Run a hospitality business? You need to be on Facebook, no question.

If you’re in the hospitality industry and your business is not on Facebook, you are already at a disadvantage because it is highly likely that your competitors are. Undoubtedly, most of your customers are already in this space too, so you need to meet them where they are and not expect them to seek you out. There’s a plethora of reasons of why you should be using social media – in this case a Facebook business page – as a hospitality business.

‘All businesses need to embrace social media in order to remain relevant. Internet searches for businesses often return Facebook pages and other social media platforms, so they can be the first points of contact for your business,’ says Cade Smith, Mud Bar Restaurant, Launceston.

The first thing to do is get really clear on your social media marketing goals. They probably look something a lot like this:
1. Drive customers to your establishment.
2. Increase sales.
3. Foster and engage the existing and new customers whilst protecting the integrity of each establishment.

Why is it important to get clear on your goals? So that they drive everything you do on social media to ensure you maximise the time (and money) you spend on each platform, particularly your Facebook business page. Print these out, look at them daily and commit them to memory – whatever works for you!

What do I put on our Facebook page?
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Here’s a list of content ideas to get you started:

  1. menu items or updates, chef’s specials, popular dishes
  2. how to make your “signature” cocktail
  3. wine/cocktail list and drinks specials
  4. meet the staff (a short Q&A and a headshot works well, or a longer piece can be linked from your blog)
  5. food and drink specials
  6. entertainment details, for example what bands are playing on the weekend
  7. images of patrons/social pictures (patrons can then tag themselves in if they wish
  8. images of food and drinks
  9. any media garnered
  10. overheard at the bar stories (try and encourage staff to remember quotes/dialogue that they overhear and write them down. Please remember to protect your customers’ privacy by not revealing any personal details.)
  11. updates on new décor or facilities
  12. upcoming events (give plenty of lead time, four weeks is ideal)
  13. prizes/competition rewards
  14. testimonials or positive feedback.

What is it that I need to do when managing a Facebook page? Or what will a social media consultant/manager do for me?
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To keep an effective Facebook page running, a good social media manager will do the following:

  1. monitor your competitors’ social media platforms
  2. promote the establishment where there is opportunity on social media platforms (eg, join in conversation, promote to various Facebook groups etc)
  3. create and source content that is effective and appealing – this can be in a variety of ways online and in real time (such as taking social photos)
  4. post interesting and relevant content that adheres to Facebook’s algorithm, keeping customers engaged and connected to the establishment/s
  5. reply in a timely manner to all interactions on the designated platforms
  6. keep abreast of any relevant promotional opportunities and feed them through to management for approval
  7. manage Facebook advertising budget, identify effective advertising opportunities, write effective ad copy and target key demographics so the advertising heeds results
  8. crisis management where necessary (we all know quickly a bad customer experience can go viral)
  9. analyse statistics to see what is working, what is not worth your time and what helps you reach your identified goals.

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