (we trust Google Analytics over Facebook results)

Who’s doing it right?

Twitter

The often-talked-about-but-rarely-properly-utilized “second name” in social media: Twitter.

What you need to understand:
This is a site that often scares people away because it doesn’t typically produce big ROI numbers, but it’s very effective at keeping your brand name in front of others as well as spreading news.

What’s in it for you:

  • News platform that allows you to put brand messages, company news, monthly specials and anything else you deem newsworthy in front of consumers
  • Opportunities for engagement that allow others to share your messages, communicate with you directly and ask you questions on the fly
  • Discovery that, with proper use of hashtags, can help others find you where they would normally have missed out
  • Links to your website, which is—as we all know—important when you’re looking for opportunities to sell your services

Who’s on this site:

Social-Demographics-twitter

How you can measure success:

  • Interactions – retweets, mentions, direct messages, etc.
  • Website visits via Google Analytics

Who’s doing it right?

LinkedIn

A larger social media site often not considered “social media.”

What you need to understand:
LinkedIn has a different vibe to it than other social media sites. Many people utilize it for business purposes (and thus expect others to do so as well). You have to be a different kind of strategic about what you post.

What’s in it for you:

  • News platform, which would include pertinent news about both your company and your staff members
  • Professional communication from one business owner/operator to another
  • Opportunity to hire new staff, which is available in all social media, but none more successful than here

Who’s on this site:

Social-Demographics-linkedin

How you can measure success:

  • Interactions – messages, comments, shares, likes, etc.
  • Job inquiries
  • Followers of your company page
  • Contacts

Who’s doing it right?

Pinterest

Contrary to what most people believe, this isn’t a site useful only for planning dream weddings (although that sure helps caterers), home remodels and new recipes. It is also a great way to show off what you can do.

What you need to understand:
Outside of Google Images, Pinterest is one of the first largely successful photo-based search platforms on which anyone can share photos of anything with anybody, regardless of being “friends” or “followers.” While not all of your clicks or views will be relevant, this is a great platform on which to “soft-sell” and build up your reputation.

What’s in it for you:

  • Opportunities to show your strengths via photos, which is applicable to all caterers
    • TIP: Host photos on your blog so that when people click on your image, they’re taken to that article and not a blanket homepage
  • Clicks to your website that bring traffic and further opportunities for consumers to connect with you

Who’s on this site:

Social-Demographics-pinterest1

How you can measure success:
Engagement, which includes comments, repins, followers, etc.
Clicks to your website, which you can find on Google Analytics

Who’s doing it right?

Google+

Google’s version of social media, which hasn’t hit the big-time yet, is still worth the investment.

What you need to understand:
While Google+ isn’t the hottest place to interact with consumers and (potential) customers, it’s run by Google, and most searchers visit Google when they have a query. That being said, Google has made it clear that they want their social media site to mean something. While you don’t necessarily get an organic page rank boost for your website pages, your Google+/business page/local listing are all important because they can show up in search results when someone searches for your name on Google (along with pertinent company information).

What’s in it for you:

  • Opportunities to rank in searches, which is one strategy that most caterers and business can’t live without
  • Reviews—whether good, bad or indifferent, reviews and star ratings are a leading factor in what gets a click

Who’s on this site:

Google+ Social Demographics

How you can measure success:

  • Number of reviews
  • Positive reviews and star rating
  • Interaction, such as comments, followers (in your circles), etc.
  • Clicks to your website, which you can find in Google Analytics

Who’s doing it right?

YouTube

Google’s uber successful video search network, YouTube is the first name in anything video-related and the place where most uploaders house their video materials.

What you need to understand:
YouTube isn’t just a place to watch videos. It’s also where you can host your own video content while also showing it on your website. YouTube also offers a large number of advertising opportunities with very little cost (in comparison to other paid digital advertising).

What’s in it for you:
Brand awareness and recognition, as each ad offers you a place in front of viewers
Opportunity to engage beyond just the first video you show; YouTube offers additional “suggested” videos once each video is done playing
Clicks to your website, which you can find in Google Analytics

Who’s on this site:

Youtube Social Demographics

How you can measure success:

  • Clicks
  • Views (of entire ads)
  • Total views (of your videos)

Who’s doing it right?

Instagram

Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media sites with plenty of new opportunities for businesses.

What you need to understand:
Instagram requires users to follow another user in order to view their photos (unless you’re paying for an advertisement). In those cases, you reach new users based on targeted markets.

What’s in it for you:

  • Brand awareness and recognition through both ads and content posted to followers
  • Opportunities for engagement with @ mentions, comments, likes, hashtags, etc.

Who’s on this site:

Social-Demographics-instagram

How you can measure success:

  • Followers
  • Engagement, including @ mentions, comments, etc.

Who’s doing it right?

Snapchat

Snapchat is often not seen as “social media” because it lives exclusively on mobile devices, but when you see most analytic results from other social media sites, the bulk of it comes from mobile devices anyway.

What you need to understand:
Most people use Snapchat to have fun with their contacts, but the right strategy on this platform could mean a lot of interaction with your business and your people. You can also reach non-followers in a unique ad-type format.

What’s in it for you:

  • Opportunity for engagement with both followers and non-followers
  • Brand awareness and recognition without the opportunity to click back to your website; this will be one of the more important takeaways for your brand

Who’s on this site:

Snapchat Social Demographics

How you can measure success:

  • Followers
  • Snap views

Who’s doing it right:

Ready for Social Media?

Thanks to the large amount of information we are comfortable handing over to these social media sites (and more), we can target, track and reflect on the exact people who not only saw your presence organically but were also served up a paid social media ad. Social media can positively affect your brand image, brand engagement, website traffic, business and more.

To learn more about the ROI of social media, continue reading with Measuring the Value of Social Media Marketing.

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Meet Nuphoriq
Nuphoriq is a marketing company for caterers and event venues. And we're fun to work with! We work alongside everyone from family businesses to the Leading Caterers of America and partner with organizations like the ICA, LCA and Catersource.
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