It’s becoming an art to use technology to help you rather than getting sucked into something because it’s what everyone else is doing.
Like social media.
Let’s be a bit controversial for a moment and suggest that social media is something that can actually hurt your business. How? Quite simply there are a plethora of ways that twitter, facebook and tripadvisor can kill your business.
Messages and reviews that are less than complimentary, fake news and the huge amount of time (and money) spent managing the whole shebang.
Very easy to take your eye off what you should be doing to address these.
For each and every negative review or post you’ll need to drown it out with great ones. Constant effort and monitoring. So much so it’s on your daily list of chores. Oh dear, it’s already become a chore.
Best not to sit and think about how many “conversations” you get into with people online but haven’t actually seen in your pub since, well, Christmas? Then you overhear someone at the bar say they are fed up of the rubbish on their timeline from businesses they’ve liked so are muting them all. So who are you actually posting news items to? Is anyone actually listening?
So the temptation is to reject everything to do with social media. Don’t need it. In fact, don’t even want a website. Stuff it, let’s go back to gas lanterns and we’ll setup stables for horses too.
There’s an increasing trend for people to “claim back their newsfeed”. For those in the social business sphere, the hospitality sector, this isn’t good news. The very people you want to reach are starting to fight back. Facebook know this, that’s why facebook adverts are increasing in number and cost. Facebook will never tell you who or how many have muted you, that’s bad for their business. They'll tell you how your shares and likes have gone up/down purely to get you to post more.
Social media marketing people will deny it ever happens because they want to sell you their services. The good old fear factor kicks in…”if you don’t keep up with everyone else you’ll get left behind”.
So how do you actually make social media work for you? First of all focus on the parts that need the attention. Check your reviews and messages and reply/resolve issues as fast as possible. Only post relevant information as you need to, not the same thing 5 times a day every day. Engage with customers via the comments, try to have customers lead the conversation, but you control it. Keep it light and professional.
Ultimately ensure you drive people to your website because that should be the central point of information. It has no distractions for people. Most importantly YOU control everything on it whereas with social media you are somewhat at the mercy of everyone.