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Testing is an important part of any social media campaign, but particularly when you are the sole proprietor of your own business and faced with many other challenges for your valuable time.

Buttercup Cake Design

Buttercup Cake Design

Buttercup Cake Design is a new pastry business established by my long time friend Amanda Goats. A fellow SFU Communication grad, and now a professionally trained Pastry Chef, Amanda recently left her position crafting deserts for two Vancouver’s hotspots to strike out on her own.

Amanda’s communication background gives her an advantage over other new business owners. She recognizes that a strong visual identity and professional marketing materials could be the difference between making a living and realizing her goal of designing high-end desserts. So just a few months into being her own boss, Amanda is already juggling baking with blogging. I’ve designed this test to help her examine her social media activities and figure out what style of photos engage her audience the most.

Balancing baking and blogging

Balancing baking and blogging

THE TEST
What type of images generate the most comments on the Buttercup Cake Design Facebook Page
1) Pictures of deserts
2) Pictures of people with deserts

WHY FACEBOOK?
Facebook is a sharing platform and works well with photos and events. Amanda is already successful in promoting interactivity and commenting among the people who follow her page (36 as of Oct 10, 2010 – majority are friends and past clients). Now she needs to expand that base.

SAMPLE GROUP
The target audience are young professionals, people who are active in both social media and socially in hosting event, but who may not have the skills or time to produce beautiful deserts for their special occasions. For the purpose of the test, she should use her existing network of clients and their web of Facebook friends.

THEORY & OBJECTIVE
By tagging people such as the bridge and groom, along with their wedding cake, Buttercup Cake Design will appear in many more people’s news feeds. The objective is to increase the number of people viewing the page and the pictures, encouraging them to comment and spread the word.

METHOD
Amanda has already uploaded images of the deserts she produced for the 2010 summer wedding season and attracted a number of comments. She should make note of her number of visits and comments as a baseline before executing stage 2.

Next she could ask the brides for a photo of them cutting their cake and upload those pictures to her Facebook page, tagging the bride and groom in the photo. She should monitor the visits and comments in the week following the new photos and compare with previous time periods.

REVIEW
If Amanda finds that photos with people increase her site visits, she could begin to capture more people-friendly photos at events in the future.

OTHER SUGGESTIONS
Amanda is currently participating at  The Bakers Market this fall.  She could run a similar test with images from the market each week.  Do photos of her baked goods encourage site visits?  Or do tagged photos of people buying her baked goods encourage more visits on Facebook?  Can she encourage people who visit her at the Bakers Market to join her Facebook group  and download photos of themselves? Can posting pictures before the market encourage people to drive down and buy that week’s specialty items?  The real-time nature of social media provides a number of testing opportunity for the small business owner and can help figure out what will attract the most attention to your products.

Buttercup Cake Design
Website: www.buttercupcakedesign.com
Facebook: Buttercup Cake Design
Twitter: @ButtercupCakeBC

Interested in trying some of Amanda’s amazing treats?  Visit her every Saturday at The Bakers Market in South Vancouver.

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