Hey teacher, leave those kids alone!
So said Roger. School’s not for everyone but sometimes it’s good to put your knees under a desk and try a little back-to-basics learning, a little Marketing #101. For the first in a series, let’s take a quick squiz at the very basics of the behemoth that is Facebook, and how you can use it to the advantage of your hotel or restaurant.
Mark Zuckerberg’s baby
The founder of Facebook got started on this social media monster in 2004, or there abouts. Since then its influence has permeated our business and personal lives to the extent that I’m going to assume that your hotel or restaurant at the very least has a profile page, and that you know how to post on your wall. What we’re looking at now is how many posts, what to post, and when to post. ‘N stuff like that, yo (gotta stay down with those kids).
How many times?
So how many times a day should you be posting? New studies are constantly popping up which suggest how many times you should post a day and when you should post. A little confusing we know, but probably the main reason for all the varying opinions is that unfortunately the right answer is that it varies for each brand. This means that the best thing to do is experiment!
Vary the time of day that you post and monitor how much interaction you get on each post. How many people liked your post? How many people shared it? How many even saw it?! From this you can work out what works for you; maybe your posts see most action around 3pm, maybe it’s the late-checker-inners at 2am in the morning, or maybe it’s breakfast elevenses which get your customers going.
Other than this, as a very basic rule, stick to posting no more than once a day at first (a pattern that big brands such as iTunes and Coca Cola follow).
So know you’ve worked out when to post, what should you be posting? Kind of like the old adage ‘size doesn’t matter’, it’s not about quantity, but rather about quality. Think carefully about what you post i.e. don’t always make it sales-y. For example, instead of saying ‘Book your lunch online here’ and linking to your booking engine, instead say ‘Brr, it may be cold outside but we’ve got just the lunch to warm you up’ and post this with a picture.
Pictures are great as studies show that they entice more user interaction on Facebook than plain old text. Also think about linking back to your restaurant website with links to menus or pictures of your wait staff hard at work. The less sales-y, the less people will mind having you in their newsfeed.
You are so beautiful to me
What it is that makes you special? Why are people interested in your hotel or restaurant? Make a good ‘ole fashioned list and post content which follows this. For example, if you’re an Italian restaurant, think about your food, history, associations with your specific area of Italy etc. as well as seasonal activites such as Italian summer festivals. For example:
- Post little facts and snippets about Italy and Italian food
- Post photos of food or your kitchen team hard at work
- Post videos of Italian recipes.
Ooh videos. We like them. They stand out like a sore thumb on your feed. In a good way, of course.
Method in the madness
“Alright, this all sounds good but I’m a busy bee. I don’t have time to be sitting in front of my PC fiddling about with this stuff.”
And right you are! To keep your posts interesting and a bit more informal than your more traditional channels, use Facebook for your hotel on your phone. Post on the fly. It’s important to retain your brand voice but you can inject a little bit of fun as this is Facebook!
For example, take a picture of your doorman welcoming a guest and say ‘Here’s our doorman Mario helping to make sure your evening gets off to a relaxing start!’ If you have Facebook on your phone, making these more informal posts is a lot easier and allows for more spontaneity so that it doesn’t become a chore.
Oh no. Someone has contacted me. Eek!
Make sure you respond to any direct messages or people who have mentioned you in a post. Always keep an eye on any conversations on your wall and if people ask a question you can respond directly in the comments on the post as required. Think of Facebook as a two-way conversation with your customers. Like you’re in the pub or a coffee shop, but just all digital-y.
Lastly, a little deed poll…
As a last little tidbit, make sure you’ve changed your Facebook page name to something easy to search for. You can find instructions on how to apply for a more user-friendly Facebook name here
And that’s it! Now you’ve learnt your ABCs. For a little more personal tuition, Ignite are well-schooled in the more advanced stuff, so get in touch for a chat about how we might help.