Social Media 101 for Bakeries

When your bakery is active on social media, you're staying top of mind among your current customers, increasing awareness of your business with new consumers, providing better customer service, and even increasing sales.

Nearly half of U.S. consumers have tried a foodservice establishment because of a social media post the business published, according to a survey by marketing agency MGH. In addition, among consumers who actively follow and engage with food businesses on social media, 74% say they’re more likely to patronize those businesses.

Not only do people leverage social platforms to discover new food options, search locally, read reviews and learn more about businesses they want to visit; social media is fueling consumers’ desire to make food and eating occasions a memorable experience and part of their identity. They’re using social media channels—especially visual-centric ones like Facebook and Instagram—to share these experiences with others, signaling their lifestyle traits, preferences and beliefs to their followers through their food and dining choices.

And now more than ever, given the global cultural shift amid the COVID-19 pandemic, social media is vital for maintaining connections with customers, providing informative, helpful service, and marketing your bakery.

If your business is just getting started on social media, the number of channels out there, all of the advertising options and the time required to manage profiles may seem overwhelming.

The best places to start are Facebook and Instagram, where gorgeous, yet simply shot photos of your baked goods, thorough profile details, and positive, helpful engagement with users can go a long way toward marketing your bakery and encouraging sales.

fbook

Get Your Bakery Started on Facebook

Facebook is the most used platform among consumers, according to the Sprout Social 2019 Index. Its pervasiveness across consumer demographics makes it an important marketing tool for your bakery.

 

Step 1: Sign Up

Go to facebook.com/pages/create. You’ll be prompted to provide details about your page, including:

  • A page name: This should be the name of your business.
  • The category of your business: Facebook allows you to pick multiple categories from a wide variety of options, whether you consider your business a bakery, a donut shop, a cafe, or something else.
  • A short description explaining what your business does. This is a good place to briefly mention any of your bakery’s specialties or services, such as custom celebration desserts, catering or classes.

Once you click Create Page, your page will be published. But before you invite family, friends and customers to like your page, make sure to follow the rest of the steps.

Step 2: Upload a Profile Image and a Cover Image

For your profile image, use either your logo or another photo or illustration that features the name of your bakery prominently. Make sure your bakery’s name is easy to read, even on small phone screens.

For your cover photo, choose a high-quality horizontal image that represents your brand well, such as a photo of your baked goods or your storefront. Alternatively, you can also upload a cover video that’s 20 to 90 seconds long and at least 820 x 312 pixels.

Make sure to review your bakery’s profile on both a desktop computer and smartphone to ensure your cover photo or video align well on the page.

Step 3: Add Additional Business Details

Once you’re finished with the first two steps, you now have access to all of the page’s capabilities.

Add Additional Business Information: Under the Manage Page sidebar, select Edit Page Info. Here you can make updates to the information you’ve already added to your page and add other important details, such as:

  • Contact information: your business phone number, email address and website
  • Your bakery’s address
  • Your business’ service area
  • Your operating hours

With COVID-19, many bakeries have had to adjust their operations and hours. It’s critical to keep your business details accurate, as more people turn to social media as a primary source for up-to-date information.

Create a Call-to-Action Button: These can help Facebook users quickly complete an action from your page. Facebook offers several options, including “Buy a Gift Card,” “Order Food” and “Contact Us.” To add a call-to-action button, from the homepage, on the right of your profile image and business name, select the + Add a Button icon.

Pick a Template for Your Page: When you create your page, you’re given the standard template. However, Facebook offers templates specifically designed for different business types, including a Restaurants & Cafes option. Under the Manage Page sidebar, select Templates and Tabs. Under Template, select Edit and choose among the options.

 

Step 4: Create Your First Post

It’s time to share something about your bakery. While Facebook tends to be where people go for information like your bakery’s hours or menu, that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative and make your content unique and engaging. According to BuzzSumo’s 2019 Ultimate Guide to Facebook Engagement, the top three formats for posts were videos, questions and photos.

social media image

Visually, try short, inviting videos, like a dramatic chocolate drizzle or a pastry rising in the oven.  Share photos of your best-selling product or perhaps what you baked fresh that very morning.

Invite your audience to engage with you by asking questions like, “What’s your favorite donut flavor?” or “What should we name our new cookie creation?” Posts can also include more in-depth information on your bakery happenings, like changing business hours, upcoming events and more.

The most important thing is to keep your communication consistent and on-brand. Try to post regularly, but make sure every post is relevant to your business and most importantly, your audience.

