By Abbie Walker, Head of Social at www.curtisgabriel.com
Digital agency Curtis Gabriel has created a range of top tips to help hospitality outlets survive and thrive.
And now the North-East based company, is aiming to help other venues across the industry grow through digital marketing.
Abbie Walker, Head of Social at Curtis Gabriel, said there had never been a more important time for hospitality outlets to up their presence.
“We all know that the hospitality industry was one of the most impacted sectors during lockdown,” said Abbie.
“Consumer behaviour has changed and it’s vital that venues recognise that and use digital marketing methods to help attract customers in the immediate future and going forward.”
Abbie stresses the importance of creating video content which can be used on Facebook and Instagram Stories and on Instagram Reels.
“Utilising video content within a social media strategy is a great way of creating an authentic experience for an audience, showcase your services and your personality as a company, bringing your brand to light online,” she said.
Abbie also recommends working with influencers who can help engage audiences and often produce high quality imagery or videography which can be shared with a wider audience.
The social media expert also highlights the importance of user generated content – provided by customers or guests who have visited a venue – because this is a third party endorsement which is seen as credible.
“User-Generated Content not only generates excellent levels of brand awareness but helps to drive purchasing decisions,” said Abbie.
“Many potential customers buy from seeing reviews/positive feedback on experiences so it’s important to spread the word.”
Curtis Gabriel also recommends cashing in on key dates in the calendar and producing something specific for social media challenges.
“Key dates are a great way of linking in with key trending hashtags, celebrating specific hospitality events or campaigns, but most importantly being engaging for followers,” added Abbie.
There are numerous food and drink related days/weeks throughout the year so creating a calendar including any relevant ones means that venues can be well prepared.
Competitions and giveaways are another great way of creating followers and generating engagement which hopefully will also drive people to the venue’s channels on a regular basis to see if there’s anything new on offer.
Abbie also recommends personalising posts, introducing team members so there is a “human” face to the organisation.
“Content which gives a more personal approach always increases engagement and interactions from users online,” she said.
A meet the team focus is a great way of introducing a brand, personality and providing insight into who you are as a company, which naturally creates relationships with an audience.
There are many other benefits to profiling a team, such as showcasing achievements, talents, successes within the workplace which makes you more appealing in comparison to your competitors.”