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You don’t need us to tell you that 2021 is a different kind of year. It’s one that we tentatively tip-toed into, and now we can’t get enough of running around our favourite streets again. As we flock like home-sick sheep desperate for a pint back to pubs, bars and restaurants. We value each passing moment a little more than we used to.

The last year has depleted the high-street offering, that’s for sure, but when it comes to the hospitality sector, places are thriving now there’s life in the streets again. However, as much as it may feel like normal service has resumed, it’s a far cry from the pre-pandemic sector we remember.

Lots of questions have been posed in the last year, and now is a time that those with some answers need to step forward and share. As many wonder how they will recover, more and more are turning solely to social media to help them put bums on seats. It’s easy to see why! During the lockdown, businesses have survived mainly due to social media, and if anything, the online world is more robust now than it’s ever been thanks to new eCommerce websites launching every day!

That’s why, in this blog, we’re looking at the vital ways that the hospitality sector should be using social media this year. So, let’s not wait around; all that talk has got us thinking about a pint.

Scream and shout!

It may seem like a bizarre scenario for eateries that have long been an essential part of their surroundings. But now is the time to make some noise! Churning out the same content as all the other eateries will seriously hamper the rush of customers you have through the door.

If you already have a social following, that’s even more of a reason to make some noise. If you were one of those brave pioneers who first opened their doors during the pandemic, have a pat on the back from us! But more importantly, you have a clean slate, we hope you’ve been updating your feed constantly, and we really hope you’ve had plenty of custom this year.

For those more ‘established’ hospitality businesses, have a quick look at yourself. If your feed still reads ‘2020, new year, new me’ you’re miles behind, get in the game! Ageing social media feeds make customers think you’ve closed altogether, and you don’t want that! You might even consider wiping your feed entirely and starting fresh; this will catch the attention of your existing followers after not hearing from you in a while.

Build excitement

OK, so you’ve taken our advice and announced your return. Your social feeds are all starting to look slick, and people are talking about your hospitality venue. To be a roaring success, you need to make sure people aren’t just talking about you, but they literally can’t wait to walk through your doors.

The chances are, you’ve got plenty of stories to tell, so let these be the excitement builders that we all deserve! Do you have a new stand-out night with a big name DJ? If so, get making your posters and share them everywhere! Build the excitement as much as you possibly can.

If you’re a restaurant, a new menu or new items are a sure way to excite your existing customers. If there’s something we haven’t tried yet, the chances are we will want to! Social media is the perfect place for your business to share those aesthetically pleasing food shots. Word of advice, the prettier the meal looks, the more people will want it. As much as technology has improved, we still can’t taste through the screens of our phones, so pick looks over substance for these post pics.

One of the best ways to build that much-needed social media excitement is by incentivising people to interact with your business. Lots of restaurants are offering discounted rates or special reopening menus, where the customers feel like they are getting a good deal.

We all want to save money, no matter how frivolous we may be after a few weekend shandies. So maybe a giveaway suits your business, for example, £100 worth of vouchers to spend at your hospitality venue to one lucky person who likes and shares your social media feed. Giving away vouchers is a great way to build brand recognition and to spread positive word of mouth about your business.

Update the essentials

This may sound simple, but we could name a handful of restaurants this second that still say closed on their Google my business profile. It’s one of those things that is incredibly easy to forget but is essential you don’t.

You wouldn’t keep your doors closed, and the lights turned off if you were open, would you? Well, in failing to update all of your online listings, that is essentially what you’re doing.

The difference is that a few people may drive past your business looking for you and think you’re closed; hundreds could type you in and see the same thing. So DON’T lose customers you don’t need to! Make sure that your online presence represents your new outlook. The last thing you want is alienated customers at your front door.

If you have changed your style, for example, if you had a reputation for great food, service, music, etc., people would know that your new brand will stand for similar things. By simply re-energising your customers, you give your business a clientele even before you have reopened.

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If Social media is something you find difficult, or if you want to tap into our wealth of knowledge and years of experience, give us a call. Social media management might be exactly what you need. Choose from various packages and relinquish as much or little control as you’d like. We are more than happy to help where possible, and we love the opportunity to work with new and exciting businesses.

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