Embrace or ignore? Social media and hospitality!

(26 /06 /2015)

Whether we like it or not, social media is here to stay with more a large portion of diner turning to social media/word of mouth to choose where they eat out.  I know I am equally as guilty of it.  I get my urban list via email every few days and I check out what’s hot and now with the entertainment book being online as an app I am more likely to try somewhere new if those 2 sources tell me so! I went to dinner on Monday night purely based on a new restaurant listed in the – open Monday night article and that it also popped up on my entertainment book app as new ‘deal’. So how do we improve loyalty?  How do we encourage repeat business from such a fluid and fickle customer base?

One of the first things to do is don’t ignore social media – embrace it.  Yes it will require you to be a little more tech savvy but I guarantee you some of your staff will be all over it.

So what is the best platform? Facebook?  Twitter? Instagram? Facebook usually provokes the most engagement, always make the status fun, include a visual and ask for their opinion, it should be used as a reminder that you are there not a sales tool.

What about Instagram?  This is great is you have your staff in on the act, just be wary of what they are posting and also what is in the background of photos – there isn’t too many places to hide if you post a photo and there is a health and safety concern in the kitchen!  Instagram is a great way to introduce new dishes to your customers – we eat with our eyes remember!

So do you create a social media strategy? The answer is yes! In this day and age where social media is an ingrained part of our everyday life why not embrace something that is free.  What about sharing the responsibility between staff members – including managers, chefs and wait staff, that gives your customers an insiders view of what is happening.  Making you appear more approachable and more ‘real’.

The greatest impact of social media is when a customer posts images or give great feedback or shares on their own pages, word of mouth is still extremely powerful and social media enables that via technology.

Remember that when you do an internet search, the first thing that generally pops up is you social media pages!  Embrace and move forward with the platforms. Exploring how they can best help you get the word out about your business!

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