Social media is important regardless of the business you’re in, but today we wanted to shine a spotlight on helping pub and restaurant businesses. Your sector has had quite the year – from complete lockdown to the lengths you’ve gone to to be Covid secure. We know that communication with your customers has been key at this time, and so social media is likely going to play a huge part in the road back to normal.

Keep Customers in the Loop

A trip out for a drink or meal looks very different these days and some people may still feel nervous to venture back out to the pub or for a meal at your restaurant. They may feel unsure of the rules, the latest government regulations and what the reality will look like. We recommend you tell them, and reassure them that you’re 100% compliant, walking them through how their experience at your business will look.

It’s also a good idea to share your own in-house rules: Your one-way system; which doors to use for entrance and exit; your current booking system and what cleaning and sanitising measures you are taking.

Being forearmed with this information will ensure your patrons feel as safe as they can and may provide the reassurance that you’re a safe place to visit!

Complete Your Profile

In the current climate it’s especially important to ensure your opening and closing times are clearly displayed across all social media platforms, as well as on your website. You want to let people know how to book and provide menu links too if possible. People know many places are offering limited menus right now, so they may wish to explore the options in advance.

We suggest having all the information a customer might need in one place, so it requires minimum effort to find it, make a plan and book to visit you.

Get Snap Happy

It’s really important to share photos of your pub or restaurant, the more up to date the better. Demonstrate your safety precautions and show other patrons enjoying their experience in a safe, socially distanced way. If your audience sees other members of the community visiting, enjoying and returning to your establishment, it’ll make them more likely to visit – humans are social animals after all! Do remember to ask customers permission before posting a photo they feature prominently in – most people will be happy to support you!

Open the Conversation

Use your platforms to provoke conversation and engagement by posting questions, polls, and asking people’s opinions. This type of content will give a much more personal touch to your social media and feel more community-focused and less ‘salesy’. Of course, do sprinkle in the information your customers need to book, and let them know what’s going on at the venue too, but a nice mix of engagement and promotion will help nurture your audience’s loyalty. All posts will ultimately market your business, but a quiz or poll asking people their favourite drink for example will be much less invasive and more fun.

These kinds of posts are also great ways to learn more about your audience and also works well as market research when deciding on your offerings!

Promote User Generated Content

It’s 2020, so everyone and their mum seems to take a photo of their meal before they eat it. If they’re not posting a selfie to share on Instagram! Make sure that your account handles are simple, easy to find and promoted by in-house marketing. For example, you could pop a ‘Tag us @ your pub name’ or ‘tag us using hashtag #example’ on your menus or Covid information sheets. (Why not make use of them for something a little cheerier, hey?!)

You could even offer an incentive for people who check in on social media whilst in your venue. Get them to show their waiter the post and offer them a small freebie on the house to say thanks! Trust me – the social proof is more valuable than a free Apple Crumble!

Next, reshare the content on your own social media platforms. This ready-made content is gold, because it’s free, requires no work on your part and will reach people in your audience and your customers. Win-Win!

Thank you to our guest Blogger Chantelle Davison – Choice Words By Chantelle