What do Facebook and Twitter have to do with catering food? A whole lot! And if you aren’t making use of these powerful marketing tools for your venture, you’re missing out on a wealth of opportunity that other caterers are cashing in on. Need some guidance? Here are tips for how to use social media to promote your catering business:

Know who your Customers are.

Your social media strategy should be built around your target audience–or, your customers (and potential customers). Therefore, you will need to spend some time researching and getting to know them. Who uses your services now, and who is likely to need to your services in the future? Even more, who do you hope to add to your customer base? Put yourself in these peoples’ shoes and then envision what it will take to cultivate a relationship with them.

Stop Selling, and Start having Conversations.

Social media is NOT a place to sell people on your service. It is a place to develop relationships with people. If you choose to post self-promotional messages in social media channels, you will be promptly snubbed by the audience you want to cater to. If you want to garner attention in this sphere, you need to provide the people with content that is useful, informative, interesting, and/or entertaining. Pay close attention to how your audience responds and engage them accordingly. In no time, you’ll be having conversations and building relationships that will last.

Establish Credibility with a Blog.

One of the best ways to make a name for yourself as a caterer to watch is by building a blog with a strong following. Not only will a blog put you in front of your audience on a consistent basis, but it will also provide you with an outlet for proving your expertise, interacting with your customers, and keeping your social media presence current and relevant. Provide links in your blog for people to follow/join you on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube, and other social media channels to strengthen both your blog and your brand.

Connect with Local Foodies.

You know they’re out there . . . and chances are they’d be interested in what you have to offer, especially if you offer services like Foody Direct and deliver at a distance. Now it’s just a matter of finding and connecting with them. Social media is full of avenues through which you can do that. Search for special interest groups on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin that center on food. Be sure you’re registered in local industry directories, as well as listed on review sites like WeddingWire and Yelp!, so that foodies can find you, too.

As you can see, there are many ways in which you can put social media to work for you when it comes to growing your catering business. You are really only limited by your imagination when it comes to using these great resources, so draw from these tips for inspiration to create your own social media strategy.