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It’s hard to remember a time where there was no social media!  We all used to communicate via the telephone or actually meeting up with people to have a chat, I miss those days…. I was 24 when I got my first mobile phone and that was only because I needed a phone to contact my ex husband when my daughter was critically ill in hospital at 5 weeks old.  Back then though they were like bricks that you had to shout down hahaha.  But now children as young as 5 seem to have this technology at their fingertips.  We would all be lost without them now and I am grateful for technology as it has elevated my business to where it is now.

Then came social media!!!!  Again all of sudden we are dragged into these addictive platforms that seem to absorb our time, emotions and life itself.  I’ve never been one for social media as I’m really not interested in what ‘Teresa’ is having for breakfast or whether she’s just off to the gym or about to break up with her husband and the constant attention seeking aspect of social media.. (cheesy, cringe selfies) not for me.. BUT and there is a big BUT it is amazing for businesses.

Facebook 

I started my business just launching a Facebook Business Page.  Within a matter of weeks I was up and running and pretty much working full-time.  It’s also free which is always a bonus.  Facebook back then was amazing there wasn’t this algorithm pain in the bottom that there is now.  You could reach 30,000 people easily now you’re lucky if 20 people see your posts, and you’ll notice its the same 20 people too.. 

You could trick the algorithm by running competitions! This throws Facebook completely.  Ask your audience to name a bouquet, or comment their favourite flowers etc, you cannot ask your followers to tag or share and for it be part of the competition rules.  Facebook do not like this and will potentially block your business page and account. Forever! Be clever with your wording… I always write ‘Share the love of cupcakes’ or ‘caring is sharing’ just don’t make it one of the rules.  Or ‘Feel free to tag your friends, although this is not part of the competition rules etc.’ You will notice your post will go crazy, as we all love a competition don’t we?.  Then when you’ve got that pool of comments you then go back to that competition post and write a comment or add a picture to say go and look at my new designs and then all of these people will be notified and you will come up on their feeds,  WIN WIN!!

NB. Remember – You must make it clear that Facebook do not sponsor, administer or endorse your competition. And that Facebook are in no way associated with the competition etc. You also are responsible for your competition not Facebook, you obviously run them at your own risk. And remember, no tagging or sharing as part of the competition rules. Be simple with your rules, be clear with what you have to do to enter.

This is what I do anyway, and it has always worked for me, as always I am offering suggested advise to you all, feel free to do as you please with it all. 😊

Make sure you have a picture of YOU somewhere on your page.  If you are anything like me, I would want to know who was making my cupcakes or cakes.  You also become familiar to your customers.  They like to see a little snippet of your life so write a little bio about YOU.

Regular posting is essential on social media, certainly at the beginning with Facebook I was posting up to 3 times a day, you stay in peoples brains when they keep seeing your work.  So when it comes to them thinking ‘oh I need a cake’ for a birthday you’ll immediately pop into their heads.  Also don’t think you always have to use new pictures you have to remember you’ll have new viewers all the time so they won’t necessarily have seen your previous posts.

Make sure you always reply to comments on your posts.  Interact with your audience, ask them questions on your posts ‘What do you think?’ kind of questions.  ‘Do you like this design?’ You are engaging with your audience.

If you can’t answer messages straight away because of time, then set up an automated message that lets the customer know you’ve received their message and will get back to them in due course.  You know what people are like they don’t like to be kept waiting so try and be efficient in answering.  This will lead to more sales.

Instagram 

My favourite of all the social media platforms.  I love it because it’s all  visual I love seeing pictures over large amounts of text that you don’t have time to read.

Again the same with Instagram regularly post pictures and reels are the new TikTok.  Short 30 second videos of your work.  

If you’re brave enough (trust me its taken me 6 years) make use of Instagram stories, these create engagement! I love clicking through the stories you can get lost in them for hours hahahaha.

Posts and reels gain followers and sales, stories create engagement with your followers.

When posting make sure you use relevant hashtags and use all 30.  You can edit your photos using Instagram filters when you click next after adding a photo you can click the edit button at the bottom.. they take your pictures to the next level making them look more crisp. I only use an iPhone for my photographs and I use the portrait setting on the camera. Always ALWAYS use a backdrop they are around £15 from Amazon and a worthwhile investment you don’t want anything in the background of your pictures. 

It does take time to gain followers and never go down the route of paying for followers, be genuine, be real and gain your followers organically.  

Downsides

As with anything that’s a benefit there’s always a downside.  With social media the downside is that people are sitting behind a phone or a keyboard and writing what ever like with no regard for that persons feelings.  They forget about the fact that there is a face behind a business.  Hopefully you won’t experience this as it is not very nice at all and it will upset you (in the beginning) but hopefully reading this you won’t take it personally.

One of the most important tips I can give you is to always run your business with your head and not your heart!  When I say this I don’t mean you shouldn’t love your business or have passion for your business, of course you should or what’s the point quite honestly.  But you have to shut off from negativity.  There are always people in this world who are out just to upset people.  (Trolling or keyboard warriors as I call them) What they don’t realise is when they write negative comments on posts it actually ups your engagement and then these engagements turn to new followers etc.  If you already have a good following and have lots of fans who love your work, they will jump to your defence and sort it for you.  

Other downsides are you will always see people in your area potentially starting a cake business and you will immediately feel panicked!  Don’t , it doesn’t affect you what others are doing, keep being you, keep being real and just carry on with your business.  You will always have your loyal customers and lets face it we can’t bake for the entire world so there is enough work for everyone.  Always, always be kind and build up other businesses as well as your own.  Good things happen good people and that is a fact!

So I hope this has given you some understanding of social media and how to deal with it.

Happy piping 

Jane xx

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