Tag : wedding venues

Social Media Marketing Solutions: Restaurants

0822-Go-Blog
22Aug

For the rest of the summer, the Go! Agency blog will focus on the social media habits of different industries. For each week in August, our first blog will explain common mistakes made by an industry; our second blog will explain how to fix those mistakes.

Thankfully you can quickly and easily correct all of the mistakes we discussed in our previous blog post. Let’s take a look at one restaurant that needs some help with social media strategy. (Note: The following example is a hypothetical case study that combines features from several different situations. Names, locations, and other details have been changed to protect the privacy and anonymity of source examples.)

After Drs. Sam and Colleen Holt left academia, they opened Kerberos Cafe. They have a solid business plan and have seen a lot of success, but they understand that marketing on social media would increase both their audience and their profits. Unfortunately, their Ph.D. programs in physics and mathematics didn’t really cover Facebook or Instagram.

Mistake: Not having a designated social media manager.

Sam and Colleen’s two children, Matt and Katie, help out with the social media when possible, and members of their staff will step in if asked. However, the kids are both in college and the staff members juggle multiple other duties.

Solution: Assign an employee to manage your social media.

Social media marketing needs to be a priority, not an afterthought. This is not to say that you should necessarily hire someone exclusively for this task, but you do need to have one staff member who is in charge of your social media profiles. Don’t just assume that the youngest employee is best suited to this task, either. Ask for volunteers, and choose an employee who understands how to use social media and (preferably) knows at least the basics of social media marketing.

Mistake: Mishandling reviews.

Shiro, the general manager, tries to keep up with Kerberos’ Yelp and Facebook pages. However, he is often swamped with other duties and can’t always reply to each review. Shiro once made the mistake of assigning shift leader Keith to monitor the page, which almost resulted in some less-than-professional responses.

Solution: Respond to every review (and review each of your responses).

The restaurant has a strict policy of approving all social media posts, so Keith’s angry retorts were never seen by the public. (Shiro was annoyed, but accepted the blame himself and moved on.) Shiro realized that the only way he’d be able to read and reply to every review is if he delegated some of his other responsibilities at the end of each shift. This situation is not uncommon; trade off one duty to fulfill another. Responding to consumers will benefit your brand, as over 70 percent of consumers surveyed claimed that prompt responses from companies on social media increased the likelihood for positive word of mouth. You must respond to your reviews especially: it shows that not only are you committed to improving your business, you are equally committed to customer service.

Mistake: Having sporadic updates and other scheduling issues.

Katie and Matt handle Kerberos’ Facebook profile, Shiro monitors the Facebook page and Yelp, and Allura covers Instagram. The restaurant had a Twitter account, but no one remembers the password or has had time to reset it. They all try to post daily, but sometimes a full week goes by without an update.

Solution: Get organized and pre-schedule posts.

Shiro had already reached that conclusion, and now blocks off a specific time for social media. Katie and Matt need to do the same. They should also look into a social media management tool that will allow them to pre-schedule posts: that way, they can just provide the content and not worry about posting at the optimal time!

Mistake: Not interacting with anyone on social media.

Katie usually posts about new menu items or seasonal specials, although she knows that the content can look boring. She doesn’t really share many articles and feels awkward responding to customer comments. She posted a picture of Lance–the cafe’s popular bartender–from a charity marathon (after much pestering from Lance himself), and was pleasantly surprised by all the positive reactions.

Solution: Engage in the social side of social media!

To paraphrase a maxim, a social media profile will not succeed on promotions alone. You must vary your content. Promotions are still a great tool, though! Kerberos should consider doing a promo available only to those who follow their social media profiles. A small incentive like a free dessert or appetizer is a relatively cheap way to drum up engagement and convert your audience into customers. This will also prompt user-generated content (UGC), because people love to post and share about getting free stuff!

Final Point: Prioritize your visuals.

Allura, the dining room manager, double majored in hospitality and photography. She even suggested ways to improve Kerberos’ Instagram page during her interview. Shiro was just grateful to find a volunteer, especially one whose photography experience consisted of more than selfies. Allura takes care to get the best lighting and ideal presentation for each shot. She also supplies Matt, Katie, and Shiro with images for Facebook posts and promotions.

