There is plenty of anecdotal evidence out there that will tell you social media converts into sales. It takes consistency, creativity and engagement to see the numbers for yourself.
But don’t take my word for it! Social Media Stars is a special blog feature highlighting real businesses capitalizing on the power of social media. These are business owners figuring it out for themselves; finding their voice, their brand, and their audience through platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
In this inaugural feature, I introduce to you Humdingers Cakes, an artisan cake shop located in New Plymouth, New Zealand specializing in handcrafted sweet treats. Owner Chenae Loveridge is not only a talented baker but a savvy social media user, selling cupcakes and goodies through digital means.
I had a chat a while back with her on her social media use, impressed by her colourful posts and high engagement ratings. Chenae is the perfect business owner to kick off this Q&A feature. So without any further ado… take it away, Chenae..
How do you approach your social media strategy?
I dont really know what I do thats so special, ha ha! I guess I’m a very aesthetic person; when things look pretty to me, it’s really satisfying and so colours are really my thing. If the colours don’t agree, then I can’t use it.
Our posting style has developed over the years, but we just always try to keep it simple. Focus on the product and ensure the photo is easy to see, good lighting and of the best quality we can take with what we have.
Why do you think social media is important for businesses?
Social media really is the best form of advertising in today’s ever-changing world and for the most part, it’s free. Traditional advertising methods just don’t have the same response nowadays.
Being able interact with your customers and get instant feedback is amazing, and it really keeps us on our toes. We can tell within a few minutes, or hours, if we’ve had a good response to our posts. Whereas in the past when we’ve done traditional advertising, which can be crazy expensive, we really had no feedback from people, or even knew who came across it.
It means we can keep our product lines on point and not waste time with things that don’t sell.
What inspires your posting style and imagery?
I don’t really have a strategy, so to speak. I just know after 8 years of being in business that my business wouldn’t be here without it.
We started off with the “cupcakes of the day” posts and then ran with it. It’s become a part of so many peoples daily routine to check our flavours for the day.
For us its about always reminding people what we do and that we are always around. We rarely go more than 24 hours without posting something. So we stay fresh in people’s minds.
How has harnessing social media assisted with your business?
Social media is really what has made our business. Without it, I don’t even know if we would be here. Word of mouth is fantastic but it usually takes years to build that up. With social media, we can be constantly in people’s faces reminding them we are here and have things they want.
We always post new products and let people know when we have new batches available and it works almost every time! Quite often we will sell out a few hours later and most people who come in say, “Oh I saw your Facebook and just had to come in.” It almost becomes a bit of an addiction for some people. We have so many customers who joke and say, “Ugh, I really need to stop following you!”
A great example is with my new business (Weirdoughs), we have not done any paid advertising. All of our business has come from our social media and it’s been a great start. Without it, I would have had to pay thousands of dollars to advertise in traditional means and then wait for it to trickle through to people.
Social media is instant gratification.
Do you have any tips or tricks to share?
Tips or tricks is a hard one. I think if you have a great product, then just let it shine. People try to cram too much into their posts or post so many times in a day that they just get lost.
Enough can’t be said for a good photo. It takes just a few seconds to move to a spot to get better lighting or add a filter, and I think that makes all the difference. I guess be lighthearted too. No one wants a post to be too serious.