Social media is here for everyone, but how can you utilise it?
Social media is a fantastic tool that can now be enjoyed by billions of people worldwide. The likes of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest are all being used by businesses across the world in an effort to further their marketing efforts and make them more discoverable to the online community. So, after you’ve set up your social media profiles, just where do you go from here?
In this blog, we’ll look into the benefits of social media for business and just how you can use these fantastic tools to further your hospitality business at the click of a button!
Setting realistic goals
Given that this is your first time using social media for business, just as it will be for a number of you reading this article, you must remember to set realistic goals for yourselves to achieve. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your social media profiles won’t attract hundreds of thousands of followers in such a short time either. Be realistic in the goals you set for yourself and your business, as you may become frustrated when you do achieve optimistic goals, something which can put you off using social media if you don’t see the rewards of it.
Here are some examples of the benefits social media can offer your business:
Brand development: One of the greatest benefits available to your company through social media is the constant development of brand awareness, sociability and trust. You can now have conversations directly with your followers and answers any questions they may have for you directly from your Twitter home feed. Be sure to engage with your loyal followers in order to get a level of brand loyalty flowing, which is great for finding new business opportunities on the web.
Reaching new customers: Social media is a fantastic tool that can help to promote your business for FREE! Have any news you want to share with your audience? Share it on Facebook and Twitter! Want an opinion of a potential new choice of menu? Reach your audience through Instagram and Pinterest! The possibilities are endless when it comes to social media, it’s the ultimate marketing tool for everybody!
Make the best of a bad situation: Say you have a sudden cancellation in your restaurant. Not the best, is it? You’re losing money and a table is going to waste… Or is it? With the speed that social media holds, you can share any news of cancellations on Twitter and Facebook, so customers can snap up that table and put money back in your pocket!
Don’t rush into it
One thing you must always remember is that social media has a strategy to it, just like everything does. You wouldn’t invite guests to a dinner party when you knew absolutely nothing about them, then not preparing any food or drinks for them to have, would you? Of course you wouldn’t! Also, it’s a good comparison to use when thinking of social media strategy. You wouldn’t invite a guest around to your house and spend all night telling them how great you are. Social media is so popular because it’s social! Ask questions, get into conversations and find out the opinions of your business from customers.
Social media needs you to do your research on your target market and existing audience. The fantastic thing about having a strategy implemented into your business is the evaluation opportunities you have, where as you can measure the success of your campaigns. Likes, followers, retweets, +1’s and comments are all easily measureable through each platform, as they all have unique tools available to each platform.
Take the time to listen
A great advantage of social media is that you gain the ability to hold conversations with your customers in an easy format, but it’s always good to remember that customers will talk about your business online, whether you’re around to see it or not. Conversations can take place regardless of your presence, so take this opportunity to monitor what your customers think of your business and act upon it!
Is there a customer that wasn’t happy with service they received? Don’t ignore it, it’s the worst thing you can do! As we see it, customers are bothered by your service; otherwise they wouldn’t have taken the time to tweet/post about it! Use this opportunity to give your apologies because sometimes this is all it takes to clear up the situation. Here’s a fantastic example from AirFrance:
@JESUISKADRA Hi Kadra, we are sorry to hear that, please DM us your booking reference and we will look into rebooking your flight. Thanks.
— Air France (@airfrance) September 16, 2014
Always remember to…
So, in summary, it’s good to remember our main three key points: Plan, listen, act.
Don’t jump into anything as this is a recipe for disaster! Relax, take it easy and just remember to talk to your audience and always listen to their responses.
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