For more tips on posting and branding on Facebook, read these resources:
A Recipe for the Perfect Facebook Post
Bakery Branding on Facebook

 

Step 5: Build your Community 

Now it’s time to invite your family, friends and customers to like your page. Don’t forget to promote your Facebook page in your store and on your website.

Creating Unique Location Page for Your Bakery

Nearly half of U.S. consumers have tried a foodservice establishment because of a social media post the business published, according to a survey by marketing agency M. In addition, among consumers who actively follow and engage with food businesses on social media, 74% say they’re more likely to patronize those businesses.For franchised businesses or bakeries that have more than one location, you have the option to create separate pages for different locations.

To do this, you must have a main page set up first, as all the separate location pages will stem from the main page. The main page, often referred to as the parent page, should represent your entire brand, and it will not have its own store address. However, it will you allow you to share your business’s website and contact information.

There are many benefits to setting up a parent page and additional location pages, called child pages, including:

  • Different locations can post unique content that’s relevant to their specific offerings or local audiences.
  • Having various location pages optimizes searchability so Facebook users can easily find the bakery location nearest to them.
  • You can ensure consistency with naming and branding across the main page and all location pages. You can use the main page to share brand-wide posts on all location pages.
  • Pages will showcase a map with all of the business locations.

Advertising on Facebook

Once your page is up and running, you can start advertising. Many bakeries benefit from the low cost of advertising on Facebook compared to more traditional channels. In addition, the platform’s capabilities are fairly robust, yet easy to navigate, helping you better promote your bakery to the most relevant consumers for your business.

Under your Manage Page sidebar, select Ad Center. From there, you can create an ad, review past ads, look at in-depth summaries of how your ads are performing and create and update audiences, or groups of people you’d like to target based on different factors. Audiences enhance your targeting, and you have the option to create three different types:

  • Core audience: Based on criteria like location, demographics, and interests.
  • Custom audience: Upload contact lists you already have, like a customer email list.
  • Lookalike audience: Target new people who are similar to your current customers.
audiences

Other advertising options include boosting your regular or organic posts so more people see and engage with them. To do this, publish a post and click Boost Post at the bottom.

Another advertising capability is to create an Offer, which are limited-time offers or discounts you can share with customers directly on Facebook. These can encourage people to shop on your website or visit your store.

For tips on maximizing your investment in Facebook advertising, read Facebook Targeting Tips for Bakeries

Instagram_AppIcon_Aug2017

Get Your Bakery Started on Instagram

Once your page is up and running, you can start advertising. Many bakeries benefit from the low cost of advertising on Facebook compared to more traditional channels. In addition, the platform’s capabilities are fairly robust, yet easy to navigate, helping you better promote your bakery to the most relevant consumers for your business.

Instagram differs slightly from Facebook in that its sole focus is photos and videos, not text-based content.

Among Instagram’s 1 billion users, 90% follow a business on the platform, according to Sprout Social. And many food trends, including mashup adventure, extreme milkshakesgourmet donuts, and most recently, the resurgence of bread baking as people stayed at home amid COVID-19, have Instagram to thank for going mainstream.

A great benefit to Instagram for bakeries is that it’s owned by Facebook, so a lot of the features are similar.

Step 1: Create an Instagram Account

If your business doesn’t already have an Instagram account, creating one is simple. Either go to www.instagram.com or download the app on your smartphone. We recommend using the app since it’s easier to navigate.

Click Sign Up. You have the option to log in with Facebook or sign up with your email address or phone number. We suggest logging in with your email or phone number and linking to Facebook later. For Full Name, add your business name. For Username, make sure it’s something identifiable about your business, preferably your business name if it’s available. Once you create a password and sign up, you’ll be prompted to add in additional information in order to get your account set up properly.

Step 2: Convert to a Professional Account

Once you’re done with the initial set up, it’s time to switch to a professional account. In the Instagram app, tap the three-line icon in the top left corner. Select Settings. In the Settings menu, select Account. At the bottom, select Switch to Professional Account.

By converting your business’s Instagram to a professional account, you get access to special tools and insights, such as:

  • Learn about your followers, including who is discovering and interacting with your profile and posts.
  • Build your business by connecting with current and potential customers through engagement and by creating promotions.
  • Add more contact options to your profile, like an email address and phone number, so it’s easier for users to get in touch with your business.

Step 3: Select the Appropriate Account Type and Category

You’ll be asked whether you’re a business or creator. Select business, which is best for bakeries of all types.

