Cake Inc: Using Social Media to Build Clientele
You’ve seen and heard the buzz — social media is omnipresent in the world of cake design and decoration! It’s tough to escape. If you have a cake business, you’ll likely have an online presence by building a Web site for you business. If you have an online presence, why not use social media to get the word out and build clientele? Feels overwhelming, doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to be so! Read on to learn some tips and tricks for using social media to promote your cake business, or to just have some good old cakey fun!
Photo via Coco Cake Land
Popular types of social media:
The word “blog” is short for “web log,” and it can be a great way to document your cakes, share recipes and grow a community of readers and fans. A blog is also a fantastic way to keep your cake clientele updated on the latest cake designs and specials you’re drumming up for your business. If you’re interested in creating your own blog, check out the popular Blogger or WordPress platforms, or any other number of free blog platforms.
Even your great grandmother is on Facebook these days, so why not start up a page for your business? It’s a fun way to interact with admirers and fellow cake designers from all over the world.
Take a look at Craftsy’s I (Heart) Cake Decorating page.
Instagram photo via Coco Cake Land Instagram
Instagram is a lot of fun! It’s like a visual diary that allows you to share a square photo, a collage or a video, so there’s not much to read read, it’s just pure visual entertainment. There are lots of cake Instagram accounts out there. (Here is my Coco Cake Land Instagram, as an example). Instagram is a fun way to update your followers daily (or immediately) on what you’re up to. I try to post once a day of either a behind-the-scenes look at a cake shoot, a final cake shoot, or the aftermath of a cake shoot! I like Instagram for the behind-the-scenes aspect a lot of cake designers’ posts, as it shows the reality behind the beautiful photos. Of course, some cake designers only show the beautiful final product, too, which is also fun.
Take a look at Craftsy’s Instagram for some great cake and crafts pics.
Social media is booming over at Pinterest — it’s where blogs and Web sites are seeing the most traffic coming from. Pinterest is like a sticker collection — you can collect images from all over the Internet in your own Pinterest profile, organized in folders. Stay active on Pinterest by pinning a few times each day. Saturday morning and Sunday evening are big times for Pinterest growth — so take note and be sure to pin then.
Craftsy’s Pinterest account shared photos from projects, patterns and classes.
The bird is the word on Twitter. It it really is what it sounds like — little snips and blips of thoughts being blasted out into the Internet, like an all-consuming chatter of words and ideas. Feel free to interact with other Twitter users, retweet their content, create some fun banter, and comment on posts and tweets.
I still like Flickr as a form of social media. It’s a Web site for uploading images, sort of like showing the world your very own photo album. You can favorite photos and add contacts on Flickr, too.
Flickr is used by many business to share photos. Take a look at the photos in Craftsy’s Flickr account.
Photo via Coco Cake Land
4 tips for using social media to get the word out:
1. It can help get your name out there and allow you to build connections with fellow cake designers.
How to get your name out there? You could start by visiting some of your favorite cake designer’s blogs or social media outlets and leave a few comments here and there. I’ve connected with some of my favorite bloggers this way. Soon enough, you are part of a cake designing community of amazing and kind cake artists from around the world.
2. You will have to spend some time on your social media platform of choice for sure.
Make sure to stay active. If you’re overwhelmed by the number of social media outlets there are, choose one or two that you are comfortable with and dedicate some time to building your profile. With everything, try to post only your best content, or things you think others will find interesting, funny or helpful.
3. Engage your readers.
If someone leaves a comment on a post or likes your photo, take a moment to browse their site or profile and leave a comment back if you like what you see. Even saying a simple thank you goes a long way and can leave you with a loyal follower or potential new friend.
4. Tag your work with hashtags.
They sound like a breakfast potato side, but really a hashtag is a helpful way to label your posts. It’s a word or set of words with the symbol # in front of it. If you tag your Instagram cake photo with #cake for example, then click on the hashtag, thousands of cake photos pop up. If someone is looking for a photo of cake, they just might happen upon yours, like what they see, then decide to follow you.
Photo via Coco Cake Land
A couple detriments of social media to beware of:
1. It can be the world’s worst time suck.
You log on for what you think is a 10 minute coffee break and all of a sudden two hours of your life has been vortexed into a Pinterest rabbit hole from never-get-those-hours-back-land.
Tip: Set a timer for your social media jags and maximize your time by posting at peak hours, which are generally daytime hours between 7am and 7pm when most people are online.
2. It might feel smarmy.
I prefer quality connections over quantity. Some people simply want thousands of followers immediately so they might hire companies to help them get more followers or pay for ads to help boost their page likes. While it feels good to seem so popular, there are some great potential friendships and connections you may be missing out on if you don’t let it unfold organically. I’ve met several wonderful friends through my time online, through blogging and social media. So take the time to go slow if you want to be genuine about it.
7 hot and fast tips for using social media to get the word out and build clientele:
1. Start small.
If it seems stressful and overwhelming, just choose one or two social media platforms you enjoy and focus on building them up.
2. Quality content is always key!
Here’s an article on how to photograph cakes, which you might find helpful for your blog, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
3. Be genuine.
Be genuinely interested in building connections and engaging with other users — it goes a long way. Be nice, courteous and diplomatic. A nice comment on someone’s blog may lead to a nice comment on yours, or someone recommending your cake or pinning your work, etc.
4. Don’t overpost or clutter up your followers’ feeds.
This is the fast track to an unfollow. Post consistently enough with great content but not so much that you annoy your followers or fans.
5. Be interesting!
Post your best content accompanied with a short but sweet comment.
6. Post according to the season.
People love to get their holiday on, so feel free to post seasonally or create content based on holidays.
7. Host a giveaway.
People love free stuff! Make sure it’s a fun, quality giveaway with meaning, to stay genuine. For example, fellow Craftsy blogger Jessie gave away a copy of her latest book on her blog, CakeSpy, but in order to win you had to write a story sharing the secret life of a baked good!
Did you know Craftsy has online cake decorating classes designed to help you grow your cake decorating business? Check out How to Start a Cake Business with Lisa Raffael and Small Cakes, Big Business with Chrissie Boon today!
Tomorrow on the Craftsy blog, we’ll share 9 cake decorating techniques to try when you’re short on time.