The Importance of Social Media for the Hospitality Industry
It is important for the hospitality industry to utilize social media to its highest potential. According to Hospitality.net in March 2013, 50% of bookings within the industry came through the social media sites, with 70% of people in the United States being driven by social media to make purchases. This is great news for restaurant owners.
Engage and Share Your Menu
Google+ is a place to engage with your customers. Encourage discussions about your restaurant by starting them or join into current conversations to add more quality to the discussion. This doesn’t mean plug your restaurant everywhere! There are times when offering your expertise and knowledge is enough and then users can choose to click on your name and find out more.
This is also a great place to share your menu. It allows people to choose their meals before even visiting your restaurant. They may even choose your place to eat because they can check the menu and prices beforehand. To engage take menu suggestions from customers and share your ideas, maybe even setting up a survey or competition to increase reach.
Circle Other Businesses in Your Area
Networking is a great way to improve your profits and Google+ offers an exceptionally easy way to do that through circles. You can circle anyone you want and they don’t have to circle you back (but some will!). Circle the businesses in your area, especially those that can link to you in some way. For example, circle the movie theater that is across the road from your restaurant or the nightclub down the road. It is also worth circling businesses nationally and internationally that are linked to the hospitality industry, including other chefs, food magazines and television shows about food.
When you do circle, that isn’t the end of your efforts. +1 the posts from others and leave comments. This expands your reach with your circles’ circles. Others will find out about you and check out your page. You will also show that you support the businesses in the area and they may do the same thing in return.
Whenever you set up a social media profile it is essential that you are active on it. It’s called social media for a reason! If you have a stagnant page, people will not circle you and it will not help your business in any way. Engaging, communicating and interacting with others within your industry are important.
Too many businesses set up pages for them to disappear into obscurity. Don’t let your restaurant page do that. Interact with the other hospitality businesses in the area and connect to TV shows and food magazines to build your relationships and reach.
This post was contributed by Alexandria Ingham. Alex is a freelance writer with experience in technology, internet marketing and Steve Wynn resorts.