How To Use Video, Text, and Pictures to Grow Social Media and Get Customers
It's no mystery catering and events companies need a wide variety of things to continue thriving--exceptional service, compelling offers, visionary leadership, and much more. However, in today's digital society, it's challenging to separate and stand out uniquely from the competition.
It isn’t uncommon for catering and events businesses to wonder what to post online to get more clients. Ultimately, your goal is to use high-quality and relevant video, text, and pictures to establish brand awareness and trust. That will, in turn, lead to customer conversions.
In this guide, I’m going to show you my inside know-how about how to use video text and pictures to grow your social media and attract more customers. The simple tips and tricks I’m going to share with you below lay the groundwork for you to develop long-term and lasting relationships with your clients. In doing so, you’ll be establishing yourself as a brand current, and potential customers can trust. Let’s get to work!
Before choosing catering and events services, your target audience is using the Internet to research your company. Finding meaningful ways to connect on social media is challenging for all businesses, with so many brands featuring a variety of content daily.
Therefore, I'm always looking for authentic ways to create a dialog with my target audience. Otherwise, I risk falling victim to on-sided marketing communications, and that's disastrous.
Finding relatable subjects for your text posts in the catering and events industry isn't difficult. The main reason is that the catering industry is all about building relationships.
For example, do you have an event coming up? If so, you could develop a text content plan focusing around that by:
Looking at your social media channels and organizing by which ones are the most influential.
Brainstorming and creating a content calendar that includes sharing everything, including social media posts, blogs, videos, and photos.
Four weeks before the event, write an in-depth blog post announcing the event that you can share on Twitter and Facebook that includes a photo you requested from the event's host.
Three weeks before the event, write a blog post that has something to do with the event you're planning, like "5 Tips for Planning Holiday-Themed Weddings," or "5 Unusual Corporate Event Menu Options You Should Try." Make sure you include high-quality images or embed a YouTube video.
One week before the event, create a blog post featuring "preparation" steps for everything you're doing to prepare for the event, including high-quality imagery.
During the days leading up to the event, ask one of your staff members to post "live tweets" to those following the event. You can also use Instagram for sharing table settings, food prep, venue decorations, guests arriving, and so on.
One week after the event, use Facebook advertising in conjunction with this event to drive more traffic to your website and ask the host to post reviews on Yelp and other review sites.
You live and breathe the "humanizing" content every day. However, it takes time to communicate what your brand stands for on social media, and this strategic process takes patience to build.
Now, let's talk about the kinds of posts that will help you grow your social media and get customers. Ultimately, you want your target audience to bond with your brand. So, the trick is being genuine in every post. In the following sections, we’re going to discuss theses kinds of posts and how to develop them.
Focus on Your Target Audience
Your target audience is the main ingredient of your recipe for success. I love thinking of ways I can create content that not only reaches them but solves their pain points. That way, I know my catering and events business isn’t just about selling but also about building relationships.
Humanize your brand by focusing on your target audience in every social media and blog post. That means showing interaction, and proving to your targets that you're a people-centered company.
For example, you could show your employees at work, a culinary artist in action, or other interactions your catering audience is seeking. Your target audience loves to see “what’s happening” when they’re considering which catering company to hire.
However, they need more information. That’s where high-quality text content comes into play. Write detailed descriptions about what they're doing, why, and the tools they're using to help your target understand what's happening.
Taking these steps helps your target audience understand what you’re doing toward working to meet their needs. That effort adds another level of trust while “humanizing” your brand.
Show Instead of Tell
Do you know the difference between “showing” and “telling?” If you’re telling your target audience about something, that description isn’t enough. You’re talking “at” them.
No one likes to be talked “at” under any circumstance. So, you must approach things differently. Your target audience wants to see everything about your business. So, if you're featuring "text-only" social media and blog posts, they'll lose interest and click away.
My suggestion is to showcase furniture arrangements, floral arrangements, and every other beautiful detail for events along with every text and blog post. That way, they can “see” and “understand” what’s happening in every post you’re creating.
