The Social Media Handbook Best Practice Guide

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1 The Social Media Handbook Best Practice Guide Introduction Twitter VS Facebook VS TripAdvisor Which One? 1 2 Look & Feel 4 Social Media Posts When to Post Facebook Insights General Guidelines Gaining Followers (Likes) Responding to Negative Reviews/Comments Social Media Response Model 14 Extra Support/Training 15 1

2 Introduction Social Media connects people to their friends and the things they care about. People have always relied on friends to help them make decisions and discover new things, and one of the ways they can do this is through following and engaging with local businesses and brands. Using social media effectively will offer followers of your pub the chance to: - Be informed of events and promotions - Feel valued by being spoken to by the pub/business - Experience the atmosphere and personality of your pub before they even enter the building - Build a relationship with the your pub (understanding the business s personality) - Feel valued (two way form of communication) - Tell their friends exactly what they think of your pub Twitter VS Facebook VS Tripadvisor Which One? With multiple social media platforms available, restaurants and bars never seem to know which one to go for. There are three big players in the field, Facebook, Twitter and Tripadvisor. They are all completely different concepts, but then in reality do very similar things, so which do you go for? The real answer is all of them. Yes they do similar things, but they all have strengths in areas the others do not. Facebook Facebook is the largest online social networking site in the world. On average, this giant has 1,310,000,000 monthly active users, with 48% of these logging on every single day. To put it simply, Facebook is a global phenomenon and has been adopted by the general public and businesses alike. It s main strength for the food and drinks industry is that it acts as an online venue, where users can; ask questions; look at pictures; write reviews; check-in (show off to their friends they ve visited) and be informed about events and offers. One of the most exciting ideas behind Facebook (and social networking sites in general) is that it offers users the chance to interact with businesses like they would with friends. Whereas a traditional website might be used to gather information (looking at pictures and 2

3 menus etc), Facebook offers users the chance to engage and respond to that information, encouraging relationships to be built on an emotional level. Another thing to think about is that on average, a single user tends to have around 130 friends. This means, whenever a user interacts with your page, there s a chance 130 of their friends have seen that interaction as well. Twitter Although being launched in 2006, Twitter is often seen as the new kid on the block, and for individuals that have only recently grasped a modest understanding of what Facebook is and does, Twitter can very often be seen as something that is over complicated and offers little value. This however can t be any further from the truth; in September 2013 Twitter hit 1 billion registered users, with an average of 100 million people logging on and using Twitter every single day. It s the most popular social networking site in the world behind Facebook, and if used correctly a post can reach an exceptional number of users. One of the most exciting things about Twitter is its ability to share information quickly. A post is limited to 140 characters, which means anything shared is short, concise and therefore very easy for the end-user to absorb. Twitter s also encourages the sharing of information with its Retweet and Favourite functionality, both designed to make sure valuable information reaches as many people as possible. Tripadvisor TripAdvisor is the world s largest travel site, and reaches out to more than 260 million unique users per month. It s based on a community of users posting reviews about Holidays, Hotels, Locations or Attractions. Deciding whether or not to adopt TripAdvisor is out the question, if a user posts a review about your restaurant/business, an account is created and it just depends on whether or not you take ownership of the account. Taking ownership of the account doesn t mean you can delete negative reviews, but it does mean you can ensure all details of the property are correct, and it gives you a chance to respond to reviews (good or bad). TripAdvisor can be good and bad. If your business makes the customer happy then it s a great source of word of mouth promotion, if it doesn t it can have a seriously negative effect on the venue. 3

