It's time to target your audience and start spending on communications that convey the creativity and quality of your brand, says Daniel Andrews.
Hospitality has had its big reopening. Brits are desperate to eat, drink and spend time together, and companies, such as Premier Inn owner Whitbread, are seeing their share prices bounce back after a difficult 2020. With the return of indoor eating, there's real optimism in the air.
Hospitality businesses showed incredible ingenuity all throughout last year, serving customers from behind closed doors and adapting their products and services accordingly. Even though those restrictions have loosened, these new ways of working and the culture of agility are here to stay, and social media is a powerful means to stay successful in an uncertain post-pandemic world.
As a tool for connecting with your communities, strengthening your brand, driving brand awareness, increasing sales and much more, social media has no comparison. It lets you be adaptable, and in a volatile landscape, adaptability is everything.
But how? Without social know-how or an in-house team or agency to support your efforts, the idea of throwing money and time at your social media channels can be daunting or ineffective. So here are the best ways to get the most out of your social media in the post-Covid era.
Use personas to understand your audience
Use social insight, analytics, desktop research and community engagement to find out who your audiences are and deliver more targeted content and creative posts. Really strive to understand who they are as individuals. Get to the heart of their motivations, passions and tastes. Give them names and personas and empathise with them. Segmenting audiences and channels will make your content sing.
As a tool for connecting with your communities, strengthening your brand, driving brand awareness, increasing sales and much more, social media has no comparison
Understand who you're communicating with by localising your message
Of course, not every brand has dozens of branches and a presence across the continent or the wider world. But for those that have or are thinking about establishing a presence elsewhere, it is important to contextualise your communication, even while preserving consistency and coherence. Empower local teams to write for local communities. Be sensitive to the surrounding culture, empathetic and inclusive. Use brand and social playbooks to maintain consistency; hyper-localisation is smart, but it must still align with your overall strategy.
Consider premium content
It's more than food porn. Compared to search and email marketing, social might seem immature, but it's now a legitimate channel for customer acquisition, re-marketing and engagement, and most e-commerce teams are ramping up investment in it. Premium content, photography and video are driving great results for these brands, yielding brand loyalty and creating opportunities to generate new revenue streams. Weak social media provokes negative emotional responses in less than a second.
Involve yourself in the social world around you. Monitor social media trends and respond to them. Reactions by brands like Burger King, KFC and Wenzel's to #WeetabixGate on Twitter (where baked beans were suggested by the brand as an alternative cereal topping) provoked millions of interactions, driving massive brand awareness. Connect with communities with interests that relate to your brand; it's crucial to staying relevant.
Invest in paid-for ads
Social advertising rose more than 20% in 2020 and more than half of all brand discovery now happens on social platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. With off-site trade here to stay, paid activity across social and shopper affiliate platforms gives you a scalable additional income stream. If you have complex multi-faceted audiences – families, late-night users, on-the-goers – it's the perfect way to target them without diluting your core message.
Daniel Andrews is founder of content marketing agency the Tree
Photo: F8 studio/Shutterstock.com
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