Customers Eat With Their Eyes
Think about the last time you were interested in checking out a new restaurant. You didn't want to eat a description of the food; you wanted to see an image.
Your target audience feels the same way.
What are you featuring on your menu? Do you have specials you want to highlight? Give them that description, and answer questions about it, but include an up-close and high-quality image of the menu offering.
Include Text in Your Graphics
I can’t emphasize the importance of including text in your graphics. Why? If you have a high-quality photo, why not repurpose it into your promotional material?
Each time you're creating promotional content, include a high-quality image featuring text.
For example, if you have a catering event coming up, snap a picture of the venue, and use a text overlay promoting when and where it's occurring. Make sure the fonts are in keeping with your brand's color and style.
I love using photos to grow my social media and get more customers. Why? They’re the best tool for featuring:
Highlights of an event I’m planning
My newest or most-popular menu offerings
Table setting suggestions
Venue decorations or ideas for them
Events (with permission from hosts)
And much more!
If you believe there's statistical data supporting that more high-quality images mean an increase in customer trust and higher sales, then you're right. One of the main reasons a high-quality photo increase's customer trust is that it helps grab their attention, which, in turn, produces more trust and higher conversion rates. Here’s what I suggest for growing social media and getting more customers!
Make Sure Your Visuals are Engaging
Using engaging visuals is critical! When I’m selecting photos, I make sure they’re enticing and will capture my target audience’s attention.
Your target audience not only wants to see relevant images, but they also expect to see high-quality photography.
So, I suggest learning how to take pictures like a pro. Fascinate your target audience by using images that evoke emotion while simultaneously expressing your brand's tone.
Understand Your Target Audience
Do you know what types of photos your target audience wants to view? Taking the time to understand this is vital for your catering and events business.
If the visuals aren't what they want to see, they're going to click away. I know that seems obvious, but it's a difficult practice for some brands to grasp. Think about what your target audience loves, what motivates them, and why they're following your company.
Then, create high-quality images focusing on those facts. Your target audience will appreciate you taking the time to get to know what they want, how it’s motivating them or solving their problem, and why it’s essential.
Don't Be Overly Promotional
I try not to “sound” like a salesperson when posting images. Otherwise, I know my target audience is going to miss the message I’m trying to send and lose interest in my brand. When posting pictures, you must find that critical balance between inspirational and promotional.
If you're overly promotional, your target audience will feel like you're selling to them too much. If you're excessively inspirational, then you're missing opportunities.
I suggest using images to encourage conversation with you or each other. That way, your followers are thinking about your images as a catalyst for conversations, rather than as a marketing tool. Each time they’ll see a photo, it will inspire them to engage instead of scroll away.
Don't Forget to Add a CTA
One of the most common image mistakes I see is people neglecting to add a call to action. How are your followers supposed to know what to do when they see your post?
Each of your image posts must contain a call to action to encourage your followers to interact with others or engage with your brand. You could ask them to tag others, ask questions, invite them to discuss a topic, or tell stories using your image.
Make sure the call to action doesn’t contain an obnoxious promotion or sales pitch. Otherwise, you’re missing the point of posting the image. The call to action is about drawing attention to your business casually while simultaneously encouraging interaction and engagement with your target audience.
Embrace the Power of Hashtags
If you’re not using hashtags, you’re missing out on a massive opportunity for extending your reach on Twitter and Instagram.
Hashtagging allows you to create categories for your posts, helps users find your content easier, and helps your target audience know how to share your content according to particular topics. Using hashtags also helps your images reach a wider audience because they improve visibility.
Make sure you're using relevant hashtags and not overdoing them. I suggest researching which hashtags are related to your photo and the topic you’re posting about and then using the ones that are the most appropriate. Avoid using generic hashtags. Otherwise, your post will become too cluttered.
Video Types (Live, stories, Gifs, IGTV, Periscope, Explainer videos)
Embracing the power of video is your next step toward growing your social media following and getting customers. I love using video to reach my target audience because it allows me to explore a wide variety of mediums to tell my brand’s story.
