The latest edition in a series of interviews with businesses having great success using social media. Not the huge brands with tons of money to spend, but ordinary businesses on a budget and with limited resources. We call them the Buzz Makers of Social Media.
In this interview Riana Zimmerman, PR and Marketing Manager for Magnolia Bakery, shares her success with us. Magnolia Bakery is a world renowned bakery famous for classic American baked goods and desserts.
Buzz Accelerator: Tell us about your company and why you got started.
Riana Zimmerman: Magnolia Bakery is a bakery known for its classic American baked goods, vintage decor and warm, inviting atmosphere. I came to Magnolia Bakery to work on digital marketing, social media strategy and public relations initiatives. When I started at Magnolia Bakery in January, we already had a large, highly engaged audience, but it was one of my goals to connect with them more closely by presenting them with the content that they desire.
Buzz Accelerator: How did you develop an interest in Social Media/Facebook, Twitter, Instagram?
Riana Zimmerman: I developed an interest in social media when I was a student at Boston University. Sure, we all had Facebook for years at that point, but this was also the time when Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare all began to pick up in popularity. It was fascinating to me how the student body connected with one another through social media and I took up a strong interest in how businesses could use social media to connect with their audience online.
Buzz Accelerator: Tell us about how Social Media has helped your business.
Riana Zimmerman: Social media has helped Magnolia Bakery in many ways. Firstly, it has helped us grow and engage with our loyal audience. We have fans from all over the world and for them, knowing they can get a taste of Magnolia Bakery, even when they’re not right around the corner from one of our locations, is monumental (and the reason we’ve seen a 450% increase in our Instagram following this year!). Secondly, we’ve been able to use social media to show our fans our wide variety of products. We sell much more than cupcakes and have been able to showcase other products including pies, customized cakes, fresh muffins and more.
Buzz Accelerator: Tells us some specific successes you’ve had with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
Riana Zimmerman: I find that Instagram really is our hotspot right now, and we’ve had much success there this year. Our fans like to relate to our images. They might come from miles away to enjoy a classic cupcake. Or, they might live around the corner and want to pick up a muffin and coffee for breakfast on a Saturday morning. We’ve found a lot of success with lifestyle shots of our items, especially classic cupcakes. There are so many different fun ways to photograph cupcakes and it has been fun and exciting to watch our fans appreciate and engage with these images.
Buzz Accelerator: How did you learn about Social Media and/or what training have you done?
Riana Zimmerman: I learned about social media when I was in high school! Facebook was “invite-only” and I was thrilled when I finally received the invite. However my use for social media has evolved much since then. In school and in my internships throughout college, I learned how to use social media for businesses and brands. At my previous role at Hearst Corporation as a social media analyst, I learned first-hand how massive the reach of a Facebook post can be. My freelance work as a digital consultant showed me how an affective content strategy can increase business and attention and keep people engaged, even when they’re not in the store. It’s all very exciting and fun to figure out different ways to meet your customer/audience where he/she wants to be (digitally).
Buzz Accelerator: What are some of the key tools you use to manage your Social Media/Facebook, Twitter, Instagram campaigns.
Riana Zimmerman: We use Facebook Insights, Buffer for Twitter, and Iconosquare for Instagram. I find social media analytics very important because a good content strategy will account for what is working and what isn’t. If only 1% of your fans are engaging with a post, you can understand your audience’s dislikes better. It is also good to use this data as a sample for research when you’re premiering a new product and are curious about what customer response will be.
Riana Zimmerman: Yes I do. I like Instagram the most because it is obviously the most visually compelling. It’s pretty fascinating to see what others do with that square of space. They can fill it with the most beautiful images. It is very inspiring! I use Facebook to see what my friends and family are up to and I use Twitter for news.
Buzz Accelerator: What are your hobbies and interests?
Riana Zimmerman: I love running and yoga. I am always looking for my next favorite cup of coffee and I stop into at least one new coffee shop a week. I also enjoy indie movies, a delicious Italian meal, and of course, dessert!
Buzz Accelerator: Future plans for using Social Media?
Riana Zimmerman: I will continue to use social media and explore the new platforms that are constantly becoming available to us! It is so important to try new opportunities, as you never know what might be the next perfect fit for your brand.
Buzz Accelerator: Thank you so much.
Riana Zimmerman: Thank you!
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If you are a business having great success with social media and would like to share your story, contact us! We’d love to hear from you.