The use of social media has exploded in recent years, and many businesses have scrambled to take advantage of its international audience. Catering, a hands-on business, can particularly benefit from the power of social media. Attracting and engaging with potential clients as well as prior customers can be a great way to increase the number of jobs you land. You can also use social media to advertise to a targeted market.

Connect with Clients

Social media gives you an outlet to connect with people. Create a blog for your catering business and post whenever you offer discounts or have a running promotion. You can also create a Facebook page with a public wall or a Twitter account to provide an easy way for people to get in touch with you.

Engage with the Local Foodie Community

Local promotion is important for caterers. Get in touch with local food bloggers and ask if you can contribute a guest post on their blog for a link back to your business website. Location-targeted foodie directories can also help: list your business on review directories such as Yelp and WeddingWire and hope to garner positive reviews from clients. You may also find success listing your business on catering directories such as Local Catering.

Show Off Your Passion

You have a passion for cooking – otherwise, you probably wouldn’t have gotten into this business in the first place. Show off your passion! Post images of your best culinary creations on social image-sharing websites such as Flickr, Instagram or Pinterest. If you’re comfortable in front of a camera, consider posting short how-to cooking videos on YouTube.

Create a Professional Online Presence

Catering for business events and corporate catering are two types of jobs that you might not have thought about before. Before you dip your toes into this source of catering jobs, it’d be a good idea to network with local businesses. Create a personal and company profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn -- a social network for professionals and businesses -- can be a great way to find new contacts and drum up additional business.

Market to Targeted Audiences

Marketing with social media can be a powerful tool, especially when you have the ability to target specific demographics. Facebook ad campaigns enable you to specify gender, age and geographic location. You can also target audiences that may need catering services soon -- people with “Engaged” statuses or soon-to-be parents. Other marketing opportunities, such as Google Adwords, offer similar control over the audiences that your ads target.