Good morning! I recently attended a workshop at General Assembly to brush up on my social media strategy skills. Here are 6 points that I feel are relevant to your hotel or restaurant’s Social Media strategy:
1. Social Media is about testing what works
Yes, of course you need a plan but in most cases, Social Media is a sequence of trial and error. The outcome highly depends on your business, your audience and the current Social Media situation. In order to find your sweet spot in terms of content, frequency and budget, you need to do a lot of testing, evaluating and adjusting. But it’s all worth it, as 75% of Millenials assess a brand on Social Media before making a decision.
2. Really get to know your personas
The importance of knowing who your guests are might seem obvious but I cannot stress it enough. Really get to know them – go beyond age, location and profession and explore what makes them unique, what their aspirations are and how you can help solve their problems. Focus on 2-3 personas and make sure your Social Media content covers their interests and needs. Give your persona a name, age, job, hopes, wishes, behaviour – a fully fledged personality. And keep these personas in mind as you research and create your content.
3. Reconsider ways to source content
Getting content for your Social Media channels can be tricky, so here are three alternative ideas to consider:
- Get your team involved. Ask waiters to take photos of the food before it goes out, have receptionists talk to guests and find out what they are interested in. Publish interviews with your GM. The world is your oyster!
- Get guests involved. ‘User-generated content’ is on the rise, and with the right incentive, users are very open to sharing their experiences. Ask them to share photos, text or even videos. Come up with a catchy #hashtag and make sure guests link your profile.
- Repurpose content. Remember that one blog post that performed really well? Or a photo that got unusually many likes? Share it again, as the chances that everyone saw it are very slim (thank you, algorithms…).
4. Impressions > Engagement
When Social Media first started out, it was all about maximising your amount of followers and likes. It then slowly moved on to maximising engagement, however, users are becoming increasingly passive and do not tend to interact with brands as much anymore. Hence, focus your efforts on reaching as many relevant people as possible, which is generally achieved through Social Media advertising. Which brings us to point 5.
5. It’s all about the money
Sadly, Social Media has drastically changed over the past years. It used to be all about ‘organic’ content, i.e. content you publish for free. However, as the algorithms change, not many people get to see your organic content. In order to reach new people (and even some of your existing followers), you need to spend money on advertising. But as always, there’s a silver lining. Facebook advertising is extremely efficient and ads can be highly customised and laser targeted to make sure only your desired audience sees them.
6. Have a crisis plan
Social Media is a real-time platform. So with a mix of ‘trolls’ and genuine complaints, you need to be prepared to react to negative comments almost instantly. Sit down with your team and discuss a handful of potential negative scenarios. Write down your ideal reactions and responses, so everyone is on the same page when things go downhill.