Advertise your restaurant for free thanks to social networks
Advertise your restaurant for free thanks to social networks
The strong competitiveness that marks the current economy leads to the development of new tactics to advertise the sale of goods and services. In the mid-2010s, thanks to the proliferation of mobile phones and the boom of sites such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, a new strategy emerged that marked a before and after in the promotion of businesses on the internet: Social Media Marketing.
If you are part of the hospitality world, strongly linked (if not dependent) to tourism, the use of digital media can become an excellent ally if you are looking to gain fame and make yourself visible among a high number of potential consumers. Whether you run a small hotel, bar, cafe, café, tavern, restaurant or any other establishment associated with this category, it is true that publicity is vital to maintain customer traffic and, of course, conventional advertising is expensive. However, online platforms are free, easily accessible, and if you have a website they will efficiently complement it.
In the following paragraphs, I will present you with a small but useful guide to making a name for yourself and growing your start-up company.
Incorporate your company into the new digital economy
Today more than ever, new technologies and software are an integral and irreplaceable part of the lives of the vast majority of people around the world, connected by millions of phones, tablets, smart TVs and video game consoles. Although all of these devices display countless options and services for your enjoyment, most of the time they are used for simply web browsing.
You have to take into consideration that the average worker spends far more time interacting with their mobile than they do watching TV, so ask yourself the question: Is it worth paying an astronomical amount of capital for a TV ad? Let me tell you that, as long as it is a small company, the answer is no.
For now, focus on your target audience and devise a course of action that best suits your business model. Of course, starting from scratch on this type of site is no easy task, so the first step is to acquire a follower base, this will take at least several months, all subject to your capacity, the time you dedicate and mainly to the type of service you provide.
The importance of a digital presence in the hospitality industry
If you are not yet convinced that it is necessary to get into the world of social media, perhaps you will be after learning the following information.
More and more individuals are turning to social media to learn about the experiences of others, as it is an easy and convenient way to access the valuable opinions of others; this is crucial when choosing a place to stay, dine or just hang out.
Finally, data management and statistics are an important part of running a business. In this aspect, social networks are of great help, as they allow you to access valuable information without the need to interact commercially with consumers; in this way you can appreciate the trends and desires of the general public, in order to provide a more attractive service.
Which social network should I select?
A very recurrent and significant problem is selecting the right portals to advertise your business; this depends on the particular group to which your business belongs, as not all social networks are focused on the same type of user. In the following, I will explain how to take advantage of the most notable social networks today.
Focused on sharing photos and short videos, this platform with more than one billion active users is a good fit for almost any business in the hospitality sector, especially in the restaurant, bar, tavern and catering area. It provides convenient and close access to potential customers, while serving as an efficient means of getting noticed when you are just starting out.
You don't need a degree in photography or design to conceive outstanding posts, with a little practice and your mobile camera, you will be able to generate attractive and high quality content.
You can also opt for a more commercial direction with Instagram Business, which provides you with several interesting tools, such as: sharing Facebook posts, indicating the basic contact details of your company and having a wide range of traffic data at your fingertips. It is very beneficial for any establishment that offers food or alcoholic beverages, as they allow you to immerse the public in the atmosphere and in our gastronomic offer.
This is, without a doubt, the largest and most important social network in the world, demonstrated by its nearly three billion users. Despite its large size, it is not necessarily the right place for marketing, because its primary purpose is personal entertainment; however, it is this very characteristic that gives it a certain advantage in the hospitality sector, especially with regard to the accommodation section.
With Facebook you have a more intimate contact with your customers, and thanks to the incredible number of individuals using it, it's easier to reach people. By taking advantage of the feedback that is forged in the comments, it is possible to improve the service provided by following consumers' suggestions.
Probably the most disadvantageous aspects of this communication channel are the variety of topics covered and the fact that internet users are not used to using the site for the purpose of purchasing goods or services. Still, it works quite well as a complement when working alongside other options.
The portal of the little blue bird has gained a lot of presence in recent years; because content circulates quickly, it allows information to be spread immediately. The direct contact makes it easy to respond to the comments and impressions of the general public.
