Social Media Management is a key activity in an integrated digital marketing plan for your hotel or restaurant and in this article, I will try to explain to you in “ospitalese,” the language I also spoke until 5 years ago.
It’s actually very simple: do you want to add additional revenue directly proportional to the investment made? If you feel old for such talk, see how to request early retirement, because you are condemning the company you run to a certain end!
I am Giancarlo De Leonardo, founder of Caro Collega, and until a few years ago I too was an entrepreneur and manager for hotels and restaurants. Today my first activity is to explain how you can increase your turnover by integrating digital marketing activities within your business. That is, bill more by increasing the number of reservations and/or the value of the average price charged.
In this article
- Which social media outlets to be on and why
- Why is social media management so important?
- Why is professional social media management necessary?
- On which social media should a Hotel or Restaurant have a presence?
- How to manage Facebook, Instagram and TikTok pages?
Which social media outlets to be on and why
In an increasingly connected and digital world, you need to have a presence with your hotel or restaurant on the most important social media. People, meaning your potential customers, spend hours on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, WhatsApp, YouTube, Telegram, Messenger or Pinterest.
If you want to add extra revenue to your business that is directly attributable to digital channels, you need to be ready to seize the opportunities that come with professional social media management. It’s not about just being present and posting random photos when they happen.
To get memorable results, you need to hire a professional to professionally manage your Facebook page, Instagram page, TikTok profile or Pinterest page.
Could you replace the cook you have in the kitchen or the concierge manager? Surely yes, would you get the same results? I think not, and I’m telling you because it happened to me. To each his own if we aim to be actually competitive.
Why is social media management so important?
Social media is the hunting ground for new potential customers. It is the place where people discover your hotel or restaurant. It is an environment where your potential customers spend several hours a day on average, and it is there that you must be able to present your business and convey to them how you will be able to satisfy them.
In short: offer the right message to the people who might be interested at the time when they are most receptive and most “vulnerable.”
So social media, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, WhatsApp, YouTube, Messenger, Telegram are a great tool for:
- Intercept a latent demand, make your company known, or increase the level of awareness of it;
- Create the greatest possible relevance between customers’ expectations and what they will find when they decide to visit you (photos, videos and precise explanations of what you offer).
Why is professional social media management necessary?
In a world where all cows look the same, would you notice a purple cow? I borrowed the title of a book by a famous American marketer named Seth Godin to answer this question.
Professional management of your Facebook page, Instagram page, TikTok page, Pinterest page, Messenger, WhatsApp Business, YouTube, or Telegram page can mean increased bookings and better positioning of your product.
In either case, translated into “ospitalese,” that is, the language understandable to hoteliers and restaurateurs, it can mean an increase in revenue.
Can you do this on your own?
Before I founded carocollega.com, I was in the restaurant and hotel business, so I know full well that managing the time available to a restaurant entrepreneur or manager is very difficult. No one would turn their attention away from operations, which is something tangible, to focus on digital marketing, which is intangible.
Yet, the savings on spending that a restaurateur makes is very little compared to the same amount of time if spent on acquiring new customers and developing business. Of course, when I talk about professional management, I am referring to the work of a Digital Dream Team of thinking heads that includes:
- A marketing manager who has the function of strategic direction and coordination;
- A social media manager who is in charge of publishing posts, Stories and Reels on the various social channels respecting the specifications of each of them (for ex: where to add hashtags, which ones, etc.);
- An Ads specialist who is in charge of setting up, following up and controlling the performance of ad campaigns necessary to give you the visibility intercepting an audience interested in what you offer;
- A video maker and photographer who are in charge of making the photos, stories and reels needed to promote your business;
- A graphic designer who takes care of making the content you need eye-catching: graphics, invitations, headlines, etc.;
- A developer who integrates new pages or promotions on the website or landing page that are complementary to the campaigns you have set up.
Consequently, the answer is NO, you cannot do it yourself for 3 reasons:
- It is difficult for a Hotel or Restaurant to afford to hire and open a digital marketing department of this magnitude;
- It is impossible for you to find the skills you need to support your business on the digital side and acquire new levels of business by paying them according to the CCNL;
- Furthermore, how can you imagine that this team might update and grow if they only deal with your business? After a few years (if you are lucky) you would find yourself managing a situation where your employees would make fun of you (it happened to me!).
On which social media should a Hotel or Restaurant have a presence?
Usually, we recommend having a presence on all social media. Because we think it’s okay to take advantage of any opportunity. It is a big commitment, but it is rewarding because each platform has its own well-defined audience.
Clearly, you have to start by making sketches or “buyer personas” of your target audience, so that you can figure out on which social media it is easiest to intercept them and go from there. But these are just assumptions that need to be confirmed through experimentation and daily work. The most important thing to point out when talking about Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc. is that they are born with the idea of connecting people with each other.
In our case, we are talking about Hotel or Restaurant accounts and the primary function they have is to show a potential client that there is a match between the client’s idea and reality.
How to manage Facebook, Instagram and TikTok pages?
Facebook, Instagram and TikTok are social pages that a business cannot give up. It is about managing the various pages by posting photo and video content and also creating a community around your restaurant, promoting special events, responding to customer comments and more.
The question to ask yourself in these cases is: what is the value we want to transfer to our potential customers so that they decide to follow us instead of our competitors? The biggest mistake I see in most hotel and restaurant profiles is self-referentiality, which is in addition to poor quality content.
In all these cases, you do not create the right engagement and the algorithms penalize you by giving you little visibility. Conversely, the opposite happens and the magic of profile growth and bookings happen!
Professional management of all social pages is not an option, it is a necessity if you want to carry a Hotel or Restaurant. And it becomes even more effective within an integrated digital marketing plan.
It’s up to you to identify a reliable digital partner, set achievable and measurable goals, and include a “Satisfaction or Money Back” clause. Easy, right?
Article written by Giancarlo De Leonardo, former hotelier and restaurateur, founder of Caro Collega