Social Media During lockdown: 2020 and it looks like 2021 will be years that none of us in hospitality could have ever envisaged. Most of us find ourselves closed as we endure the third lockdown of the pandemic. The closure of business has also meant the closure of our social media. This is wrong.
Social media now, more than ever is exceptionally important. Here’s why…
Social media is a mind field and often a real difficulty for small hospitality operators. It takes a lot of time and creativity. Especially when you don’t have a lot going on to discuss and share. Whether you are closed or doing your best to make a takeaway service work. You need to keep your social media regularly engaging with people. If you think about your business, its all about people. Your customers, your regulars and potential customers. When they come into your venue, you communicate with them. Now they are having to stay at home, find themselves not able to enter your venue but spending a lot more time on Facebook/ Instagram/ Linkedin and other social media platforms. For you now; social media is the way people communicate with you, how they get inside your venue.
To be more specific, split hospitality into two groups. Those open for takeaway and those completely closed:
Social media during lockdown: Closed venues
People are currently not able to visit you and therefore can not through your staff, menu and venue design experience the atmosphere they normally would. So use your social media to create that experience. Let content such as photos and videos of previous events, food/ drinks offerings remind your customer base of who you are and what you are. Remind them of the need to visit as and when you reopen. With so much negativity at the moment, use your platform to offer light hearted posts that make people smile. Give something for others to engage in such as home cooking competitions. We are all looking for ways to keep busy, so keep people busy with your business.
Create scenarios whereby people think:
“their competitions/ challenges online were really good fun during lockdown, we need to visit when they reopen“.
As a business the effort you put in to your social media now and making sure you are posting consistently will only help keep you in the minds of your current customer base. It will also only benefit you further in attracting new customers. Consistent use of your businesses social media helps you stick in the minds of those who have seen your page but not before visited your venue. You have the potential to open up busier than before you were forced to close.
Social media during lockdown: Takeaway Venues
If you are a takeaway venue who before the pandemic did not offer this service. Social media is your way of spreading the message! You should be doing everything closed venues are doing on their social media as mentioned above, but for you it is about now. Make sure your customer base knows you are still open for business. Let your social media reach out to potentially new customers.
Take into consideration this: you are doing takeaways and every penny counts. Do you want to be selling your product through social media where it costs you nothing or next to nothing? Or do you want to keep spending 5 – 20% on platforms such as Justeat and Ubereats?
Now you’ve realised the importance of your social media, the next critical part is the type of content and quality of content you are using. You have approximately 0.6 of a second to grab someones attention so pictures must be of good quality and eye catching. When using videos keep the purpose of the video clear and concise. Social media is difficult and it is not for everyone but in the current pandemic, it is for every business. It is your most cost effective way of keeping in touch with your customer base and using this downtime to reach out to potential customers. Active social media platforms will separate your business from the rest.
If this is something you find difficult, we at Charles Kate can offer consultation or social media management services. We are happy to help so please feel free to get in contact but crucially; if there is one message you take from this – use your social media platforms to your advantage during lockdown.