Operators urged to grasp social media

Analyst says online marketing should reflect consumer web use


HOSPITALITY operators can profit by analysing consumers’ use of social media and review sites to inform their online marketing strategies.

The observation, from market analyst Deloitte, stems from new research suggesting 37% of consumers consult social media sites before deciding where to eat and drink outside the home.
“By understanding just how customers are using social media and review sites when deciding on where to go out, operators can use this knowledge to direct their online marketing spend and consumer engagement strategies in the most effective way,” said Jon Lake, director in Deloitte’s licensed retail group.
Lake said club operators in particular can benefit from targeted social media campaigns where there is the possibility for events to “gain momentum and amplification”.
However, he said there remains a question mark over how social media engagement will evolve and warned operators to “get ahead of the curve” in a bid to anticipate changes in socialising habits.
One recent shift noted by Sam Roddick, lead for Deloitte Digital EMEA, is the move away from email campaigns to more immediate and mobile technology like instant messaging and social media via smart phones.
“In this fast-paced digital revolution, it is important for operators to keep up to speed with how consumers use technology and not lose out on market share,” he said.
Meanwhile, online reservations specialist Livebookings has added two high profile hospitality operators to its roster.
The firm has signed contracts with Whitbread and brewer and pub firm Fuller’s. Both want to establish instant online booking processes in a move away from slower email systems.

Image: The need to embrace social media is increasingly important, Deloitte says.