Finding the right Blogging Platform for Crème De La Catering

I’ve taken it upon myself to try find the best blogging platform for a small retail and catering business called ‘Crème De La Catering’. Crème De La Catering sells kitchenware, preserves and store-cupboard foods in a small unit in central Leeds, out of which they also sell catering services for private and business functions. They want to share recipes and yips on running good events, and feature their suppliers of locally and ethically produced products.

Seen as though Crème De La Catering is a catering business, they may want to present images of their food on their blog, as people often judge how good a food product is, and be attracted to food, based on  how tasty it looks. This means that Pinterest, a blogging platform focussed on imagery, may be the best blogging platform for Crème De La Catering. “Pinterest is a tool for collecting and organizing the things that inspire you”, so is said in Pinterest’s ‘about’ section. I find that to be a pretty vague description on the website, so I looked further on the ‘basics’ page and: “Pins are like handsome little bookmarks. Whenever you find something on the web that you want to keep, add it to Pinterest. Your newly minted Pin will be here whenever you need it, and will always link back to the site it came from”. A ‘pin’ refers to a link to an image from a website that you can collect on your Pinterest page. This is good for a catering business as people can collect images of the food onto their own Pinterest profile’s and remain interested in the restaurant and the food it has to offer, as the pins will remind them of it. People looking on someone’s file can also see the pins that lead to Crème De La Catering, which they themselves can then collect if they like the look of the pins. You can also have a description in the pins, so if they wanted to share recipes of portions of food, they can put them in the description. According to an article in The Guardian: “Research conducted recently by Vision Critical concluded that “Pinterest is the network most likely to drive spontaneous purchasing””, so people may even buy into Crème De La Catering’s products upon seeing it’s Pinterest, which is always a good thing for business. Through Pinterest, they can also achieve their goal of featuring suppliers as they can pin, their supplier’s pins. Pinterest isn’t without it’s weaknesses though. While Pinterest, has as a description section on the Pins, the writing may be tricky for people not familiar with Pinterest to find, so they may struggle to find the information. You can link the Pinterest profile to the business’ main website, which will presumably have much more information; but that can still be tricky for some to find, and therefore a blogging platform where the writing is easier to find may be better for Crème De La Catering.

Unlike Pinterest, WordPress is a lot word based, rather than image based. According to WordPress themselves on their ‘about’ page: “WordPress started as just a blogging system, but has evolved to be used as full content management system and so much more through the thousands of plugins and widgets and themes, WordPress is limited only by your imagination”. So Crème De La Catering can use WordPress, in order to blog about what’s happening with them, and create their own plugin/widget should they want a unique way of delivering information to customers. Starting Your Own Business Online-2nd edition defines a widget as: “embeddable chunks of code that can be implemented into any HTML coded site” that can “hold a variety of content, from games to audio files”. So should Crème De La Catering want something extra for their customers, perhaps to maintain/increase interest, they could perhaps have a promotion video of the workers cooking or a video showcasing the products. They can even have a Facebook and/or a Twitter widget that displays all their Facebook statuses/tweets, should they have a Facebook page and/or Twitter. WordPress can also feature images of products, even if it wouldn’t be as effective as Pinterest’s use of imagery, it’d still be useful, as the images would increase interest, if they made the business and it’s product look like they’re of a good quality. The business could also feature their suppliers, by featuring links to their supplier’s websites. On WordPress, you can also have different posts in different categories. So with Crème De La Catering, they want to sell kitchenware and give advice on running good events. They can have one category for all their posts on selling kitchenware and a category for their posts on running events, as well as categories for their other different sections of the business. WordPress isn’t without weakness however. www.thenexweb.com said WordPress is the best blogging platform in August 2013, but pointed out a con, the con being that a: “Vast array of options can be complicated for less-experienced users — tread carefully”, so whoever’s handling the blog would have to be pretty computer savy to handle it, if they were to choose to use WordPress. The vast amount of things you can do on WordPress may also overwhelm some customers, putting them off. However because we’re in such a technological age, and most people are naturals with technology and the internet, this will probably be a very small problem, should WordPress be the way to go.

