Pubs, clubs, and restaurants rely heavily on word-of-mouth promotion to get people through the door, so if social media users feel the need to tell the world about their Saturday night, these establishments need to make it work in their favour!
It’s vital that hospitality venues get in on these conversations to increase their brand awareness, portray their brand in the best possible light, and reach their target market. The conversations are going on whether the venue is part of them or not. The ultimate goal? Customers through the door.
You’ve probably noticed that people love checking themselves in on Facebook, especially when they’re out and about with friends. Ever heard of “fear of missing out” or FOMO? This also has a lot to do with it. People’s personal social media accounts act as edited showreels of their lives – they highlight the best bits and leave out the bad!
So this is the good news:
Venues like pubs, restaurants, hotels and bars can use this information to grow their brand amongst their audience, get great reviews and actively find and influence the decisions of new customers.
Social media for hospitality
Here are a few of the various exciting and innovative ways the hospitality sector can use customer social media updates to their advantage (we were tempted to create our own JC Social Bar after coming up with these beauties!).
Social media for hospitality tips:
1) See a smartphone on a table? Encourage bar and waiting staff to offer to take group photographs of guests, with an emphasis placed upon them then being shared online. Something as simple as taking a few snaps will enable hospitality venues to build a better rapport with their customers and extend their reach to their existing customers’ friends. The best part? It’s your customers doing the work for you.
2) Make the most of the times where people are waiting for something; at the bar when they’re waiting for a drink, by the door in a queue, at the table waiting for their friend to arrive/get off the phone. This is when people usually have their smartphone glued to their hand and are looking for easy way to keep entertained. This is where bars and restaurants need to be present.
Placing signs in these high traffic ‘waiting’ areas mean that you are within easy reach of their tweet/check-in/Facebook update. The signs don’t need to be tacky or intrusive, just a small and strategically placed ‘why not tweet us @username’, or ‘don’t forget to check in on Facebook’ will do just fine.
3) If you’ve ever been there long enough to notice, pub toilets are always full of partygoers taking ‘selfies’. Many of us undoubtedly have a mirror shot tucked away in our collections somewhere, so brands should aim to capitalise on this reoccurring trend. Draw your own hashtag or commission a bespoke mirror to put in the bathrooms. Bars and clubs can utilise the habits of their partygoers, and it’s more free marketing. Be ready for people to share all their weird and wonderful photographs!
Pubs, bars and restaurants
4) Facebook check-in is your friend! Move with the times and increase your following by replacing the old-school method of downloading and printing vouchers from a website and replace it with the new ‘social voucher’. Incentivise check-ins with vouchers and offers and you’re onto a winner. Even better than that – a trackable winner.
5) Don’t forget the day after! When your customers are tweeting and messaging about their massive hangovers, you need to be part of that conversation too! “Hangover” and “hungover” are both great conversation drivers, something you need to be using to really interact and influence your audience.
6) Trip Advisor management is seriously important. Check out our case study with an Italian restaurant who enjoy 100 more covers each week for rising up the rankings! Trip Advisor plays a key role in people’s decisions in the 21st century through what we now call the Zero Moment of Truth.
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There are hundreds of cool and quirky ways brands can set themselves apart from their competitors. If you have any ideas of your own, why not get in touch? We’d love to hear how you would maximise the brand awareness of your own bar, pub or club. The crazier, the better – it’s all about standing out from the crowd!
We’ve worked with some household names in hospitality including Marriott Hotels, Enterprise Inns, Handpicked Hotels, The Handmade Burger Company and dozens of restaurants, pubs and bars across the UK. To enquire, use the contact form or click to learn more about our expert social media management.