How social media can help your bar or restaurant during the COVID-19 crisis
By Charlie Britten
25 Mar 2020
The coronavirus crisis has led to widespread disruption for bars or restaurants, but our Manchester-based digital agency can help you plot a way forward using social media and digital marketing.
The impact of the coronavirus has been felt through various parts of the economy, but bars and restaurants have felt it more than most. Initially through the urging of the government and then through emergency legislation, many establishments have been forced to close their doors.
While pubs have closed, restaurants have at least been able to continue in part as takeaways, which may have limited the disruption for those operating both sit-down and take-out services. Firms offering home deliveries may have actually done well, in the same way that supermarkets are taking on extra staff as worried shoppers rush to stock up.
The question is, can your establishment benefit from using digital marketing at this time - and if so, how?
How can social media help a closed bar?
For pubs and clubs, there is the prospect of weeks or even months of being closed. With no trade, insurance may kick in up to a point, but there are alternatives to just sitting tight and waiting for the crisis to ease.
This is where social media management can help. The internet is working close to full capacity as isolated people log on, so it’s important to get involved. By expanding your social media presence you can stay in touch with loyal customers and help build your brand reputation through how you handle the crisis. All the following will help:
- Regular posts will keep you in the mind of your customers and cheer them up
- You can help develop a virtual community, covering subjects like what people want to do when they can visit again
- You can highlight the steps you have taken to be safe
- Support important causes designed to help people - and make this a habit that will last beyond this crisis
- You can highlight promotions you will introduce when you are allowed to reopen
- You can feature products to maintain interest
Among the outstanding examples of social media innovation emerging in the crisis is the Facebook 'virtual pub' set up by a former pub landlady in the Midlands. Existing pubs could emulate this.
There are also a few things you should avoid doing via social media:
- Going quiet - people may forget about you and go elsewhere in the future
- Make light of the crisis - a mistaken attempt at humour could cause severe reputational damage
- Encourage irresponsible behaviour
What can social media do for your restaurant?
Your situation as a restaurant may vary. If you only have a sit-down facility, your situation will be exactly like that of the bar, with the same considerations applying.
However, if you do have a takeaway or home delivery facility, you should be using social media to highlight this. There are various elements you should consider:
- It is important to let people know you are open for business and when, since many firms have changed their hours and people may wonder if you have too
- You should be clear about when you can deliver and how far
- You may want to highlight special offers and discounts available for takeaway or home delivery
As experts in digital marketing for e-commerce in the UK, we advise strongly that establishments equipped to make home deliveries combine their social media with online purchasing facilities.
How can everyone improve their social media presence?
Whatever your situation, there is no doubt now is a great time to enhance your social media presence and output. This is not just because people largely confined to their homes will be online more now, but because effective social media can help you attract customers and maintain strong links with existing ones in the future when normality returns.
There are several ways of improving what you do using social media:
- Post more often and consistently
- Take time and care to make sure posts are of high quality
- Use high quality images
- Video can be very effective
- Consider using more platforms
The most important thing of all is to make sure your posts match your buyer persona. This is an archetype of your typical customer. It may be based on age, gender, income, tastes, values and much else, but you must understand this in order to produce posts that appeal to them. That can include the types of social media they use, as not all platforms are used evenly by different demographic groups.
How can BeUniqueness help you?
At BeUniqueness, we are determined to offer clients something extra during this difficult period. Not only do we provide great expertise in social media marketing, but we can also help your firm at a time of cash flow issues with a 30% discount on your first deal, along with 8 hours of free services, until the ned of May 2020. (This will then be followed by 15% off and 4 free hours for any subsequent deal of 6 months).
With the help of the best digital marketing agency in Manchester, you can deal effectively with the current troubled times and emerge stronger than ever when customers are able to walk through your doors once more.