Online marketing instruments have become an important means of communicating with guests, especially for the catering industry, since the beginning of the Corona crisis.
Because without day-to-day business, the only way to stay in the minds of customers was via the Internet. But regardless of this particular circumstance, social media marketing and content marketing are essential nowadays if you want to be successful as a restaurateur.
For this reason, this blog article will take a closer look at these two areas. We also give you 10 tips on how to operate optimal social media marketing or content marketing.
What are Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing?
Social media marketing is exactly what the name suggests. It’s a form of online marketing that uses social media like Facebook or Instagram. The aim here is to increase your own reach on the Internet and generate awareness for your own company.
In this way you build a loyal community that you can then use to distribute your own content. This works best when you have a well thought out and innovative strategy that turns a random reader into a fan or follower.
Social media marketing is just as suitable for the catering industry as it is for any other industry and should by no means be neglected. Because without a reasonable presence on the Internet, it has become very difficult to find many new customers and to keep them.
Content marketing is a marketing process in which you use relevant and valuable content that is tailored to your own target group.
The goal of content marketing is to address potential customers with this content and thus generate new customers. Content marketing is used in various areas of marketing, especially when you want to avoid classic advertising.
Because of the declining effect of traditional advertising, you have to resort to other means to draw guests’ attention to your own company. The focus of this instrument is not the products or the company, but the customers, i.e. the target group that you want to address.
By offering you added value, you can quickly turn them into satisfied customers and thus achieve a recommendation.
5 Tips for social media marketing for the hospitality industry
1. Choosing the right platform:
Social media are now a dime a dozen. However, not all of them are suitable for online marketing. Therefore, if possible, you should find out which platforms most of your guests are on. You can do this, for example, through a survey.
Regardless of this, every restaurant should have at least one Instagram and one Facebook profile for optimal social media marketing, as these are the most common social media. If you can be found on all relevant platforms, the chances are also best of reaching more people.
Then all you need to do is focus on the platform that is most important to you. You can also decide on this focus based on the age structure of your guests.
2. Promote your social media profiles:
In order for your guests to become aware of your social media and see your content, you need to promote your profiles.
On the one hand, you should draw attention to this in the restaurant by, for example, printing in the menu which platforms you are represented on and what your name is there.
Or you can print this information on table stands or something similar and distribute it in the restaurant. On the other hand, all social media profiles should also be listed on your website.
Either you link them on the homepage or in the imprint. However, it makes sense to see the links directly when you visit the page. Finally, you can also actively inform your customers that you are represented in social networks. However, this option is more suitable for regular guests
3. Publish good posts:
After you’ve created your profiles and brought them to the attention of guests, it’s time to publish content as well.
But not every text or image is a good post. Because the quality standard on most platforms is relatively high. In general, all content should represent added value for the guest so that he can spend time with the content.
If you post a picture, it should be appealing and authentic, but it also has to look professional. You can also organize competitions on social media and raffle, for example, vouchers or free drinks or the like. This will generate engagement and reach more people.
4. Exploiting the reach of social media:
The most important possibility that social networks offer is the enormous reach that can be generated through them. Because as soon as someone “likes” your profile or shares your content, the friends or followers of this person will also find out.
This creates a huge network of people who show each other new places. But this effect doesn’t come about by itself. To add to this effect, you need to encourage your guests to share your content.
The best way to do this is through competitions that require you to share certain content in order to participate. By distributing the content in this way, more people will be aware of your profiles and ultimately new guests will come to your restaurant.
5. Complaint management via social media:
As a restaurateur, in addition to new guests, social media provide one thing above all: Feedback. Since this is not always positive, you have to learn to deal with criticism on the Internet. In the best-case scenario, you will receive constructive criticism.
This is particularly important because it can help you improve your business. And if your guests are happier, then you are more likely to be recommended.
However, there is also criticism that is neither constructive nor justified. In rare cases, they may even be offended. In such a situation, it is imperative to react calmly and understandingly, and in no case to start an argument.
Because that looks unprofessional and can put off potential guests. In general, with any feedback, no matter what kind, you should react to it. Then the guests feel understood and are more likely to come back to you. If you want to take full advantage of the potential of social media feedback, then hold regular polls to find out what your guests think of a particular topic.
5 Tips for content marketing for the hospitality industry
1. The content must offer added value:
The point of content marketing is that your content is viewed or read by users and they then pass this content on to others. In order for your content to be seen by guests as worthy of being passed on, the content must offer them added value that they want to pass on to others.
If you publish content that does not help the user, it will be ignored and will not attract any attention to your gastronomy.
2. Use different formats:
How you design the content you publish is entirely up to you and your company. The first thing you probably think of is blogs that are filled with plain text on various topics.
As a restaurateur, however, you shouldn’t just leave it at that. Because having your own restaurant offers far more options for creating content.
For example, you can also record videos of cooking recipes. Or you can create Spotify playlists for special occasions, such as a candlelight dinner or a holiday meal.
Also introduce your entire team so that guests know who is serving them and who is preparing their food. Or you can start a live stream and establish your own live cooking show. Of course, competitions and events should not be missing here either. But watch out, just like on social media,
3. Capacities for the planning and support of marketing:
Many restaurateurs only do their marketing on the side and do not have extra capacities in the company. Of course, as a small snack bar, it is not realistic to have your own marketing department.
Nevertheless, you should at least take extra time to implement it strategically and tactically sensibly and professionally. If you don’t have the marketing capacity, get it.
Either you hire someone or find out about it yourself. You should definitely invest in marketing because it will help you find new guests and generate more sales.
4. Focusing the content on the guest:
The most important thing in content marketing is that you focus your content on your guests. Because if the published content does not interest your customers, then they will not share it and the effect of the content marketing will be lost.
If you don’t know beforehand what topics and content your guests are interested in, then conduct a survey to find out or talk to your regular guests. Because they are probably the first to pass your content on to their own friends.
5. Promote the content properly:
As good as your content may be, if nobody finds out that it is there, then it will not have an impact. Therefore, it is important to promote your content properly. First of all, be sure to raise awareness on social media, especially when it comes to digital content.
Because that’s where the chance is highest that someone who doesn’t know your restaurant will see it. You can also advertise it yourself in the restaurant.
Distribute flyers or put up posters that refer to your content. And finally, especially if you offer special content such as cooking videos or live streams, you can address your guests directly
After reading this blog post, you will be one step closer to optimizing your marketing.
Because authentic and professional posts on social media and unique content for your guests can be of great help in attracting new guests or binding existing customers more closely to you.
However, you should never stop improving your marketing for the positive effect to persist. So you can guarantee successful social media marketing and content marketing in the hospitality industry.