No matter if you’re trying to reach your B2B or B2C crowd, video is an excellent medium for achieving that goal. With six out of every ten people preferring to watch online videos instead of television, this form of content is dominating the market. And for a good reason!
Before 2022, 82% of all consumer Internet traffic will be made up of online videos. So, if you’re not tapping into this now, I suggest grabbing your smartphone or digital recorder and get busy!
Using video for your catering business will help you serve many purposes. Not only are you sharing relevant and valuable content with your ideal customer, but it’s helping them solve their pain points. Additionally, you’re building brand trust and developing meaningful relationships. Here are examples of the different kinds of videos you can use to achieve that goal.
Your target customer loves watching videos and engaging with them. So, if you’re not comfortable getting in front of the camera, perhaps it’s time to start practicing or finding someone on your staff who can help. That way, you’re not missing out on this segment of your market.
With the ease of use of Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, getting videos online and reaching your target audience has never been easier. Not only is this medium profitable, but it’s also versatile.
In this section, we’re going to talk about the different types of video you can use to reach your target audience.
We all want to boost our brand's visibility, and I love using IGTV to help achieve that goal. IGTV is an excellent opportunity to give new life to your highest-performing video content.
For example, if you have a live-stream or videos that are up to one hour long that were successful on YouTube or Facebook, you can repurpose them on IGTV. I suggest using videos featuring listicles and “snackable” tips. That way, you can also repurpose your blog posts into your IGTV videos.
Why do I love the opportunities on IGTV?
There's little competition: right now, there aren't many brands taking advantage of IGTV. So, that means it isn't being flooded with content, and your brand has an opportunity to be front and center.
Click-through opportunities: it's been challenging to incorporate links on Instagram's content. However, on IGTV, that's no longer an issue. You can add clickable links in the descriptions.
Longer-form content: your brand can get into greater detail with more in-depth storytelling using long-form content opportunities. That allows you to connect with your target audience in a more meaningful way.
You can use IGTV for directing your target audience to your website or, with the use of the right hashtags, to pop up in the "discover" section. No matter which avenue you want to take, IGTV works optimally with your content marketing strategies regarding spreading awareness.
The best part? Instagram is letting users share IGTV previews in their feed! That means, when you share the preview, it will show up with an IGTV icon next to the post. So, that means an increase in engagement and views!
You have about seven seconds to grab your target audience’s attention. So, that means using the highest quality video content possible—explainer videos are my go-to choice for that!
When you post these kinds of videos, you're helping your target audience understand why they need your catering and event services. Many explainer videos emphasize a fictional journey whereby the company's ideal customer avatar is struggling with a pain point. Then, the individual overcomes their problem by choosing the company's services.
These videos are typically between one and three minutes. That's right—they're short and to the point. That way, you're introducing your company or services concisely.
Some explainer videos are done in cartoon-style and may not have a narrator. It's up to you how you create them but, ultimately, they must be engaging and impactful.
Why do I love using explainer videos? I’ll explain:
Validating and Building Trust: the use of explainer videos help your target audience see your brand's personality and help "humanize" your company. Each time you're engaging with videos, that builds trust with your target audience, and that, in turn, helps give them more confidence in choosing your services.
Boosting Search Engine Rankings: using explainer videos helps to increase the amount of time your target audience spends on your website and social media channels. Even if it's a few minutes during the viewing time, they're staying to comment and engage. The more time a user spends on your website or social channels, the better because it signals search engines to recognize the content is valuable.
Boosting Sales and Conversions: when you're building trust and driving engagement, that leads to more conversions and sales. Adding an explainer video to your site, landing page, or social media platform will increase these conversions. We also know that videos are also the most widely shared content compared to any other kind of media. Therefore, using them extends your reach and drives engagement across multiple platforms.
Using explainer videos is not only an excellent way of showcasing your company's personality but also a quick way for your target audience to learn more about your business and its services.