4 Look & Feel The look and feel of your Facebook or Twitter page is like your website, very important. It s very often the first impression people have of your business, and can also be used to identify whether or not it s the official page of the business they know and love. With this in mind remember to: - Use your correct pub logo - Use high quality images - Make sure your page represents the interior/style of your pub. - Your page looks aesthetically pleasing Both Facebook and Twitter offer businesses/users the opportunity to uniquely theme their page, but do differ slightly (please see below). Facebook There are two parts of your Facebook business page you can style: - Profile Picture (dimensions 160px by 160px): This is important as it s used in thumbnail form next to every post you are responsible for, so this needs to be instantly recognizable. The Logo of the business is usually best. - Cover Photo (dimensions 851px by 315px): The cover photo offers the end user the biggest impact as they enter your page. Make sure is represents your business and straight away sets the mood of the establishment. A professional pictures of the restaurant, bar, or rooms (or a mix) would be effective. 4

5 Twitter There are three elements contributing to the overall theme of your twitter page: - Profile Picture (dimensions 400px by 400px or similar ratio): This is important as it s used in thumbnail form next to every post you are responsible for, so this needs to be instantly recognizable. The Logo of the business is usually best. - Header (dimensions 1500px by 500px): The header should be quite eye catching, and again promote the style and brand of the business. It s worth putting time and effort into selecting the header image. If in doubt with any of this, or struggling to find suitable images, please don t hesitate to contact 5

6 Social Media Posts #Top Tips So let s get you started with some top tips that you should always remember when posting on your pub s social media sites. 1. Be authentic: Share what you're genuinely excited about and your customers will be excited too. 2. Ask Questions: Remember to include questions or statements with an aim to get a response. The key to social media isn t merely gaining followers, it s all about engagement. We want them to talk to us, just as much as we want to talk to them. 3. Be responsive: When people comment on your posts, show that your pub is listening and cares. If you need more time to answer a question, let them know you re looking into it. 6

7 4. Be consistent: The more regularly you post (4 5 times a week), the more opportunity you have for connecting with people and building trust. Setting a schedule for your posts can also help maximise your team s time. 5. Do what works: Replicate your success on posts that get more engagement. Make sure you keep a close eye your posts insights (only available on Facebook currently). 6. Use media: If you can avoid it, don t post anything without adding one of the following types of media; photos, videos, links or tagged users. Posts with some form of media in are statistically far more engaging than just plain text! 7. Shout about Events & Promotions- It s no secret, events and promotions often encourage repeat business and new customers. Facebook and Twitter as platforms are excellent tools to shout about promotions. Try to encourage followers to share or retweet your posts so all their friends see the content as well, and also make sure you create events on Facebook so users can confirm they are attending that given event (and by doing so show all their friends they ll be attending as well). Just be careful though. If all your content/posts are merely promotions or events, your followers will soon get bored meaning a drop in engagement levels and in the long run followers. 7

8 When to Post The table below offers information on when it might best to post on your social media account. The bigger and darker the spot is indicates when most people are online, the smaller and lighter the spot is indicates when the least amount of people are online. So for example, the best time during the week to post is Friday at 15.00, and the worst is Tuesday at With more people online there s more chance people will see the post! 8

9 Understanding Facebook Insights Facebook Insights is a great free tool that helps you understand how your page is performing. It s also very good at helping you to understand what content works, and what doesn t work as you can track each post measuring how many people, like share and click on it. Accessing it is easy; simply go your pub s page, and click on the button named See Insights located at the top right hand side of the page. The main items to look out for when on the page are: - Overall post reach - Engagement levels - Page likes - Individual post reach and engagement levels - The demographics of your followers (understand you you re targeting) - An how many page visits you actually have. For more information, please see Facebook s free guide on Facebook Insights. 9

