It is a common practise for venues and hotels to have multiple social media accounts and promote their services online. There is no better way of reaching out to millions of people and showcasing your products every day. This is also the most cost effective way as having a social media account on the most influential platforms is free.
It is however still early days for the hospitality sector to maximise the potential of an online profile. The industry has gone through several changes since the beginning of the Digital Age and had to quickly develop to a new market of online buyers.
New jobs were introduced to keep up with the new trends and secure an up to date online presence for the biggest brands which then led to new clients and more revenue.
Some of the smaller organisations struggled to introduce new tasks (such as social media profile updates) to the staff or failed to recognise this new way of gaining business.
So What does your social media account say about your venue?
- Your Brand
Creating corporate identity guidelines is an essential step in creating your brand and making yourself visible. Logo details, brand personality, colours, tone of voice, styling are key to create a ‘face’ that represent you just as much as your Sales team when they are meeting clients.
Is your social media account set up with identifiable branding? Adding just your logo will not create the right appearance. Make sure you use the same font throughout your online communications wherever possible and the same branding when you create online flyers, posters and offers. Keep them consistent. Add and use your brand colour as a background and make sure that your social media site mirrors the look of your website.
Making yourself wholly identifiable will hugely increase the awareness of your venue.
- Your Pictures
There is an endless list of picture- based social media platforms. Having a great visual appearance online is key and not only with your products, but the culture of your team and the life behind the your venue.
It is recognised that brands can only support a strong and effective social media presence if they include non-commercial, but relevant news-worthy information on the profile. But what sort of pictures do you include? Which news are we sharing with our future clients and what sort of profile are we building with them?
Every single photo you ever post will be a reflection of you. A digital window to see who you are as a venue and how you operate on a daily basis as a business. Your photos must be clear, easy to understand and not ‘Photo-shopped’ to the extent that they appear crass or misrepresentative.
Poor quality pictures only reflect the poor quality of your venue. It is better having no picture than the a very bad one. If we are going back to the previous statement – ‘’create a ‘face’ that represents you’’ when you setting up your own profile pictures, then you need to do the very same for your venue and use the very best pictures. Why would it be any different for your company? Posting blurry, bad quality photos can be just as damaging than adding your worst photo to your own profile for the world to see.
A too busy picture is confusing. Make sure you say something with your pictures, and not just try to capture everything with one image. A photograph can talk about your venue, and highlight the best of you. Be clear. Take a shot of one thing at a time, and make sure you don’t have other distractions going on in the background to detract from the mage you are presenting.
Photoshop is now available to anyone. We also have thousands of applications we can download for free and edit our pictures before posting. It is now at epidemic proportions that people ‘photo-shop’ everything of themselves and the places around them, so almost nothing you see is real. Make sure you do not commit this mistake with your venue! You have to present your venue realistically. Do not forget that you are trying to attract potential buyers through these images, so rule number one… no over exposure, over saturation, colourful filters, stickers or emojis.
- Your Communication Style
Good Customer Service is the bread and butter of every business, however, for many now, it is not good enough. Their expectations have to be exceeded if you want to retain them and attract new clients. Great online feedbacks from your loyal guests can bring in thousands of pounds for you, but negative feedback can take away millions.
Your communication online must be clear and immaculate. You have to be consistent when you post – wording, structure, tone and language.
Clear wording does not mean, you have to post key words, but it means that you cannot start adding novels to your profiles. It is a fast-paced world… people want everything to be easy and quick. It is no longer ‘trendy’ to spend time on an article that is longer to read than 5 minutes. Some very clever e-newsletter writers now add the reading-time just below the title of their articles for the convenience of readers. People will not sit through a long article that highlights every USP in your business, but they might be interesting in shorter, seasonal and targeted information about you.
Structure and tone is the first impression online. In person it takes 7 seconds for an individual to form a first impression about something or someone, and when that impression is negative – it is hard to change. The structure of your posts and the tone will tell everything about who you are. If you only talk about ‘Buy’ and ‘Sell’ and ‘Special Offers’ all the time, you will come across as shallow and money-grabbing. Provide your audience with important information using synonyms and employing ‘write as you speak’ will make you look professional and attractive .
As everyone uses the internet these days, but not everyone speaks English, make sure your website has the option of selecting different languages. However, do not make the mistake of posting in different languages. Your language is part of your brand identity – who you are, where you are located and how you communicate. Use the locally spoken language of your venue’s location and, if you are advertising worldwide, always use English. Seeing a venue posting information in different languages can be confusing.
- Online Feedbacks
Do you have an online feedback portal set up for your clients to comment on your services? Not yet? Well, you should. That is the easiest way of creating a confident look, gain trust and get promoted by your guests. Online feedbacks can make a huge impact on your profile and there are ground rules on how to do them correctly.
If you have an open online feedback platform, your guests will add their thoughts whether positive or negative. Potential guests will often read these reviews before they enquire. The quality of the feedbacks can eventually determine if a new client enquires or not and therefore a lot of venues feel uncomfortable running an open online feedback platform and get rid of bad feedback posted by disappointed clients.
If a venue only has positive feedbacks listed, everyone will know that they are deleting ‘bad feedback’ and that they are trying to create a fake online image of themselves as being perfect. Nobody is perfect – so you should never manipulate the feedback and keep the bad ones just as much as the good ones. Negative feedback can actually work in favour of your venue, if you have responded to it promptly and appropriately and admitted shortcomings, indicated what you have done to rectify it and, where necessary, compensated the client.
You must reply to your customer feedbacks online, and in a timely, calm manner. Getting into a fight with your unsatisfied guests online is brand suicide. No matter what language and tone your customer is using, you have to stay consistent and courteous in your communication and be grateful for the opportunity to improve your services and understand of the issue your guest is raising. This way others will see that you a caring, customer-focused venue and will feel more comfortable approaching you when they have an event coming up.
- Personalisation & Presentation
Why not let your team post for you from time to time? Has your housekeeper or front of house manager posted pictures of your bedrooms or your Operations Manager shared about current events happening at the venue? Invite other business professionals, partners and suppliers to write about you and post to their connections to raise your profile and promote your services.
Invite influencers and bloggers to talk about you and direct their readership to you and turn them into potential future bookers. A ‘YouTuber’ with over 100,000 subscribers can be a more powerful tool to advertise your venue than a paid advert in many industry related magazines or websites. The best online listing for your image, location and audience can bring viewers to your page or drive more traffic to your website.
Think outside of the box, and let the internet work for you instead of spending long hours creating blogs, articles and social media posts. Have others talk about you and your services! It only takes a few minutes finding the right person who can contribute to your image and increase the awareness of your brand.< Back