Social media: making a digital presence work for you
With many customers stuck indoors for the next few months, it's never been more important to make sure you're being seen and heard online.
Our 2021 Trend Report highlighted the fact that brand personality is increasingly important to customers. They may not be able to visit in person, but consumers still want to interact with the people behind businesses, and connect with their goals and purpose. So, with venue doors firmly padlocked until April, it's time to go digital with your story.
While the quagmires of millennial and Gen-Z populated platforms may look daunting, a few simple checks can ensure you're giving your business the platform it deserves. We caught up with Elisa De Luca, our Digital Marketing Manager, to find out more.
What's changed in the past year that makes it imperative for businesses to maximise their digital presence?
Well, no-one's allowed out! Before, businesses could deliver a great experience and share their values and brand personality during service. Now, the only way customers are going to hear from you is online - probably while they're scrolling through social media to pass another lockdown day. Over the past year, restaurants, venues and pubs have communicated updates on re-opening plans, takeaway options and cook at home experiences on social media - all shaping a future trend, where customers head straight to social media to find out information about their favourite venues.
Using digital channels can be a great way to demonstrate brand personality to followers
What platforms would you say businesses should be using right now?
Currently, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are the most popular, consumer-friendly platforms. With resource being an issue in hospitality right now, businesses who want to focus on just one channel should base their choice on their target audience. What platform will allow you to advertise your unique selling points to interested customers?
With just a little bit of research and some Sherlock Holmes-style digging, you will be able to get an idea of what channel will work best for your business. Think about your competitors: which platforms are they using, and how successful is their communication?
Lots of people have turned to paid advertising via social channels recently. What can this do for a business?
The great thing about paid advertising is that you can target it to reach your key demographics. If know that it's mainly women aged 25-30 who visit your business, and they mostly order cocktails and wine - great! You can set up your paid post to be delivered as an ad to this specific target audience. This means that the money you spend on paid social media activity is invested towards the users who are most likely to be interested in what you're selling. Paid advertising can deliver great results - especially when you need to build awareness in the digital world.
Any tips on what businesses should be sharing to engage with their followers?
You should be pushing your USPs. Do you do the best Sunday roast in your area? Great - let your followers know. Or maybe you're the only place around to serve incredible natural wines, or you have an inflatable bouncy castle in the basement - whatever it is, that's what you want to be shouting about to differentiate yourself from all the other restaurant or bar accounts out there.
Most smartphones can take quality photos that will grab attention on your social channels
What are the key guidelines to follow when posting?
Keep it concise and fun! Most people have social media for entertainment, so be entertaining. Let your own voice shine through, interact with your followers, and respond to messages - brand personality is very in right now, and that's what people want to see.
Walls of text can be intimidating unless absolutely necessary, so avoid where possible - and remember to communicate your key message at the beginning of your caption, rather than hidden amongst the rest of the information.
And, whatever platform you're on, catchy images are the way to go - it's not just an Instagram fad. You have approximately a second to grab people's attention with your post before they scroll on, so an eye-catching image will pay off. Most phones nowadays have cameras that can take great images, so test out your skills. Natural light, good angles, and a filter will all help.
Many social media platforms have fantastic guides on how to set up your own pages. You can find them here for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And whatever you use, don't forget to follow us at @bibendumwine to show us what you're up to.