Building a Social Media Following for Your Cottage Food Business
Connect with your offline contacts
The offline network of people you already have are the first followers you’ll probably get. By telling your offline contacts to follow your social media accounts, it creates a foundation of original followers. This foundation adds legitimacy to your accounts, and tells other people who find you on social media that other people are interested in following you, so maybe they should, too.
By starting with people you already know and have relationships with, it makes it easier to gain followers from people you don’t know, and hopefully those followers will turn into customers!
Use popular hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to categorize your posts, and also to reach an audience broader than just who currently follows you. People following hashtags and scouring different tags in the social media search engines could stumble across your posts, and from there they could become a new follower, commenter, or even customer. Knowing which hashtags to use is key to increasing engagement with your posts, and it’s best to look at which tags are the most popular. Check out this list of the most popular food hashtags on Instagram to figure out which tags best fit your shop.
Interact with people commenting on your content
One of the best ways for your followers and other people who happen upon your account to feel like they know, trust, and like you is for you to engage back with them. A person who responds quickly is someone dependable, and getting responses to comments makes followers feel noticed and included.
You should also state in your bio that your direct messages are open, and people can message you with questions, concerns, or other messages. You can specify that you don’t do transactions in your DMs, but having a direct channel for communication between you and your followers makes it easier for you to create a relationship with your customer base.
Make a schedule
Posting schedules not only make it easier for you to manage the content you’re posting on your social media channels, but also can increase engagement and followers. There are easy-to-use programs dedicated to scheduling your posts ahead of time; check out this list to figure out which one works best for you.
By posting routinely, there’s a higher chance more new people will see your posts. Scattering post times is important because it makes sure your new posts are circulating at different times of the day, reaching people who were otherwise busy during other times you posted.
It’s a good idea to structure your post schedule around the times you notice your posts get the most interactions. If you get the most likes and replies on your content between 9-11am, you should prioritize posting in the morning. Making a post schedule that works for you takes some experimenting and seeing the best times to post. Once you figure out the perfect formula for your social media accounts, the followers will shortly follow.
Follow other people
The best way to get and retain followers is to follow them first, and to make sure if someone follows you first to follow them back. By following other people, you show that you care about your followers and want a relationship with them. If you don’t follow back your followers, it can communicate that you are only interested in gaining followers and customers, and don’t care about fostering relationships with them.
Use our graphics
The team at Cottage Nosh created some graphics for you to use to let your followers know you’ve joined Cottage Nosh. They come in different dimensions to accommodate different social media. Click this link to access the Dropbox folder with all of the “I’m a Cottage Nosh Baker” graphics.
Greta is a social media strategist, Anthropology major at Barnard, baker, and proud cat parent. They enjoy crocheting and collecting enamel pins. They have a lot of favorite noshes, but right now it is classic vanilla cake.