Marketing Your Cottage Food Business on Facebook
Make your account a Facebook business account
Making your Facebook into a business account is easy, and anyone can do it. First, head to “Edit Page” on the top right of your page. In the top left on the sidebar, click “Basic Information” and from there look at the category section. In the first drop down, select “Local Businesses and Places.” For the second drop down, select a category for your cottage food business (we suggest Food & Beverage). After you’re done, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the blue “Save Changes” button.
Having the business status on your account makes it easier for people viewing your page to more quickly identify that you are selling something, and that your posts could hold important information about your business and products. Being a business account also adds legitimacy to your Facebook profile, and allows you to run ads across the platform for your business. You can also access invaluable insights about who is visiting your page, how people are interacting with your posts, and how many people have seen your content.
Look at your insights
On the homepage of your business page, you should find a Manage Page sidebar. There, you should find your page’s insights. There, you can find a summary of your page from the last 7 days. You can change the length of the period of time you’re looking at to 28 days, Today, or Yesterday.
There’s an overview of your insights which tells you basic information about your page’s performance, like the amount of page views, page likes, post views, post reach, and post engagement. Past that, you can look at the analytics for each individual post you’ve made.
You can use your insights to understand which kinds of content that you post garners the most attention and interaction. If you have high interactions and a big jump in likes one week, take note of the kind of posts you were making, and keep doing what works! Your insights can also help you figure out what kind of content doesn’t perform as well, and you can shift your approach.
Double check which account you’re posting from
Facebook business pages are managed by an already existing account, usually a personal profile. It’s a good idea to get in the habit of double checking which account you are drafting posts on, to make sure that you aren’t sending out business posts to your personal profile. By navigating to your page’s url, you should automatically be engaged with the page as an admin, and all the options there will be for your business page, and not your personal account.
Use clever captions and hashtags
Captions are the place where you can really elaborate on your products and let people know who you are and what you’re all about. Facebook doesn’t have the same character restraints like Twitter, and doesn’t cut off the caption like Instagram does. Facebook allows you the space to talk about all of your products at length.
Hashtags are a great way to categorize your posts, and also to reach an audience broader than just who currently follows you. People scouring different tags in the Instagram search engine 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 (which work for Facebook, too!) to figure out which tags best fit your shop.
Link to your listings
Unlike Instagram, Facebook has the capability to include links in posts. By linking your listings, Nosh Days, and other external content related to your cottage food business, your followers can more easily access your products and eventually purchase them. If followers’ main connection to your business are your social media accounts, linking to your baker’s profile on Cottage Nosh redirects people to where they can actually buy from you and support your cottage food business.
Respond to comments and have Messenger turned on
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 turn on Messenger for your page, to let people message you with questions, concerns, or other messages. To turn on Messenger, go to your page’s General Settings > Messages > Edit; allow messages to your page and click Save Changes. You should never do transactions in Messenger, but having a direct channel for communication between you and your followers makes it easier for you to create a relationship with your following.
Curate a unique identity
Though a big task, the best way to set yourself apart from other accounts on Facebook doing similar things is to present your cottage food business from a unique perspective. Think about what’s different about you versus other home bakers, and what is special about all your delicious bakes! If you can tap into your unique niche, people who come across your account and posts are more likely to stay interested.
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.