It is a generalist social network, where all topics have a place, so I highly recommend that you add it to the list of means of dissemination of your company. Perhaps the only drawback with this one is that to maintain attention you must tweet on a regular basis, and that requires constant attention and patience.
Aimed at business use, it is the largest of its kind, with more than 300 million registered users. It allows you to offer and search for jobs, as well as, to a lesser extent, forge business relationships with others; for example, if you have a catering service, you can contact a hotel or hostel that does not offer food and reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
This platform is ideal for digital interactions between companies, and in turn increase visibility in the corporate world.
It is not common that this video sharing website is the main channel to advertise business, in fact there are very few companies that dare to be part of the so-called "video marketing", but in case you want to get into it, you will have the advantage provided by the little competition. When it comes to multimedia content, videos are par excellence the most entertaining and eye-catching type; as what you are looking for is not to make an expensive advertising video by a professional, there are tutorials on YouTube itself to make your own low-budget clip.
The businesses that belong to the hospitality industry are mostly places where customers come in person, and therefore, audiovisual presentations are an excellent resource to show the space available for their enjoyment. Even if it is not the main technique to advertise your establishment, it can be an addition for people to get to know it in depth and get them excited about visiting it.
Google Maps as an add-on
Now, I know what you're thinking, "Google Maps is not a social network", well you're right, it is a mapping service for websites; however, it does incorporate certain elements of social networks, and for a range of businesses extensively associated with tourism, such as hospitality, it should not be overlooked.
Whenever your business has a physical location where a certain service will be provided, be it accommodation, food or entertainment, it is essential that potential guests, diners or patrons know how to find it. This service allows you to easily locate any place of interest; it shows you the different methods of getting there and has a comments and rating section.
Make sure your business location is listed on the world's leading electronic mapping database.
Achieve success with the right techniques
Once you have selected the social networks you need to position your business in the new era of digital marketing, follow the tips below, I'm sure you'll find them useful and you'll be able to perfect your own advertising strategy.
Planning is the key
The most common mistake made is not organising the frequency of publications, many tend to over-post during the first few months, and then gradually stop doing so after a while; this results in the official pages of many companies ending up abandoned and without followers. The important thing is not to post excessively, but to post intelligently.
The safest thing to do would be to make a plan or calendar in which to place which posts will be made each day, in this way you can keep your business networks alive and interesting. It is also valuable to avoid content that feels repetitive and bland.
Seriousness and realism
Maintaining a professional disposition is crucial to the success of any business, however, when it comes to digital marketing, too much formality leads to less empathy from the consumer. To avoid that, I recommend using a colloquial tone, which demonstrates approachability and engagement. Hospitality businesses could take advantage of a combination of everyday language and a more formal one, as a way to attract more customers.
Another aspect to consider is avoiding misleading disclosures, always advocating truthful and responsible information.
Images instead of text
Advertising should be attractive and concise, which is why photos and videos can be more beneficial than extensive text. Restaurants, par excellence, benefit a lot from visual resources; the proof is in the recent popularity of illustrated menus. Instagram plays an important role here; in fact, Instagram itself became famous in its early days for the food photos posted by its users; of course, businesses were the main winners during this phenomenon, and today it is still a very popular practice.
Videos, on the other hand, are able to give a complete view of the environment, whether it's showing a room, a common space, the bar or lounges. So you know, take lots of photos and videos! Practice makes perfect.
An extra effort in high season
It is true that, during certain times of the year, hotels, inns, restaurants, bars and cafes start to receive many more guests and diners, that's why it is important to increase considerably the pace of publications, of course, without forgetting to plan everything carefully.
Don't let technology overtake you
You may not be very tech-savvy and think that using digital platforms to promote your business is out of your reach, because you have no idea how to use any of the websites I presented and you don't even have an account on them. Well don't let this discourage you, there is a huge community of people on the internet willing to help you, you just must have the time and commitment to learn; I won't lie to you and tell you that it is an easy path to learn from scratch, but perseverance pays off and will allow you to learn new horizons.
You can take a look at our website Bliscop if you are looking for a POS Software for your hospitality business!