Animated GIFs have come a long way since their inceptions in 1987! Are you ready to help your brand stand out? Using GIFs is an excellent way to go.
With nearly two-thirds of millennials communicating their thoughts using GIFs than words, there's a lot to be said about using them to connect and engage. Your company can use them to stand out on social media, impress your email subscribers, give your blog posts more action, and show off a service.
These pieces of animation differ from a photo and video because they’re a “clip” or snippet that lasts for a few seconds. You’re presenting something about your business that can be informative, entertaining, or impactful—the choice is yours based on your marketing agenda.
What kinds of GIFs do I like featuring? Here are some examples:
Text overlays with an animation of food steaming in the background
Close-ups of plates being served on beautifully arranged tables
A quick run-through of a buffet line
My crew high-fiving each other before an event
A photo collage shifting from one image to the next
The point is that your audience loves them. Not only does your target audience love seeing GIFs, but they also share them.
I also live using GIFs because they’re mobile-friendly. Because they only last a few seconds compared to a video, they don’t take any time at all to upload. Plus, they’re constant looping increases the message you’re trying to get across.
The best part is you can use GIFs on any platform—Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram—to grab your target audience’s attention, increase engagement, and interact with them.
Are you taking advantage of “going live” on Facebook or Instagram? You're giving your target audience a unique, behind-the-scenes look at your catering and events company using Instagram or Facebook Live for events business.
Presenting this content creates a more extended stream, and, in doing so, engagement rates are higher. Did you know that an average viewer spends 8.1% longer watching a live video than a video-on-demand? You can stream events, interviews, presentations, and other content that encourages viewers to participate.
The possibilities are endless for your catering and events business, so don’t miss out on this opportunity!
If you don’t know how to go live on Facebook, I suggest you take the time to learn this strategy immediately. Here’s how I love using Facebook live—I share:
Live streams of events (with the host’s permission)
How-to tutorials featuring information my target audience asks questions about the most (how to plan an event, cooking a dish, and so on)
Q&A sessions where my target audience has an opportunity to chat with me about my business, services, or other offerings in real-time
Interviews with vendors I partner with to give my followers opportunities to hear how we work together and ask questions
Limited-time offers that viewers of the live stream can participate in—like a contest, for example, that ends within a specific time after the video concludes
And much more!
Do you know how to use Instagram’s live feature? If not, it’s time to get to work! It works much like Facebook Live where, when you share a live video, it disappears after twenty-four hours unless you share it with your story.
Did you know that Periscope works similarly to Instagram’s and Facebook’s story features? You can use this video-sharing app to reach your target audience on Twitter. It's similar to many of the other existing video-sharing apps, except your videos automatically save for 24 hours.
How do I like using Periscope to reach my catering and events audience? I’m glad you asked!
I get on Twitter and use Periscope as an opportunity to:
Provide customer support
Give short demonstrations
Conduct remote focus groups
Share client testimonials
Improve my brand’s transparency
And much more!
Do you want to host interviews or share behind-the-scenes footage of events? Periscope is also an excellent app for that, as well!
If you’re neglecting the “stories” feature on Facebook and Instagram, then you’re missing an excellent opportunity for growing your social media and getting customers.
Here’s an opportunity to reach your Facebook and Instagram target audience with unique, quick bites of video content. These Facebook and Instagram Stories for catering business stories are available for 24-hours, and then they vanish.
I love to use stories to engage my catering and events clients by featuring:
Limited-time only discounts to those paying attention to the story
Attention-grabbing content that will have followers fearing they’re missing out on something
Stories are an excellent opportunity to share authentic content that differs from that of a contextual, video, or pictorial post. Your target audience will see that you’re posting stories and wonder what’s in the content because it’s not showing up in their traditional feed.
Therefore, it entices them to engage.
Now that you know how to use video, text, and pictures to grow your social media presence and get more customers, I can’t wait to see how you take your catering and events business to the next level!
If you need help throughout your journey, I suggest signing up for our Success Recipes newsletters. In it, you’ll receive my insider knowledge and tips for improving your business even further.