We’ve already shared our big long list of social media sites for food businesses, and our list of tips for choosing the right social media accounts for your business. Today, we look at the pros and cons of some of the bigger social media sites for your food business.
To start us off, the pros for every social site include the fact that it’s free to set-up an account, and it’s worthwhile to have links pointing to your website from any social network (great for increasing your search engine ranking). The cons for just about every social media site include the fact that it requires a bit of time to post frequently and engage with your fans, and you have to get real creative to stand out. The social web is a crowded place, and it takes work to do social media marketing well.
Now, let’s get to the specific pros and cons of some of the larger social media sites.
Pros: Nearly everyone is there! Talk about a built-in audience. Easily drive traffic to your website by sharing links. Also, active Facebook users often post recommendations and ask their friends for recommendations. We call that social proof.
Cons: If you don’t post often or pay for an ad to have your posts seen, you may not get much traction. Facebook does not show all posts to all people. There are no guarantees.
Fast Facebook Stat
“Trust in social recommendations is on the rise. Empathica research shows that nearly 3 out of 4 customers (72%) have used Facebook to make restaurant or retail decisions, based on comments and images that have been shared by other users.” – Source: Social Media Monthly
Pros: Direct connection to fans and partners. Develop relationships with conversation. Monitor business mentions. A great customer service tool.
Cons: Time-consuming. Twitter requires a large volume of posts and correspondence to be effective.
Fast Twitter Stat
“Out of all brand mentions on Twitter, food and drink brands are mentioned the most with 32% share of tweets. This is compared to 17% clothing and accessories mentions, 11% of mentions about technology, general retail and entertainment, with the remaining percentage from beauty and professional services.”
– Source: Darren Bach
Additional Reading: Make Your Startup Food Biz Look Big With These Special Tips
Pros: Easily stay in touch with colleagues and business partners. Gain and share knowledge by participating in food industry groups. With a professional account, correspond directly with retail buyers and other food business professionals.
Cons: Difficult to reach consumers on LinkedIn.
Pros: Google+ has a beautiful interface. The pictures look crisp. The text is easy to read. Searching by keyword term or hashtag is easy. Posting on Google+ can boost other Google-owned channels like YouTube and search engine results pages.
Cons: Google+ has more than 2 billion users, but it’s not clear how many of those users are active. According to one study, 90% of those 2 billion users have never even posted. Some say Google+ won’t last for much longer.
Pros: Pinterest is useful for promoting content on your site. In fact, of all the social media sites, Pinterest has a reputation for driving the most traffic to a website, especially food-related posts. You can also include recipes and sales info directly on a pin.
Cons: For best results, you need to have lots of pictures and recipes on your website to pin from. If one of your target demographics is men, you’re not likely to reach them on Pinterest, since 85% of users are women.
Fast Pinterest Stat
“5.7 billion food-related pins on Pinterest and 100 million food-related boards on Pinterest that fall into four categories: everyday dishes, entertaining, aspirational ideas, and eye candy.” – Source: Pinterest
Pros: Instagram has a committed group of users. Find your brand advocates here, and they will likely become committed to you, too. Filter and editing tools make it simple to spruce up the simplest of images. Hashtags work well if you want to get found.
Cons: Must post from your phone or mobile device, which takes some patience. Difficult to drive traffic to your website. Not many reliable reporting tools yet.
Fast Instagram Stat
“Instagram’s per-follower engagement rate for top brands is 58 times higher than on Facebook and 120 times higher than on Twitter.” – Source: Hootsuite
Pros: Snapchat is an easy way to interact with your audience. It’s highly engaging and bonus, it’s low-cost! People gravitate toward Snapchat because the content is authentic and in real-time.
Cons: You are limited based on their demographics. Snapchat caters mostly to Millennials, so unless your product fits the age group of their users, which is generally 15-27, it might not be worth it.
Fast Snapchat Stat
“Snapchat has more than 100 million daily users who spend an average of 25 to 30 minutes on the app each day. About 60 percent of the daily users send content to friends or their stories. – Source: Bloomberg Technology
This list does not cover all the social media sites. Vine and others are gaining popularity. Stay tuned for more posts about these new social media networks.