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How hospitality Industry can use social media to bounce back after the Coronavirus

The hospitality industry has suffered the most in this corona pandemic, due to the impracticality of bringing people together in shared spaces. But Social Media PR may help to recover.

There can be no doubt that the Covid-19 outbreak has had a profound impact across the whole economy. For almost all sectors, the consequences have been damaging, with some seeing reduced activity and output and others having to stop work together and put staff on leave.

While some firms have been able to limit the impact by having their staff work from home, this is impossible for the hospitality sector. 

Hotels, restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars, amusement parks, events, cruises, entertainment, and other tourism-related services have been obliged to shut their doors and wait. Even the potential prospect of the opening up of outdoor spaces will require a shortening of the current two-metre requirement for social distancing.  

That means for the hospitality industry, income is zero for now and could be for some considerable time to come, until social distancing is at least relaxed if not removed altogether. With many hotels, restaurants and cafes have closed in recent years, more will certainly follow, but there are ways firms can take steps themselves to survive and build for the future.

If ever there was a time for Social Media PR to come to the forth, it is now. 

Social media PR offers some of the best answers for any firm looking for solutions now. The online sector has been one of the very few to benefit from lockdown as people turn to their laptops and mobiles for entertainment. Netflix and Amazon have thrived as ordering online have become a way of life for many.

Using social media is something some venturesome parts of the hospitality sector have already done in various ways.

  • Many companies have used it to keep in touch with the customer and increase their visibility among the audience.
  • The creation of ‘virtual clubs’ has helped maintain a sense of atmosphere and community, an example being a Facebook page so popular it has had to recruit new staff.
  • There have even been cases of pub regulars setting up their own ‘virtual club’.

The great benefit of this is that while people are unable to visit these places, they will be keen to do so once the restrictions lifted. 

Future Social Media PR campaigns

The government has signalled its desire to open the hospitality sector up again with a focus on the safer environment. Given good hygiene and sanitized place will make customers experience safer.

A key question is how consumers might use the opportunity. As well as being able to enjoy a drink at home after buying it in a shop, people who regularly eat out in places like cafes and restaurants might have significantly expanded their home cooking skills. Therefore, some of that focus may need to be on food.

Good examples of a campaign might be:

  • Online competitions with meals as prizes
  • Polls on favourite meals or possible new entrants to the menu
  • A focus on a positive aspect of a dish, such as local ingredients or ethical farming

These will help maintain interest and get people thinking again about eating out at their local hostelry.

What platforms are best to use?

If you are planning a social media campaign for your outlet as the easing of lockdown approaches, you can use different social media platforms in various ways. It can be useful to use various platforms, rather than relying on just one:

  • Facebook is effective for a range of media, from photos to written posts, discussions and video
  • YouTube is a great place to put a lengthy video, such as something explaining how you will keep people safe when they visit
  • Instagram is good for images
  • Short and snappy posts are perfect for Twitter

Don’t forget, interaction with the audience is very important on social media at any time – and especially when people will have loads of questions about your re-opening arrangements.

How can Publicity Mantra help you?

At Publicity Mantra, we offer years of experience in social media management. We can help you to put together a campaign that works best for your business.

In these very peculiar times, we can devise something very specific to your hostelry and enable you to communicate effectively as you start to open up again.

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