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1. Use Instagram Reels and TikTok to reach more people, instantly
Over the past five years, most of the major social media platforms have become video-first. With platforms like Instagram no longer considering themselves a ‘photo sharing app’ according to The Verge, brands should adapt to make their strategies video-first.
As it stands, the Instagram algorithm currently prefers video content, such as reels, meaning the reels and videos you share will likely reach more people compared to static images within the platforms. When we talk about video, we don’t mean high-end, TV-style videos, but instead more informal and authentic content, often filmed on phones, that shows what your food, drinks and brand are really like without filters.
The same goes for TikTok. If it’s appropriate for the brand, the TikTok algorithm currently offers unrivalled levels of organic reach compared to the likes of Facebook and Twitter, meaning you can cross-post any content you make on Instagram to TikTok and vice versa and reap the rewards of increased reach.
2. Collaborate with influencers
Working with influencers can seem daunting, but it’s often a very quick and cheap way to get your products in front of the eyes of your target market and endorsed by a real person (remember people buy from people, not brands). As a bonus, you’ll likely also get some great content from influencers you can re-use, with their permission!
You can use third-party platforms and Instagram search tools, or look at who your competitors are working with to find influencers that would be a good fit for your brand. Micro-influencers (those with under 100k followers) often make more tight-knit communities, ironically holding stronger influence, despite having a smaller following than a macro-influencer (over 100k followers).
Whenever you work with an influencer, remember to offer something that stands out and allows you to track success. Providing the influencer with an exclusive discount code to share will incentivise sales and allow you to track success by identifying sales data from discount codes.
3. Run Meta Ads, but don’t ‘boost’ posts
As you would expect, there is no better way to immediately boost your social strategy and reach & brand awareness than to use paid ads across Meta (Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp).
You can run ads from as little as £1 per day, and the wealth of targeting options, from locations and demographics to specific interests, Meta allows you to really hone in on your target market to get the most out of your money.
You can set up ads on Facebook and Instagram from directly within the app by clicking ‘Boost Post’ underneath an existing post on your page or profile. However, if you’re looking to get the most out of your ad spend, consider using the Facebook Ads Manager – a separate free ad building tool that gives you more visual options, better audience targeting and opportunities to be more strategic with your data, such as retargeting your website users.
4. Join local Facebook groups
There are thousands of Facebook groups dedicated to niche topics or locations, which allow you to become a part of the conversation around your industry or neighbourhood.
Whether you’re a local deli looking to join your neighbourhood Facebook Group, or an online sauce shop retailer joining a condiment-focused group, join and see how you can participate in the conversation.
Facebook groups aren’t meant for selling – but instead to harbour a community, so, don’t think of Facebook groups as a ‘sales tool’, and don’t immediately talk about yourself. Instead, be on hand to ask and answer questions. Perhaps you want to find any local food banks your business can donate to or even mention that you have some job opportunities – be sure to always give something of value in your contribution, and other members of the group will take notice. All Facebook groups have different rules about advertising, so take a look at the rules when joining.
5. Be active!
It’s called ‘social’ media for a reason! Spend a little bit of time each day interacting with people who are following competitor brands, engaging with hashtags in your niche so that you pop up on their radar and notifications.
It’s a manual and often time-consuming task, but yields real engagement, real conversations, and real interest in your brand. You wouldn’t be friends with someone who only talks about themselves – and social is no different. Try and be part of the conversation and community as much as you can.