10 General Guidelines General working guidelines Always work within the Portman Group guidelines in respect of reasonable alcohol retailing (http://www.portmangroup.org.uk/). Be approachable and friendly Invite comment and interaction Don t be political or express opinion on current affairs Talk in simple, straightforward language & cut the jargon Be personable introduce members of your team; give us a face & a name Don t post anything that may encourage racism, sexism or offensive comments Don t encourage irresponsible drinking Don t criticise competitors or try to undermine their campaigns Don t endorse other products or services unless there is a specific reason to do so Double check that messages are being posted from the correct account where you re managing multiple accounts Use good quality, approved photos When posting images with people in, ensure they are all over the age of 25 and you have their consent. If running competitions on social media, always include T s & C s (either via a link to your website, or as a notes tab on Facebook). Do not endorse our encourage down-in-one drinking When promoting drink offers or giving away prizes, be clear that we do not encourage irresponsible drinking, and instead suggest that the prize/promotion should be shared with friends. Facebook Content and Tactics Topical updates from Facebook Questions to fans about Beer, Wine and your pub. Polls Competitions Video content Images News and events Dates for the calendar Twitter Key Language & Lexicon The same as Facebook Use accepted shortened forms if need to shorted to get messages into 140 characters eg l8r, 2gether Content that should be included on regular basis 10

11 Facts & Figures did you know to inform about our industry/ your business Industry activity eg Cask Ale Week (and where it relates back to your pub). Competitions, quizzes, challenges General chat News and events Images and videos of customers enjoying the pub Dealing with incoming comments If not 100% sure, check the facts before you answer If not answering immediately, let the person know you ll come back to them Don t RT spam requests from individuals for eg fundraising events, sponsorships etc. Pub fundraisers etc to be considered on an individual basis General Etiquette Follow other pubs, supplier, other businesses and local opinion formers on twitter and Facebook Follow as many journalists, industry personnel etc as possible on twitter Follow regulars and fans to encourage dialogue Follow competitor businesses monitor ongoing conversations 11

12 Gaining Followers/Likes Gaining followers of your social media profile means a bigger audience to connect with, and ultimately more people seeing the content you post. This is what every business on social media is after, and because of that there is no easy fix. The key is to generate valuable content that people want to share and engage with. Below are a couple of extra things to try as well: 1. Run a competition that encourages users to like or follow your page, and then share a post. If done correctly, this is often an easy win for businesses when trying to generate more followers. 2. On Facebook try to find other groups, societies, or business pages local to your pub that might be interested in visiting. Then, simply Like their page and write a post on their timeline inviting them to like your page and visit the restaurant/pub. Using specific events or promotions within your post is a good way to do this. 3. On Twitter, much like Facebook, find other profiles or hashtags that might be interested in your pub and tag them in a post inviting them to follow your pub s page and visit. 4. On Twitter, follow pages that are similar to your target audience (i.e. Check their bio s out, and if they have Restaurant lovers, boutique hotel fan etc. follow them). This will encourage them and their friends to follow you back. 12

13 Responding to Negative Reviews/Comments 1. Be nice. This isn t just a guideline -- it s also a good idea as a business owner. It's difficult to win an argument with a frustrated customer, and you want to avoid burning bridges. Even customers who initially had a bad experience might come back! Keep your responses useful, readable, and courteous. 2. Don t get personal. Remember that you re replying to feedback about an experience, not about you as a person. In addition, your response is public, and your business name will appear as the "Author" when you respond to the review. Reply in a way that addresses the overall experience, and remember that there s a real person on the other end. 3. Feedback is helpful. Both positive and negative feedback can be good for your business and help it grow (even though it s sometimes hard to hear). A customer who has written a review has taken the time to invest in the success of your business. If you ve made a business improvement based on a review, thank the user and share the change. 4. Keep it short and sweet. Users are looking for useful and genuine responses, but they can easily be overwhelmed by a long response. 5. Thank your reviewers. Respond to happy reviewers when you have new or relevant information to share. You don t need to thank every reviewer publicly, since each response reaches lots of customers, not just one. 6. Be a friend, not a salesperson. Your reviewers are already customers, so there s no need to offer incentives or advertisements. Tell reviewers something new about your business. Share a tip or something they might not know from their first visit. 13

14 Social Media Response Model 14

15 Extra Support Please remember to use this guide in conjunction with any information gathered whilst on your CRISP course. If you have any questions, or need any additional training or support, please don t hesitate to contact or call on

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