Thankfully, the Kerberos staff understand the power of images in social media! After a little tweaking, they were able to get their social media strategy on point:

Are you in the weeds when it comes to your marketing strategy? We want to help your brand get the most from social media! Contact us today for a free consultation!

 

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Social Media Marketing Solutions: Venues

0815-GOCT-Blog-2 - Copy
15Aug

For the rest of the summer, the Go! Agency blog will focus on the social media habits of different industries. For each week in August, our first blog will explain common mistakes made by an industry; our second blog will explain how to fix those mistakes.

All the mistakes we discussed in our previous post can be quickly and easily corrected. Today we’re profiling a venue that needs some guidance with social media marketing strategy! Although we focused on a performing arts venue for our example, these solutions can apply to venues of every type. (Note: The following example is a hypothetical case study that combines features from several different situations. Names, locations, and other details have been changed to protect the privacy and anonymity of source examples.)

Les and Louis bought and renovated the old Coven Street Theatre with plans of transforming the dilapidated dance hall into a community hotspot. They have an eclectic mix of bands and events, including charity concerts, weddings, folk singers, quinceañeras, gothic rock shows, stand-up comedy, film screenings, and even open-mic nights. Claudia, their intern, is doing the best she can at running their social media profiles, but she admits that she’s overwhelmed.

Bad Visuals

Louis and Les agree that crowdsourcing photos from their audience members during concerts and other events is a great way to increase engagement–and an easy way to score free images. However, Louis wants Les to be more discerning when it comes to choosing which photos to post. Armand, a professional photographer and Louis’ boyfriend, has often pointed out that they chose inferior shots when better pictures were available.

Solution: Don’t post images of inferior quality.

There is only one solution to this problem (and, yes, we will discuss it in every blog of this series): you must get serious about visuals! Do not settle for low-quality photographs. Your audience sees your venue through the photos you post on social media; if you post amateurish, poorly-lit, badly composed, and otherwise low-quality images, that is how they will view your venue. Online visuals often provide first impressions: people will pre-scout before actually visiting a space.

Grand Theft Photo

Louis wants Armand to take a few photos during events, but Armand refuses to work with Les. It seems that Les has gained a reputation for using images from professional photographers without asking permission or giving proper attribution. Although he never used any images for promotional or marketing purposes, Les has alienated the photography community to the point that few pros are willing to work with him (or at his venue). Even wedding photographers are reluctant to shoot at Coven Street!

Solution: Make amends and follow procedure.

All you need to do is get a photographer’s permission to use the photo and then properly attribute the photo. Professional photographers are professionals: what you might consider a hobby is their actual job! They want credit for their work. If you don’t know who took the photo, then don’t use the photo. It’s a good thing that Les never used any of the uncredited images in Coven Street’s promotional materials because that would have been grounds for a lawsuit! Les made it right (after a great deal of harping from Louis), but he could have permanently alienated an entire industry. Louis and Claudia had to spend hours correctly attributing old photos–time that could have been used more productively if best practices had been followed from the beginning.

Constant Promotion

Even if their photos are sub-par, their posters are on point! Yvette, Coven Street Theatre’s events coordinator, designs all of their promotional materials. Louis loves her aesthetic (she moonlights as a freelance graphic designer), so he encourages Claudia to use Yvette’s posters as images whenever possible. Additionally, Yvette has told Claudia to promote every public event at least twice a day on each of Coven Street’s social media accounts. They need to spread the word, right?

Solution: Shake it up a bit.

Posting news of upcoming events and shows is informative. Only posting news of upcoming events and shows is boring at best, obnoxious at worst. Social media is about connecting to your followers, not pitching to them. Think of it as an opportunity to humanize your business. Post about your staff or give your followers a glimpse behind the scenes. If your venue is historic or in a historic neighborhood, promote that aspect! Show your audience why you love your venue–and why they will, too.

