Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok: social media is becoming an increasingly important marketing tool – including in the food service and hotel industry. But there are plenty of potential pitfalls that can result in unsuccessful marketing strategies, dead channels and dwindling followers. How can this fate be avoided? With over two years of social media trial and error behind us, we at WAS Germany have learned a lot of valuable lessons. In this article, our Marketing Manager Lucas summarises a few of his most important social media dos and don’ts.
1. Post valuable content
Pretty pictures and offers are not enough – people’s feeds are full of these posts already. Valuable content offers something practical and useful, like tips and tricks, behind-the-scenes insights or information about products and ingredients. Recipes, stylish table set-ups and food trends all attract attention and generate clicks. People will also want to know about your opening hours, special events or seasonal offers.
2. Use video
Videos or reels are the hot format right now. Entertaining moving images are appealing to consumers and provide a more intimate and authentic insight into your company. There are plenty of options to get creative with social media videos: adding filters, text and music ensures a high number of views and engagement.
3. Plug your social media channels
What good is a professional social media presence if no one knows about your channels? The best way to spread the message is to add icons to your email or newsletter signature that recipients can simply click on. You can also easily spread the word about your channels on flyers and business cards.
4. Be consistent with design
The visual appearance of brands and companies is also important on social media. By being consistent with your colour scheme, font and design, you can create strong brand recognition. With each post, it is important to consider the look of the entire channel and that of your brand. This creates an aesthetically pleasing overall image.
5. Know your target audience
Do you want to use your social media platforms more to find new employees or to sell products? Think carefully about the people you want to address and what specific content they might be interested in.
1. Forget to interact
A successful social media presence also requires social networking – i.e., direct communication with potential customers. Not only do people appreciate quick reactions and responses to comments and messages, but the algorithms also respond favourably to post engagement and interaction. Ask your followers questions and try to initiate discussions.
2. Overdo the offers
It can be very tempting to use competitions and discount campaigns to attract attention, but using this tool too often can have a negative impact on a brand’s reputation. If customers have too many discounts thrown at them, they often react with disinterest and brand devaluation. It’s better to be selective and only post seasonal offers, daily menus or special deals, for example.
3. Post without a concept
No plan usually equals no success. Ideally, you want to create an editorial plan with fixed posting dates and a clear overall concept. Think about what content could be interesting and relevant for your target group and produce it in advance. This way, you will always have exciting posts up your sleeve.
4. Post irregularly
A social media channel is only successful if you regularly share new content. Be sure to stay constantly active, because if you don’t post regularly, you might not even appear in your followers’ feeds.
5. Downplay negative comments
An ill-thought-out post can quickly escalate into a full-on social media crisis. But fear not: readily admitting mistakes and employing good crisis management can help you rebuild trust in your company. If necessary, bring in a crisis communication professional to help.