Running a successful hospitality social media campaign is a big part of getting more into into your restaurant, bar or cafe.
We’ve put together a couple of tips for you to consider when setting up a social media strategy.
1. Don’t think platforms, think features
Instead of deciding if Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or YouTube is right for you, have a think about which features of which platforms will be best for your hospitality business. For example, a Facebook Messenger ordering chatbot might be perfect for your ongoing demographic and a Snapchat custom geo-filter might be perfect for your launch party. Don’t commit to just using ‘Snapchat’, think about your customers and which particular features are best for them. For example, Instgram Stories are a great way for us to let users know about new specials at HWKR Melbourne. For Rice Paper Sister and Rice Paper Scissors, two of our other clients, we tend to use Instagram in conjunction with Facebook events more, which is a great strategy for selling out events.
2. What do you want people to do?
Do you want them to try a special, book a function, or pop in for a cocktail? Having clear objectives per day will help you structure successful social media. If you point people back to your site or even to other social media platforms with no clear goals then you’re going to miss everything. We use something called a DCL to also help us structure clear social media messaging. Your DCL is your daily character limit and is vital for delivering clear messages per day. If you write a 1200 character post on a Saturday night then your customers are not going to read it. (For hospitality businesses, that’s not the case for some of our other clients.)
3. Getting more function inquiries
Just like any online purchasing decision, people need to go through the traditional sales funnel, (Awareness, interest, consideration, decision). This is no different from getting someone to book a $15,000 function at your venue. We need to use advanced remarketing tools in order to grow your function revenue. This can start with a specific social media post that’s designed to increase awareness. Once we have a number of key people aware of your offering, we can start to design posts to foster interest. This may be in the form of a video of a recent wedding at your establishment. The subsequent message can be designed as a resource to download a PDF booklet of possible table arrangements or floor configurations which will trigger the prospect into consideration. With this data, we can now deliver the contact details to your functions manager in order to close the deal. These leads will be much easier to close as they’ve already had exposure to your content and brand. If we simply started the process with a social media post that said, “Book a function with us” the quality and quantity of the leads would be substantially lower.
4. Promoting UGC
So you’re starting to get a lot of UGC (user-generated content). This is great. However, this won’t last long unless you have a clear strategy to help promote and foster subsequent UGC. Having a plan in place for how to deal with customer content is vital to any hospitality social media campaign. We suggest developing a series of procedures aligned with social media best practices for your specific venue. For example, your brand may allow us to repost user-generated content via Instagram stories. However, this may not be on brand for all venues. In terms of customer replies and community management, Facebook and Instagram track the time it takes for you to reply to a comment. Therefore, we strongly recommend having a community management system in place to ensure you’re signaling a sense of community to Facebook and Instagram.
5. Bad reviews
People can be the worst. When it comes to hospitality, bad reviews can happen. We recommend taking all comments offline immediately. People want to be emphasised with and understood, a clear path to escalation to your community management team will allow for quick decisions to be made in the case of a bad review. We’ve found that listening and offering support to a customer will usually diffuse any bad situations.
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