Bonus Solution: Connecting to the Local Community

Where do people go before and after a show? If your venue doesn’t have a kitchen or a bar, are there restaurants or bars in the neighborhood? Are there any hotels or bed-and breakfasts conveniently located nearby? Connect with your neighbors, in person and on social media. Consider running specials with your neighbors. Wedding guests could receive a group rate at a hotel, or nearby eateries could offer discounts to ticket holders of your venue. You could promote other businesses, as well: keep a list of preferred vendors for special events. With cross-promotions, everyone wins!

Les and Louis don’t have a lot of the social media problems common to many venues (Claudia takes her duties very seriously), but the problems they do have are pretty major. However, each can be fixed with a change in attitude and a minor change to posting habits. We’ve placed before and after shots of Coven’s Instagram profile below. As you can see, they have addressed all of their issues, resulting in more engagement!

Is your venue properly showcased on social media? We can help you optimize your social media strategy and maximize your results! Contact us today for a free consultation!

 

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Social Media Marketing Evaluation: Venues

0813-GOCT-Blog-3
13Aug

For the rest of the summer, the Go! Agency blog will focus on the social media habits of some of our favorite industries. Every week, our first blog will explain common mistakes made by an industry; followed by a second blog that will explain how to fix them. Think of this series as What Not to Wear for social media marketing!

Venues range from cozy wedding spots to massive concert halls. Like all industries, venues are not immune from social media blunders. Let’s discuss a few of the major social media marketing mistakes of venues.

Bad Visuals

The cardinal sin of social media is posting low-quality images. Some venues–particularly music venues–might think that edgy, guerilla-style pics add authenticity to their social media image. No, sorry: out of focus, badly lit, poorly composed photographs look amateurish and sloppy, not hardcore. A professional photographer is worth the investment. Speaking of which . . . .

Grand Theft Photo

Some venues and promoters have a bad habit of using photographs without obtaining the rights from photographers, and sometimes don’t credit the photographer at all! Not only is this illegal (stealing is generally frowned upon), it’s a surefire way to quickly burn bridges in the local scene. Don’t play fast and loose with intellectual property rights.

Constant Promotion

This is a major problem with venues. If all your posts are about events, how will the public get to know your brand? You should still promote every show, but you should also add some posts about your staff, your history, or even just candid backstage shots. Wall-to-wall promotion is boring, and risks alienating your audience.

Singular Focus

If a venue holds weddings, banquets, concerts, plays, and stand-up comedy, shouldn’t the venue’s social media feature each one? It might be primarily a music venue, but occasionally hold weddings; or it could be well-known for hosting celebrations like bat/bar mitzvahs, but lesser known for it’s off-site catering. While you should of course promote on the work you want to do, you want to look well-rounded. Your audience needs to be aware that your space can be used for more than just one type of event or function.

Not Updating Your Calendar

No one wants to drive hours for a concert only to discover upon reaching the venue that the band has cancelled the tour. A couple who scrambled to make their back-up wedding date work with everyone’s schedule would be understandably upset if they found out that a surprise elopement meant the venue was actually available on their preferred day. Mistakes such as these can be annoying inconveniences to major hassles–and always cause negative publicity for your brand. Stay on top of scheduling, and keep your social media calendars up to date!

Focusing on the Wrong Platforms

Do you really need a company LinkedIn profile if your venue is known for its thrash metal shows or romantic wedding gazebo? A business Pinterest page might be great for a wedding venue, but less useful for a concert hall. Figure out where your target audience is online and meet them there!

No Personality

If you focus on wall-to-wall promotion, you will obscure the venue itself. People want to know why they should attend shows at your venue or choose your venue for their event. You should explain what sets your venue apart from the competition. Is the building or neighborhood historic? Do you have a restaurant or bar? Do you cater off-site? Were you ever mentioned or profiled by a major publication? Sharing what makes your venue special is a great way to connect to your target audience!

In our next blog, we’ll explain how you can quickly and easily correct these issues!

Is your venue’s social media marketing getting bad reviews? We can help! Contact us today for your free consultation!

 

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