The days of sending are over. Your guests want to belong somewhere, to feel heard and seen and, above all, to participate. Social media is the way to engage with your guests and create loyal fans. The more ins and outs you know about the community, the better the results. This does require the necessary time of your community manager.
How to use community management and build a good relationship with your followers, we are happy to tell you.
What is community management?
Community management is about establishing relationships with your followers and guests. It is more than managing your social media channels. You really build a bond with your community members. You do this by listening to them and creating content together. Interaction is key!
Why community management is important for your hospitality business
If you know what your guests care about, it is easier to reach them. With community management, you immerse yourself in your target audience. What exactly does this deliver?
- Your content connects with your guests; you know what they care about and respond precisely to it.
- An active community creates a stronger bond with your guests; they are more likely to visit your business again.
- You receive feedback and new ideas: this is how you continuously improve your service and products.
- You create ambassadors for your business: guests who enthusiastically promote your business to their friends and family. This is how you attract more new guests.
How do you deploy community management?
Communities are seen on different social media, such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. Which platform you choose depends on your purpose and target audience.
Before you set up a community, it is important to establish clear guidelines. This is useful for your community manager. Especially if you have several hospitality businesses. And a follower strategy should not be missing either. How do you tackle this?
Choose the right platform
Instagram is the number one platform for influencer marketing, so it is also recommended for the hospitality industry to bet on it. Especially via stories, influencers inspire potential guests with the most beautiful places to visit. Read more about Instagram's capabilities here.
Facebook is also an ideal platform for a community. Reviews work especially well here. Let your guests share their experiences and find out what they care about.
Create guidelines for social media
What you want to portray as a hospitality business should also be seen in your community. Is
the service, for example, always friendly and informal? Then be so in
your reactions on social media.
Determine how you communicate via social media. What tone of voice suits your organisation and how do you deal with questions, comments, complaints and compliments? Be consistent in this, and ask your employees to do the same.
How do you find new followers?
If you are just starting out on Instagram or Facebook, you don't have that many followers yet. It takes time and effort to get more followers. So invest in this as well. Actively seek out potential guests through social media and follow them. There are several ways to discover new people and get new followers.
You can find popular posts on Instagram via certain hashtags. Find out who is posting these messages. These could just be potential guests. Also, have you thought about a hashtag strategy? If you post the right hashtags, you will attract the right people.
Like and comment
It's about building a relationship with your potential followers. Also like their posts and respond to some of their posts. This makes it more likely that they will also follow you and respond to your posts. Besides, this makes you stand out to others who see this post.
Both Facebook and Instagram are all about interaction. So you want people to respond to your post. By asking a stimulating question or calling to tag someone you would like to go out to dinner with again, more people will see your post. So the way to get a continuous stream of new followers.
How do you keep guests maximally engaged?
The more you engage your guests, the more successful your community will be overall. It's all about keeping your guests happy. Hospitality comes first!
Urge your followers to respond by, for example, posting questions, a poll or quiz question or challenge them with an exciting contest. People like to share their opinions and a delicious wine arrangement Winning is already great fun!
Reposting guest stories
When guests make an effort, they expect something in return. Do they post a beautiful picture on their Instagram? Then the least you can do is share their story! That way, they are more likely to post a story more often and tag your business. So a nice win-win situation!
Responding to reviews and comments
Do you get great reviews on Facebook? If so, always thank your guests for this. Also respond to comments under your posts or in your chat. Your guests undoubtedly appreciate receiving a personal response. And customer feedback gives you valuable input for improving your service and/or products.
Deal with complaints properly
Not as much fun, but very important: also keep a close eye on complaints. Who
Has there been multiple complaints? Are there other channels
used to contact about that complaint? Who handles the complaints?
The way you handle a complaint says something about your case. Act
you finish the complaint well? Your guests appreciate this immensely!
Automate answers to frequently asked questions
If you get a lot of the same questions, it is smart to set default answers. You do this in your Instagram account via 'Settings', 'Company' or 'Maker' and then 'Saved answers'. This way, you choose a shortcut and don't have to type the whole answer. Saves you time! If this answer is not satisfactory, make sure you keep up the conversation.
What content is of interest to your community?
Get to know your community
A relationship always starts with getting to know each other well. So does for your community. Who are your followers and fans? For example, look at to the statistics in your social media accounts.
What are the common characteristics of your followers and what are the differences? The better you know them, the easier it is to establish a relationship with engaging them.
Your fans and ambassadors are guests who frequent your hospitality business visit and who are very enthusiastic. Find out who often responds to posts and who has a lot of followers. If you have these use ambassadors as influencers, you will reach even more guests.
Let them try your latest dishes or spend a night in a hotel room sleep and then share their experiences.
Create relevant content
Fortunately, you don't have to come up with it all by yourself. Capitalise on topics and trends that are relevant to your followers. A trend about a new technology is not really of interest to your catering business. But that people are eating more and more vegan probably is.
Above all, see what content catches on. What do your guests respond well to? Post more of that!
The right time
Research what times your fans are online the most. You can see this in your account's statistics. In this way, determine the ideal time for a post. Do you go for the peak moment? Or do you consciously choose a quieter moment, so that you stand out longer in the timeline? Try out what works better.
Grow your online community!
You now know what is important to build a community. And how to keep your guests engaged before and after their visit through community management.
Are you ready to grow your online community? Or would you like to spar how best to go about it? We are happy to think along with you!