Social media is a tool that hospitality business can use to engage and communicate with both current and potential customers. So, what social media strategies should you employ? Well, in summary:
- Start an Instagram account.
- Like, share and respond to your customer's posts.
- Respond to feedback on sites like TripAdvisor or Zomato (even negative feedback!).
- Post news about your business – Facebook and Twitter are great for this.
- Offer promotions through social media and ask for people to share them.
Now let's explain in more detail.
Everyone knows how to use social media, right? Perhaps not.
In the age of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, a recent report found that close to half of all Australian hotels, bars and restaurants aren't actively engaging with customers through social media.
This statistic from The Connected Consumer Report, released by Hootsuite, is just one of many figures that show the hospitality industry needs to improve the way it uses social media. So, if you're looking to enter this sector in the coming years, how should social media platforms be utilised.
Engaging with customers on Instagram
For bars and restaurants in particular, Instagram is one of the most critical social media platforms to get right. Its ability to visually advertise food and environments is unrivalled and customers can even tag the setting in their images so others may visit in the future. However, according to Hootsuite, just 4 per cent of businesses are actively engaging with guests who tag their location on Instagram.
The report found organisations that engage with customers through these types of personalised experiences are likely to drive better client retention. Whether it's a friendly thank you message or an offer of some kind, acknowledging their promotion of your business is always the right approach.
Respond to both positive and negative feedback
Businesses in the hospitality industry certainly receive their fair share of criticism as well as the odd piece of praise. Hootsuite states that around 30 per cent of social media users provide feedback about their experience. The problem lies when these reviews aren't acknowledged or replied to.
Zomato and TripAdvisor are both review websites offering the opportunity for hospitality businesses to respond to feedback, whether it's good or bad. As with the customers who tag into your location, it's best to address any feedback and indicate your commitment to quality customer service.
Use social media to drive promotions and news
Australians love their social media. In April, there were 17 million active users on Facebook, 5 million on Instagram and 3 million on Twitter, according to SocialMediaNews. With so many Australians using and engaging with social media, hospitality businesses can use these platforms to showcase their promotions and news.
For example, you could simply post a promotion on Instagram asking people to share the post. This drives more likes, engagement and people knowing who you are. Hootsuite notes 65 per cent of hospitality businesses publish content on social media less than once a week, while less than 20 per cent post to Instagram daily.
Keen to know more about the changing nature of the hospitality industry? Check out the range of courses at Kenvale College and discover what you need to know for a successful career in this flourishing sector.