Social media can be extremely powerful for drawing a crowd, particularly in hospitality where consumers suffer intense FOMO (fear of missing out). This fear can be leveraged to direct them into your business, commonly achieved by socialising with well know people through social channels. This referred ‘coolness’ works the same as it does in the real world. Customers see you interacting with someone they value and ascribe that same value to your business, thus you become the hip spot to be seen.
Another element of social media often overlooked is working with your competition to increase business overall. As the saying goes, when the tide comes in, all the ships rise. Venues that embrace this concept work together to encourage more customers into the market, thus everyone wins. A recent example was a group of companies that ran a series of bets on who would win the football. The losers had to adorn their bar with their competitors’ team colours, as well as performing some embarrassing dance moves in the other venue. This online banter, which was more fun than business, generated online chatter and engagement, driving customers into all the venues, turning into a win/win proposition for all involved.
This is the element of social media people forget, it’s supposed to be social. Imagine standing around at a party and someone walks up to you repeating “come to the footy this weekend”, “come to the footy this weekend”, “come to the footy this weekend”. Unless you are devoid of options, you are going to avoid this annoying guy. He’s offering no value, no fun and he’s not actually engaging you in conversation, he’s just yelling at you. This is a common problem with social media, people use it to yell messages, rather than have conversations.
The companies that achieve the most from their social media accounts are the ones that want to engage their audience. They banter with their competition, discuss the finer points of their business with their customer base and generally have fun online.