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How can venues use social media to increase revenue in COVID-times?

UK Hospitality

Event venues, bars and restaurants are facing challenging times. Unfortunately, many have already been forced into closing down due to the COVID-19 lockdowns.

During the pandemic, the safety of customers, staff and communities is a venue’s top priority. The ensuing uncertainty means that hospitality businesses need to be constantly evolving. They need to assess business and marketing strategies to avoid being hit hard financially.

Marketing is an essential way to stay visible – despite the temptation to keep your head down and wait for the crisis to be over. There are actually plenty of ways that businesses can maintain effective marketing in a pandemic, with social media being at the heart of this strategy. This is doubly important at a time when competitors might be cutting back - in these times social media can be used to make a huge impact.

Increasing Digital Presence May Boost Revenue

Social media is the perfect tool to use to keep your audience engaged in these stay-at-home times. Keep posting on social media and using social platforms to stay in touch with your audience. This maintains your visibility to the public who aren’t strolling the streets as much and are instead using social media to connect.

Apart from providing worthwhile work for staff on your payroll who might be twiddling their thumbs, social media also allows you to generate a stream of communication with your followers. Essentially, any follower on social media can be thought of as an existing customer, or a potential customer and this makes social media very exciting. During lockdowns when everyone is bored, this is the ideal opportunity to hear them and provide interesting content to keep them busy.

Constant communication with your audience should be kept up, and increased during the pandemic. According to research, 43% of customers are reassured to hear from brands they know during this time. It’s a chance to share both sides of the story. 

You might hear that your customers would love to have your products available to takeaway – in turn, perhaps they can read about why you’ve decided to implement a new mobile ordering system to help make that happen. It’s a great opportunity to show that you have your customer’s best interests at heart.

Digital Marketing To Accompany Social Media 

Social media is the most instantaneous form of digital communication available. But there are also other ways of staying in touch even when physical premises are closed. Having a digital marketing strategy can complement social media campaigns well. For example, keep your mailing list up to date with newsletters and updating your website with blog content, new images and updates.

Get to know data

The key to any successful digital presence is having a brief understanding of data. Gaining a handle on your Google Analytics data will allow you to have clarity on your customer and understanding of how they navigate your site. This is a tool with which you can analyse your marketing budget and see the returns on various strategies.

2021 is the time to analyse and gather some perspective. 

Take a step back to review:

1. What you offer

COVID-19 has influenced – perhaps permanently – how we conduct our day-to-day. This is true for your customers too. Use the communication available through social media to find out how things have changed.

Are you selling things that are now irrelevant to the needs of your customers? Are there some services that are now indispensable? In the hospitality business it’s pertinent to start a conversation about food delivery, meals that work as take-out, mobile ordering and social-distancing during table-service, for example. 

This is a time to assess how the public sees your venue and what it has to offer them.  

2. Brand

Brand is more important than ever. Branding encapsulates much more than just a logo. Effective branding summons to mind an entire experience. 2021 is the year to think about what that experience entails for your customer and how that can be improved in uncertain times. 

Ask yourself; does anything about the branding need to be changed for the current needs of our target audience? 

Social media is a unique medium to paint your brand image. It enables you to emphasise the mission statement, company culture, customer service and tone of voice of your brand. This can be achieved through a good strategy of website content, messages and visuals on social media – and, of course, your logo. If your branding is working well it expresses your business's DNA. This will provide value to the business in terms of referrals and continued customer loyalty. 

3. Future goals

This unprecedented situation will not be forever. But it will leave an impact on behaviours and technology in the hospitality industry. 

Take time to consider how your venue is going to look in the future and plan accordingly. Monitor the changing needs of your customers with communication through social media and assess the data to maintain your businesses growth.  

For more information on how you can future-proof your hospitality business, take a look at Yoello - the mobile ordering platform. Plus, keep your finger on the pulse when it comes to all things mobile ordering over on our blog.

March 2, 2021

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