The social web can be used as a powerful market research and ‘temperature check’ tool. Essentially, venue owners and managers have the ability to see what people are saying about their venue in the online arena.
Venue owners can effectively gauge the external reputation of their venue (provided the venue is actually being mentioned online).
The easiest way to do a social media search on your venue (use a social media search engine such as www.whostalkin.com or www.socialmention.com) is by searching your venue name, or somebody associated with your venue – you’ll find out the ‘goss’ on what people are saying about you (Hint: Or… your competitors).
The social web is also a goldmine of consumer insights. Use a social media search engine to search for people’s opinions on new cocktails, beers, food or other products.
As a Communications Channel
Use social media to inform followers about important information or events regarding your venue. This could be about an event you are having, a wine tasting you are conducting, or any other information or event relevant to your venue.
As an Educational Tool
Use social media to educate your followers on topics related to your niche. Share the following educational facts:
- Information about one of your products
- Facts about a wine/beer/cocktail you are promoting
- The flavours in a new cocktail you’ve made
- The flavour profile of a new beer you have imported
- The style of cooking used by your chefs on certain dishes
- Current trends in the industry (customers love knowing what’s cool)
- Random facts about a particular product
By educating your new followers, you are slowly converting them into customers even if they don’t consciously know it.
To demonstrate Thought Leadership
The social web allows venues to position themselves as thought leaders or experts in their chosen niche. This is done by producing intellectual property and discussion points on elements of a niche. For example, cocktail bars can produce recipes for new cocktails and tasting notes for new spirits. Wine bars can discuss oenology and the art of tasting wine. Pubs can discuss brewing techniques.
One way to become a thought leader in you niche is by:
- Creating a blog (there are many free platforms available)
- Sharing thoughts, opinions and analysis of current products, recipes and events in the industry in the form of blog posts
- Sharing your blog posts on your social profiles
- Discussing your blog posts online and offline
Customers (and potential customers) perceive thought leadership and ‘expert status’ as high quality traits. This in-turn increases footfall, retention and sales.
To Increase Search Engine Results
Increase ‘organic’ or natural (i.e. not paid) search engine results by increasing the ‘social signals’ around your website. This means sharing links to pages on your website in your social media profiles. The end goal is to increase your organic search results using ‘social link authority’ produced by social activity.
Strategies to increase search engine results using social media include:
- Share links to your website in all social networks.
- Focus on sharing links to your website on Google+.
- Aim to have your tweets re-tweeted, discussed and shared virally.
To provide Stronger Marketing ROI
Produce a stronger marketing ROI by using the social web to amplify the reach and influence of your existing marketing strategies and campaigns. Strategies to increase marketing ROI include:
- Sharing offline and other digital campaigns with your digital community
- Extending offline and other digital campaigns using the reach of the social web.
- Gaining valuable insights from your followers (either by asking them directly or by observing as a third person).
Gaining valuable insights from other conversations occurring on the social web.