Facebook is also a blogging platform worth looking at. “Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected”, according to Facebook themselves, on their information. So should Facebook be the choice to blog with, Crème De La Catering will certainly be open for many people around the world to see, as Facebook has over a billion members, which is 1/7 of the world’s population, therefore more people are more likely to find out about Crème De La Catering on Facebook, than on other blogging platforms like WordPress and Pinterest. On Facebook, you post statuses, with a business this function will probably be mainly used to update fans of your business, people who ‘like’ (how one follows a page on Facebook) your page. For example, if this business has a new product to sell or some new event tips, it can inform fans about it on a status.  As Starting And Running An Online Business For Dummies-2nd edition, points out, on Facebook you can: “post informative videos relating to your products, articles that people can respond to and discuss and photos of new products or of events your customers may have attended”, so with Crème De La Catering Facebook would be a good blogging platform, because of all things mentioned here. With Facebook, Crème De La Catering can post videos and photos to promote their work and they can make event pages for any events they hold that people can join. The can also write statuses advertising their suppliers, and should their suppliers have a Facebook page, they can ‘like’ the pages themselves as well as recommend people who’ve ‘liked’ their page to ‘like’ them as well.  Starting And Running… goes on to say: “You can also use it to broadcast viewpoints and facilitate discussion with fans”. This means that the business can interact with those interested with the business. Say someone comments on a status, or writes on the page, complimenting the business or some work it’s done, then the business can thank them which may increase that person’s respect for the business, which will maintain their interest, so they buy into it more. If it’s the opposite, someone complains about something to do with the business, i.e. a delivery is late, the business can reply, to perhaps explain why whatever the customer complains about happened. They can even remove posts from their page, should it be something unsophisticated, i.e. “your business is rubbish”. Facebook as a blogging platform’s weakness lies in it’s layout. It’s not as attractive as pinterest, or as attractive as WordPress can be. You can have a cover photo, a banner like image at the top of your page of your choice, and upload photos/images and have a photo album, but that’s as far as it goes. Otherwise you’re stuck with the generic Facebook background, which is currently just a dull white, grey and blue. This is a weakness because people may be put off by dull imagery and therefore not buy into the business, as opposed to if more images related to the business were there to catch potential customers eyes.

Twitter could also be a good blogging platform for Crème De La Catering. According to Twitter themselves “Businesses use Twitter to share information about their services, gather real-time market intelligence, and build relationships with customers, partners and influences”, so like with Facebook, the business can post statuses updating followers of the business about products to be sold, or events to do with the business, as well as respond to any quires people have; except these statuses are limited to 140 characters and are known as ‘tweets’. The business can also follow their supplier’s twitter pages, as well as recommend their own followers to follow them. They can also retweet other people’s tweets, so if someone compliments the business, the business can retweet that tweet for all their followers to see, thus increasing positivity about the business. “Twitter has become a daily routine where people log onto it every single day, some log onto twitter the first thing they wake up even before brushing their teeth”, says Aaron Lee. So followers might not even seek out information on Crème De La Catering, but they may see some information on them anyway, just from regularly checking Twitter, and they may then be interested to buy what Crème De La Catering is selling. Twitter has weaknesses though, the fact that you’re limited to 140 characters per tweet, means that the business won’t be able to get a lot of description in, about products or services. You could just tweet a link to more description, on the business’ main website, but you can do that on any blogging platform and it wouldn’t even be necessary to do so on most of them. It could also mean you’re not able to respond to some people’s queries effectively as you may need to go into more than 140 characters worth of detail to explain them. Like Facebook, there isn’t much you can do about having a very eye catching Twitter page, as you’re stuck with the generic layout. You can have an image behind your bio, and have images in the background as well as upload images, but that’s as far as it goes with images.

   

Based on my research into different blogging platforms for Crème De La Catering, I have come to the conclusion that WordPress is the one I would recommend Crème De La Catering to use. While Pinterest seemed very useful for it’s imagery, and Facebook and Twitter seemed very useful for their status/tweets layout; WordPress is a great middle ground between the two. As I said, earlier www.thenexweb.com claimed that WordPress is the best blogging platform going and I certainly agree with them. Crème De La Catering can achieve every goal they have for their business with flying colours with WordPress as their blogging platform. They can sell kitchenware and catering services with great description, as well as give yips on running events and feature their supplier’s. There’s not a word limit like Twitter, and you can customise the layout of you’re page, you’re not just stuck with a generic layout WordPress gives you, so you can make it more attractive and therefore more interesting to people observing the website.  Images and even videos can be used to help sell what the business has to offer, as it gives potential customers a better idea about what is available. Pinterest might have a better usage of imagery, but I think all the great features that come with WordPress such as widgets are worth missing out on Pinterest’s slightly superior imagery.

Should you have any thoughts on this, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section.

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