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  • Writer's pictureCiara Daly

How To Use Social Media To Tell Your Business Story And Drive Sales

Updated: Apr 25

The great news about this is that these tips really do work. However like all things in life, they come with a couple of caveats:

  1. These tips are going to take time to implement into your marketing. They will require thought, effort, and time.

  2. You are providing a service or product that people have a genuine need or a desire for.

If you are satisfied that you can fulfil both of these requirements, then it’s time for us to get started.

How to write a good social media caption

1. Write In An Authentic Voice

When it comes to social media marketing for small Irish businesses, authenticity and conversation is where it is at. The Irish are famed for their storytelling, so use your captions as an opportunity to capitalise on this and put your business’ personality out there by writing the way you would speak.

Check out ‘How To Establish Your Brand ‘Voice’ On Social Media’ for more helpful advice and tips on this topic.

2. Grab attention from the beginning

Social media platforms minimise your caption after a few lines so it’s vital you include your “hook” at the beginning of your post. Use this part of your caption to ask a question or to make a compelling statement which will draw the reader in. Leave the good stuff until further down in the structure of the post to keep the reader interested and engaged.

3. Include a Call To Action or Question

You should always treat your social media as if it is a conversation you would have in person. By this we mean that each post should have a clear purpose and indicate what action it is you want the person reading it to take.

Desired actions can be as simple as letting you know what their opinion on a certain topic is or clicking through to your website. You might want them to share your news with their friends and family, enter a giveaway you are running, or shop using a promotion. The most important thing to remember here is to create a sense of conversation and direct them towards the action you want them to take.

4. Provide Value

One quick and easy way to do this is giving a look into the behind-the-scenes of your business. This will help to build trust, and allow your followers to feel they have a better understanding of what it is your business does.

You can also offer bits of information that educate your followers about what it is you do. For instance, a food producer can offer recipes demonstrating how their product can be used or a restaurant could talk their followers through a basic recipe of how to make one of their best selling dishes at home, omitting the “secret ingredients” that make their version so spectacular of course!

5. Draft your posts on an external platform

Get off your phone, out of your social platforms and write your posts in a place where you are distraction free. This will prevent you from getting distracted by incoming notifications from your social platforms and help you to more easily draft a batch of captions which you can return to at a later time to edit or schedule to post.

By using an external platform to create these captions, it will allow you to come up with a few alternative ideas and give your creativity some breathing space. You will have plenty of space to draft alternative captions to make sure you are putting your best foot forward. One really great scheduling tool which small businesses can sign up and use for free is Later which allows you to visually plan and schedule social media posts. However, if you are looking for something sweet and simple, you can work just as well by opening a blank Word or Excel document.

6. Tell a story

By adding in anecdotes that help to paint a picture of your business or sharing your opinion on a current event, you can add a little personality to your posts. Try to avoid playing it too safe or being overly neutral as this will prohibit you from standing out.

For food and drinks businesses, it's especially important to add in several sensory words and phrases which help describe the touch, taste, sound, sight, emotion and overall experience of your product or service. A study conducted by Fáilte Ireland showed that 80% of tourists to Ireland stated that although it is not their primary motivation for visiting Ireland, they wanted high-quality food and experiences while they are here. By not portraying the experience of your business online, you are missing out on a huge opportunity for your business.

7. Use Hashtags

By creating a hashtag for your business which you use in all your posts, it can help you to improve your online marketing as a whole. If you have your own hashtag (it can be as simple as your business name if you are having trouble coming up with something quirky), it can help your brand reach more people. Use it with every picture you post across all social platforms so that your customers follow suit.

Hashtags are particularly relevant when it comes to Instagram. When used correctly they can make your posts more discoverable, helping you to grow your reach, engagement and following by showing your content to the people who will be most interested. They are sort of like the SEO of social media, functioning like keywords that help your content appear in certain searches. However, in order to be successful, you need to be strategic about what hashtags you use and how you use them.

Avoid using hashtags that have a following of over 1 million people. For a small business particularly, it will be harder for you to stay relevant in this search. Aim for a combination of branded (i.e. that signature hashtag you created for your business), community (used by people in the same industry as you, as well as influencers you might want to attract), product, and other relevant trending hashtags. Try and use the following formula:

  • 8 to 10 hashtags specific to your industry with a following of of between 100,000 and 1 million

  • 8 to 10 10 hashtags specific to your industry with a following of of between 10,000 and 100,00

  • Up to 5 hashtags specific to your business

We're tired of seeing food and drink leaders being distracted from focusing on what it is they really love which is why we've currently opened the doors to our Conquer Your Social programme. The ultimate social media marketing programme for food and drink leaders, you can learn more about it here.

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