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  • Joshua Clifton

Like, Share and Leverage Your Social Media


We are at a crossroads between the young and the old operators when it comes to their relationship with social media. The next generation of young ‘hospopreneurs’ is motivated to pursue a powerful social media campaign, not only because it’s the environment they are well attuned too, but because it’s how a lot of interaction happens with this demographic – digitally. They haven’t had the years of face-to-face interactions, like the long-term players.


This brings me to the older industry veterans. This generation may still be conflicted about the digital flood shaping the hospitality front and whether it’s necessary. Like anything, when used incorrectly social media can lead to countless wasted hours and money, and worst-case scenario – a complete mismatch of your venue’s actual identity.


Think of Instagram as your friend who likes to party. Share the exciting themes of your venue, predominately around food and drinks. The key here is to share items that are completely unique to you. No more standard latte art and bacon and eggs. Showcase what makes you and your products unique.


Long answer, yes but only if you construct a social media strategy that is managed and maintained with your brand at the forefront. The reality is, social media is how the younger generation is communicating, learning and engaging with each other. It’s not going away and will only get bigger. front and whether it’s necessary. Like anything, when used incorrectly social media can lead to countless wasted hours and money, and worst-case scenario – a complete mismatch of your venue’s actual identity

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So should you use it?


Short answer, yes.


Long answer, yes but only if you construct a social media strategy that is managed and maintained with your brand at the forefront. The reality is, social media is how the younger generation is communicating, learning and engaging with each another.


It’s not going away and will only get bigger.


In this example, I’m going to use Instagram and Facebook as these are, in my opinion, made for this industry due to their visual and information based nature. Remember also that social media is about entertainment, so providing you keep that in mind, lets start leveraging your social media.


Think of Instagram as your friend who likes to party. Share the exciting themes of your venue, predominately around food and drinks. The key here is to share items that are completely unique to you. No more standard latte art and bacon and eggs. Showcase what makes you and your products unique. Share a sneak peak of the new menu you’re working on; a short video of your bartender slinging a new cocktail; or an image of a new food item you just bought in which is plated to perfection. Instagram is about excitement and fast-paced interaction. Keep the message simple and easy to digest.


Secondly, Instagram stories – I like this feature for everything in between the above ideas. For example, sharing a win with a customer; a plate of food being taken to a customer; and even the setbacks, maybe the coffee machine goes down. Keep it real and authentic. Finally, hashtags and tagging - if you are unaware of the terms then look them up because they have the potential to be very powerful. Tag the right magazine or media outlet and it could mean potential free publicity for your business.



Facebook is a great platform to share information that is a little more in-depth or to encourage discussion. It’s where you can create events; run competitions; list your trading hours and menus; and link to your other social media platforms.

If you’re ever stuck on what to post, I like to follow the 3 ‘E’ approach. I discuss this process in full in my latest publication ‘The Hospitality Survival Guide’, but essentially it helps you to identify the three main types of posts that generate the most interaction and reaction to build your profile. 


Simply ask three questions:


Is it exciting? (Business birthday, new drinks menu)

Is it Entertaining? (Staff profiles, special group dining, business updates)

Is it Educational? (Questions, facts, call to action)


Whenever you create a post either via Facebook or Instagram, try to stick to this method - especially if you are stuck for ideas.


Post what you find interesting, encourage discussions and take an interest in your customers. Did someone just tag you on your Instagram or Facebook? Maybe they have a large following and it may be worth inviting them, and five of their friends, back for a free coffee. You could potentially reach thousands of new customers. Although some may not be in your area, you are still building awareness around your brand that would normally cost hundreds of marketing dollars, and you never know who they may know.


The social space is filling up fast and what I’m seeing now is not only a push to engage with customers, but to support the local community - suppliers (food and drink), surrounding businesses and groups (schools, universities and environmental groups.)

We are at a crossroads between the young and the old operators when it comes to their relationship with social media. The next generation of young ‘hospopreneurs’ are motivated to pursue a powerful social media campaign, not only because it’s the environment they are well attuned too, but because it’s how a lot of interaction happens with this demographic – digitally. They haven’t had the years of face-to-face interactions, like the long-term players. This brings me to the older industry veterans. This generation may still be conflicted about the digital flood shaping the hospitality front and whether it’s necessary.


Like anything, when used incorrectly social media can lead to countless wasted hours and money, and worst-case scenario – a complete mismatch of your venue’s actual identity


In the end, leveraging social media is about remembering the core of what social media is – social interactions. Yes you need a thick skin and it requires a strategy, but when used correctly, it can propel your business exposure faster than any other medium.

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