Beyond just pretty pictures: Step up the game on social media
Welcome to world of social media where every brand wants to focus but is still wondering on what to focus on.
In my initial days of career, while I was working with an agency, my client had banned the use of these particular words in any of the press releases or social media posts. According to her, “Delicious is the most overused word on social media for restaurants. If my dish is tasty and so is the dish of competing brand then how is my marketing unique and effective?”.
Welcome to world of social media where every brand wants to focus but is still wondering on what to focus on. (After all, business to sales call se hi ata hai, pun intended!).
Experiment with formats
Don’t just stick to the tried and tested formula of putting a pretty picture and three beautiful lines about the subject and end it. Put yourself in the user’s shoe and try to analyze what would draw you towards a particular post? It could be an appeal- humorous or emotional, it could be topicality or it could even be a simple interactive post which encourages the audiences to comment. Play with videos, gifs, after effects, real time content to keep the content refreshing inspiring and relatable. The most number of clicks happen on posts which are either super relatable or super aspirational.
Behind the scenes
If you look at your own way of scrolling the Instagram feed, you will be surprised to observe that you scroll horizontally more than vertically. Yes, you read that right. Stories (be it on Facebook, Instagram or even Twitter) gains more eye balls. This is the place where you can post rawer and real time content from the kitchen areas, events, food festivals, celebrity visits etc.. With multiple Q/A, Surveys, filters, effects, you can create a mini show of your own. It also gives you flexibility for word play and image formats. Make it more human by engaging with behind the scenes employees and showcasing their #TrueHospitalityStories
On the face advertisement is a strict NO
Golden rule -People don’t come to the social media to read the content or promotion that brands are trying to sell. They look out for escapism or entertainment. So, as the social media experts, the need of the hour is to integrate your brand message with unique content. The target audience should absorb your messaging while he or she is busy enjoying the content. That’s the real Social Media Marketing.
Be careful & responsible with imagery
A picture is worth a thousand words as they say. Be very careful of the images that you use for social media, especially keeping current scenerio in mind. If the staff is to be featured, ensure that proper social distancing is made. A chef in the video must wear the PPE kit and gloves for any videos or photos. Even if you are lifting a stock photo, be careful as that photo represents your brand. Go symbolic instead of showing ten people for a wedding post.
Integrate safety measures innovatively
It is very essential to integrate the steps that the brand is taking with respect to enhanced cleanliness measures and safety protocols to assure the guests. However, please understand that as marketing community, we should take a more creative approach. A Dal Makhni at the end of the day is still expected to be creamy and buttery and not sanitized.
Here I will give you an example of what I did to promote the weddings post lockdown for Crowne Plaza Today New Delhi Okhla. I ran a digital media campaign called #TheIntimateWeddingProject, a series of posts talking about unique ideas of curating small weddings, yet classy weddings. The suggestions ranged from high end seated dinners to traditional Sajankoth Thalis, from assisted buffet service to mask themed mehndi, from colour coded wrist bands to communicate intimacy comfort to concepts like live telecasts of weddings and much more. The idea was to assure the guests that in no way their dream to have a classy and memorable wedding will be compromised due to government restrictions. As a team,we have the ability to curate innovative ideas and themes to design a wedding of their dreams with all the safety measures and government guidelines.
Look at each medium individually
An Instagram works on how bright and colourful the feed looks. Facebook has content above the picture while the Instagram has picture above. This should give us a clear idea of about the length of content in different mediums. On Instagram, the post rules with the usage of relevant hashtags by taking it to relevant communities. The same hashtags are as useless as ay in okay on Facebook. Instagram post when uploaded on Twitter hardly gets any traction ( let’s be honest). It is high time that we ponder upon how we can make the most of the USPs of each of the platforms. Once we understand the reach and relevance of each platform, we will able to run sponsored ads, lead generation campaigns and much more with much better precisions.
Revisit your traffic hours
Even a layman with zero social media expertise holds a view point that the traffic is maximum on social media between 8 am to 10 am in the morning and 6 pm to 8 pm in the evening because that is the time when people commute for or from work and spend time on social media. Now take a breath and revisit your social media statistics. With half the population working from home, the generic perception of consumer behavior pattern has witnessed a paradigm shift. Re-study the peak traffic hours of your pages and schedule your posts accordingly. Also a pro tip- don’t rely on perceptions like a layman. Every page is different so is the target audience.
Not Just Information Centre
Glow with pride that you are handling the official social media account for your organization. It is undoubtly the go-to place to know the latest buzz inside the brand.(Sometimes more updated than the website- #ConfessionsofAMarketingManager). But let’s not restrict it to an information centre. Assign good budget in your marketing calendar, set the right demographics, age groups as target in coordination with your sales and food & beverage teams and generate leads that translates into business. Keep a close eye on SEOs, PPCs and new formats.
Every team member is a brand ambassador and a marketing resource
Encourage each and every hotel colleague to share the official posts on social media. Say a post reaches 100 people organically. Now if you have 100 colleagues who shares the post and every colleague contributes with 100 more views. So the total reach of the posts automatically becomes 100x100. Now, out of those 10, 000 even if 10 convert into business, you are into win -win situation anyway. Help them understand why this is important. Don’t pre assume that they would know how to do basic tasks such as reposting, tagging, resizing etc. Work with them and make them a part of the process.
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