Foodservice forum: Social media

How do you use social media to promote your offer?

Lin Dickens,
Marketing director, Bartlett Mitchell

Social media is a very important part of our offer. It’s something we have taken very seriously and committed time, energy and investment to for over 10 years.

We believe it’s a great way to talk to customers and team members and, importantly, it gives us an insight into our customers’ needs, characteristics and behaviours. These insights have led to new product or service development for customers and employment enhancements for BM team members.

Social media also enables us to showcase our offer to prospects and provides great recognition for our current team members’ skills. It also gives potential team members an indication of what it's like to work at Bartlett Mitchell. 

We use social in a multitude of ways. Whether it’s through our widely-read blogs, our seasonal campaigns or even our general recipe offerings, all these activities give us an opportunity to tell our story and demonstrate our expertise and knowledge.

Customers really like interacting and getting a response; they ask us questions; they give us feedback and they make requests. And because they know we respond, they continue to talk to us, so it creates a conversation which helps us build customer loyalty. We can also use this data info as part of our monthly client reporting.

We use social media as an opportunity to show off what's behind the scenes - customers want to know about our sustainability, where our food comes from, how we work with our suppliers and so on. It allows us to lift the lid and show this in an open and authentic way.

When we launch any new food concepts, social media is a central component in the marketing mix. When we open new sites, depending on the audience, social media can be key to promote it.

In this new age of hybrid working, we have found that customers use our social channels to find out what’s on the menu to decide which days they will come into the office. We get requests in advance of their journey to the workplace!

Social media is real a window into our world and offers our team, clients and their customers an opportunity to become part of the journey. It gives people a real sense of belonging and helps to build and strengthen relationships.

Importantly, it also acts as a real source of pride for our teams. A brand’s social presence is equally – some would argue more – important than a website. It’s a reference point for your food, your character and your organisational culture.

Swati Deshpande
Marketing manager, Fooditude

Everyone we know today is on some form of social media. A study by Hootsuite and We Are Social in July 2021 reported that nearly 56.8% of the population in the world uses social media, and this number keeps growing. It’s no surprise, then, that social media marketing is an integral part of marketing strategies worldwide. 

But how does this fit in with Fooditude? As a contract catering company, we cater to two different sets of ‘clients’ – those who buy our service and those who consume our products. Therefore, we use social media to promote our brand and expertise to influence the buyers of our service; and promote our food and sustainability efforts to build a community of consumers, partners and like-minded businesses who share our passion for sustainable good food. Our intention is to keep people informed, engaged and coming back for more! 

We have a presence on all the mainstream social media channels like Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube, with tailored content for each channel. We have also started experimenting with emerging channels like TikTok. Social media channels are not just for promoting our content, they also help to establish a stronger digital presence for the Fooditude brand. We engage with a variety of audiences to understand their needs and wants, so that, as a company, we are offering the most timely and relevant office catering services. 

We also use paid social media to advertise our brand and services and attract potential new customers. The low cost and the ability to target specific groups makes it really easy to experiment and create successful and engaging campaigns on social media. 

Within our contract client sites, we use dedicated social media accounts as a great way to create some excitement about the food offer. Dedicated accounts help build personal relationships, inform customers about our menus and sustainability credentials, promote food workshops and so on. 

Our social channels are not just all about promotion. During the Covid lockdowns, we created posts with cooking advice for novices, easy recipes and live chats with nutrition experts in order to help people stay healthy. We also used social media to fundraise for our community kitchen that fed nearly 47,000 meals. 

At Fooditude, we firmly believe in using our voice on social media to add value to our audience – from sharing foodie expertise, to helping make the case for offering food in the workplace! 

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