A word of warning for the baking industry: the rules of business are changing, and the pace of change is accelerating. You are now doing business in a digital world and your company must keep up, or will become outdated and irrelevant.

The marketing of your business digitally isn’t something you should be considering, it is something you must do… and do well.

Imagine it’s a Saturday morning. A potential customer, hungry for freshly baked bread, hits your Facebook page.

They message you to see what loaves are on sale, but you don’t reply. In fact, you haven’t updated the page in weeks. How does that reflect on your business and brand?

Badly. It shows you aren’t taking care of the details. If you walked into a shop, asked the server a question and were completely ignored, how would you feel? Under-appreciated?

It’s no different if a customer messages your Facebook page and you don’t respond.

It’s not good enough to answer next week, the next day or even that afternoon. The customer wants an answer now.

Customers are more demanding than ever before, and they are vocal. If they don’t like something, they won’t just tell their friends, they will tell their followers too.

The good news is that, according to Facebook, 87% of your competition isn’t responding. So imagine for a minute if you do respond. You become part of the top 13%. That’s a huge opportunity for your business.

At 7am, when your product is going on sale, you could  photograph it and share it with your online audience. That’s instant marketing.

People love food. I expect  they love your food and they  will love sharing food pictures.

What an incredible way to market the products you put so much love and care  into producing.

Here are a few suggestions:  Film your baking process, showing the love and care  you deliver; Create seasonal content; Encourage the audience to interact with posts by showing two products and asking your followers which they like best.

In your business there are so many opportunities to create content, from the staff, the products, the flow of customers, the history and more.

Your customers want to hear your story, so tell it.

About the author

Steven Foster is MD of social media marketing agency The Magic Octopus