By Steph Jones

Social media for hospitality

January 2nd, 2024
2 min read

Our top tips to social media success in the hospitality industry

The way hospitality businesses such as restaurants, bars and pubs market themselves to their customers is ever evolving. Whilst providing great food, drinks and service will always be at the heart of a successful business, the effective management of social communities over Facebook, Twitter/X, Instagram, TikTok and TripAdvisor is becoming a necessity. With so many potential customers using these platforms to find places to eat and drink, social media has become a make-or-break arena for many hospitality businesses.

How can your hospitality business make the most out of these social media platforms in 2024? Read on as we share some key considerations to ensuring your social media presence leads to paying customers…

Community management and content creation

We can break down social media management into content management and community engagement. The difference is very simple. Content is material created by you and shared through social channels designed to appeal to your online following and your target audience.

Community engagement or ‘interaction’ isn’t about content at all, it’s about actually speaking with existing and potential customers of your venue. This involves responding to reviews, sharing posts and videos that feature your business, and commenting on posts within your community.

When both content management and community engagement work cohesively, you have the best chance of success for your business. Get in touch with our teams for if you need support with either aspect of hospitality social media.

Ideas to make social media work in hospitality

Here are a few of the various exciting and innovative ways the hospitality sector can use customer social media updates to their advantage:  

  1. See a smartphone on a table? Encourage bar and waiting staff to offer to take group photographs of guests, with an emphasis placed upon them then being shared online. Something as simple as taking a few snaps will enable hospitality venues to build a better rapport with their customers and extend their reach to their existing customers’ friends. The best part? It’s your customers doing the work for you.

  2. Make the most of the times where people are waiting for something; at the bar when they’re waiting for a drink, by the door in a queue, at the table waiting for their friend to arrive. This is when people usually have their smartphone glued to their hand and are looking for easy way to keep entertained. This is where bars and restaurants need to be present.

    Placing signs in these high traffic ‘waiting’ areas mean that you are within easy reach of updates from customers. The signs don’t need to be tacky or intrusive, just a small and strategically placed ‘check us out on Instagram @username’, or ‘hashtag your posts’ will do just fine.

  3. For some reason, we love taking pictures of ourselves in a good mirror. Many of us undoubtedly have a mirror shot tucked away in our collections somewhere, so brands should aim to capitalise on this reoccurring trend – why not draw your own hashtag or commission a bespoke mirror to put in your bathrooms?

  4. Online review management is seriously important. Ensure you get updates from Google My Business, Tripadvisor and anywhere else you’re signed up to receiving reviews so you can respond to each review as it comes in.

  5. Make the most out of TikTok. We don’t just mean behind the scenes of what your chefs are up to, or videos of your food/drink (although we absolutely recommend you do that, too). If you some down time whilst you’re closed, don’t  be scared to think up of some fun ideas. Bristol based Indian restaurant, Urban Tandoor, have amassed over 150,000 followers and over 5 million likes for their food related parody songs.

There are hundreds of cool and quirky ways brands can set themselves apart from their competitors. If you have any ideas of your own, why not get in touch? We’d love to hear how you would maximise the brand awareness of your own bar, pub or club. The crazier, the better – it’s all about standing out from the crowd!

Steph Jones.
Steph Jones

Head of Social

A hands-on Head of Social, with extensive experience across Charity, Retail and eCommerce, both agency side and client side, with brands such as WWF, Virgin Pure and Purity Brewing. Steph considers all facets of the customer journey through social and paid media, as well as creating engaging content in line with the business goals to capture attention and convert audiences.