4 Ways to Leverage Social Media for Your Hospitality Brand
The latest social media technology makes promoting a business and reaching customers easier than ever. According to a report from We Are Social, over 3 billion people interact on some form of social media every month. So how can you leverage those platforms for your hotel or restaurant? Whether you're marketing an entire hotel or just a restaurant, here are some ways social media can entice first-time guests and encourage repeat visits.
Grow Your Following
Everything on social media comes down to how many people you reach with posts. There are many avenues that can help increase your social following.
- Be on the channels that matter - Instagram, Facebook and Twitter will be the most beneficial. Don't spread yourself thin by being on social platforms that will have little or no impact.
- Post social coupons - Whether it's for food or rooms, these coupons and promo codes should be exclusive only to your channel's followers. If customers want a discount, they have to follow your page.
- Set up event pages - Hosting live music, trivia or conventions? Set up an event through your Facebook page. When customers mark that they're interested or attending, their followers will see it and hopefully spread the word.
- Offer check-ins at your location - This lets users tell friends and family where they are. You can encourage check-ins by offering a coupon or deal. Have your staff mention the offer to diners and guests.
Show Your Stuff
Think about what makes your place unique. Is it the luxurious rooms? Dining? Staff? All of the above? Let the world see by posting quality content consistently.
- Take high-quality photos - Use Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to show off everything from food and drinks to the ambience of the rooms and lobby. The latest smartphones can take pictures on par with professional cameras, meaning you have the tools you need in your pocket.
- Use hashtags - Always use hashtags when showcasing rooms, food and deals. This not only increases your social presence and markets your place for free, but it also allows people to find your posts easily when searching.
- Display menus on your channels - Customers will be more likely to come in for the first time if they can see what choices you offer beforehand.
You've probably noticed the growing number who always have their phones out. ComScore's Mobile Insight Report showed that 70 percent of all social media is accessed through mobile apps on smartphones and tablets. You easily can capitalize on the smartphones in your guests' or diners' hands.
- Encourage photos - Whether it's selfies or photos of food, people like to post pictures on social media. Have your staff encourage customers to tag your establishment in the post or share their images on your pages.
- Ask questions or create polls - Use your social media posts to start a conversation. Ask followers to vote on everything from weekend specials to which new décor to use in the lobby. This increases clicks and comments on your posts and helps drive up your reach.
Use Sponsored Ads
Your social media posts only reach those who follow or intentionally visit your page. For a small amount of money, you can create a sponsored ad that reaches customers who don’t follow your page on social media. So how do you create a successful ad?
- Grab their attention - Use a captivating photo and compelling headline. You want to hook them as they scroll through their feeds.
- Use geotargeting - Geotarget people within a certain radius of your location. This ensures you aren't spending money on people who are too far to visit your place.
- Promote unique events or specials - From parties to drink deals, always promote unique events and specials that will generate interest.
These tips should help attract more new patrons and increase repeat visits. Above all, remember to have fun on social media. Going to a restaurant or hotel should be an enjoyable experience. So be creative and use your social channels to show everyone why your place is better than the rest.
About the Author:
Patrick Lewis is the Social Media Specialist at Parts Town and has over five years of social media marketing experience. Parts Town is the market-leading distributor of genuine OEM foodservice equipment parts, helping repair and maintain commercial kitchen equipment for hotels, restaurants, institutions and more.