While some evidence suggests social media could improve self-confidence and relationships among your peers, others believe it’s a fundamental detriment to society. Wherever you land on the spectrum, the truth of it is, your business needs social media.

Here are the top three ways social media helps your business:

Showcase your work

A picture is worth a thousand words and if you’re serving Albuquerque’s juiciest, freshest green chile cheese burger, every single one of those words should be “yum!”

Social media is all about the visuals and this is your chance to show, not tell, what you have to offer. For the best #foodstagram, use ample lighting without flash photography, flattering angles, and a neutral, complimentary background. Be sure to share other elements of your business too, including restaurant interiors, food truck design or product labels.

Connect with your customers

Social media is an ongoing conversation you can have with virtually anybody on the internet. Sure, the reality of that isn’t always as great as it sounds, but it can be an invaluable opportunity for your business.

Use social media to tell your story with your customers. This is the time and place to tell them how you’re different than the other coffee shops in town. This is also the time to thank them for their praise and address their complaints.

Expand your audience

For those of you willing to spend the money, taking advantage of paid content can put your business in front of new faces. Social media advertising keeps track of the oversharing people do on their platforms and then uses it for you to promote your content to men, age 55, whose football team recently lost and has two kids off in out-of-state colleges, so he could probably use a beer and pizza special.

For those of you with a limited budget, take the time to think about what you’re saying and how you’re saying it. When you write quality social media posts and include interesting photographs or videos, the chances of your customers liking, commenting, and sharing it increase.

About the author: Nicole Grundhoffer is a senior account executive with The Garrity Group Public Relations. She is also a foodie with cool insights!