You’ll then be prompted to select a category. Like Facebook, this is the type of business you are. Instagram allows you to only pick one category from a wide variety of options, so choose something that best describes all of what your bakery business does.

Step 4: Select the Appropriate Account Type and Category

Update your contact information. This includes your business’s preferred email address, phone number and business location. Just like with Facebook, keeping this information updated and accurate amid situations like COVID-19 is critical.

Step 5: Build Your Community 

Now it’s time to invite your family, friends and customers to follow your account.

This is also a good time to connect to your Facebook business page. By linking your Instagram account with your Facebook page, managing your business’s social media becomes seamless and cohesive. Certain elements of your Instagram account can be managed by the same people who have access to your bakery’s Facebook profile.

Posting on Instagram

Delicious donuts, intricately designed cakes and flakey pastries—Instagram was practically made for bakeries to showcase their creations.

When posting photos to your feed, think about your bakery’s overall aesthetic and try to keep a consistent style that speaks to your brand, whether that’s bold or muted colors, playful or more sophisticated dessert designs, natural lighting, unique angles, a saturated photography style, or something else.

fruit tart 2

With that in mind, there’s a range of static and video content to capture in your bakery, such as seasonal flavors or ingredients, all-time best-sellers, holiday offers, fresh daily specials, and promotions or discounts.

You can also capture and share authentic moments in your bakery: candid smiles of your team members, donuts getting removed from the fryer, a decorator putting the finishing touches on a wedding cake, and more.

Along with images and video, post captions that are short and simple, and that include a call to action for customers. For example, ask them whether they’ve tried the dessert you’re posting about, or invite them in for a free sample. Use hashtags to increase your posts’ searchability.

To learn about posting best practices for Instagram, visit these resources:

   
promote button

Advertising on Instagram

The main way to advertise on Instagram is by promoting posts. Just like with Facebook, to promote a photo or video, you’ll have to spend money. The good news is that you can choose how little or how much you’d like to spend.

Step 1: Choose Your Main Goal

This means choosing what action you’d like people to take when they see your ad in their Instagram feed. You can send them to your Instagram profile, direct them to your bakery’s website or encourage them send you a direct message on Instagram.

Step 2: Select an Audience

The audience options aren’t as robust as Facebook, but you can choose between:

  • An automatic audience: Instagram will target people similar to the followers you already have based on users’ location, demographics and more.
  • A manual audience: You can create your own audience by selecting its members’ location, gender, age and interests.

After your audience is set, it’s time to set a budget and duration of how long you want to promote your post. Start small to best identify and refine your audiences. Continue testing and learning from your promotions; some things may perform better than others and you won’t know until you try and compare results.

Increase Bakery Loyalty Through Social Media Engagement

Setting up your social media accounts and advertising are great first steps. It’s important to remember both Facebook and Instagram require ongoing maintenance, tweaking, experimenting and, perhaps most importantly, engaging.

Engagement means continuing to post consistently and often, but also communicating and responding to the people who are interacting with your account and posts and directly messaging you. That can be as simple as liking a flattering comment on your bakery’s photo or as complex as addressing a negative review.

In addition, both Facebook and Instagram offer customers the ability to message businesses privately, and it’s important to respond to those communications quickly.

Whoever is in charge of responding to customers on your social media accounts should have a strong understanding of the bakery’s brand and approach to customer service. After all, social media is a direct extension of both of these things.

Track Your Bakery's Social Media Success and Evolve Your Strategy

Once you’ve established your profiles on Facebook and Instagram, and begun posting, engaging with followers, and advertising regularly, it’s important to set aside time to review performance and make changes where needed. Learn more about key performance indicators to track: How to Measure Your Bakery's Success on Social Media.

In addition, you may find it helpful to automate posting and gain more in-depth analysis of your social media performance. Learn about free and low-cost social media scheduling tools for bakeries: Social Media Made Easy.

Being Mindful on Social Media in Times of Uncertainty

As we’re witnessing with COVID-19, the power and reach of social media is unmatched. Like never before, businesses have leveraged social mediato connect and engage with their customers while physically apart—and provide them something to smile about.

But whether you’re keeping your audience preoccupied with dessert decorating kits as they’re staying at home during COVID-19, updating customers on closures due to inclement weather, or simply helping customers indulge in an everyday treat, it’s important to be sensitive and mindful of how your bakery’s social media posts may coincide with what is happening in the greater world.


Follow Dawn Foods on Facebook and Instagram for more business advice, trends and ideas for bakery businesses.