Whether you’re just starting out with your company social media channels, or you’re looking to build on existing skills, our Ultimate Guide to Social Media for venues is a great place to start.
Here we’ll cover the basics of setting up your company profiles the right way, and go on to cover the most important aspects of social media for venues, including what content you should post and how you can maximise your efforts.
Your sales team undoubtedly use the channels to drive business to your venue. Working on your company profiles, your content strategy, and your follower engagement will not only help them to build credibility, relationships and revenue, but will also boost awareness of your brand amongst your target audiences. Read on for our tips on how to get more value from your social media channels.
1. Optimising your company profiles
Building out your company profiles is the most important step for any business using social media channels. Your company profiles act as your shop window. This is where people will go to find out more about what your company is, who works there, where to find you and how they can get in contact. It’s absolutely vital that all the information visitors need is easily accessible via your company profile.
If your location or contact details change, you need to be sure that you update this on all channels, leaving no stone unturned. You don’t want to receive a call from a client saying they are at your venue and can’t find you, only to realise they’ve gone to an old address they found on LinkedIn!
As your social media profiles will be acting as your shop window, you should provide consistent information, messaging and branding across all channels. At HeadBox, we find different customer segments use different social channels. Nevertheless, all visitors to our social media profiles should recognise our brand, so the information and messaging we use is consistent.
2. Creating your content strategy
Different channels call for different strategies. LinkedIn, as a professional network of nearly 600 million professional users, is rife with event bookers from large companies. Your tone of voice should therefore remain highly professional. On other social networks you can have a bit more fun with your posting, with a more informal or even humorous tone of voice, always in keeping with your brand.
We recommend doing some thorough research into who your followers are on each channel. If you begin to see some patterns, you can create and promote some highly targeted content. To get started, there are four types of content we consider to be vital for any content plan:
A. Your venue
Whether it’s a historic building, an unusual founding story, or a unique feature, your venue has its own story and your followers should know about it. You should also regularly update your followers about new refurbishments, new Spaces available for hire, and any promotions or special offers you’re running. Promoting a special offer on your social media is a surefire way to increase traffic to your website and increase bookings during quiet months.
B. Inspirational content
The events industry is a competitive place. We all want to know the next big thing before it explodes. Help your followers be the first on the scene when it comes to new trends. Working at a venue, you have the inside scoop on some of the most unusual, trendy, and exciting events in town. Showing the world the amazing events at your venue is a no brainer. Everyone loves a good news story.
C. Thought leadership
Educational content is particularly relevant for professional networks like LinkedIn. Your followers on LinkedIn are much more likely to tune in during work hours. They are looking to find content that help them to grow professionally and to learn new things that will help them do their job better. As an event venue, you have access to a wealth of expert knowledge about the events industry that can tick these boxes for your followers. Topics your audience might love include stress management, sustainable events, tips to increase productivity, the latest corporate event trends, and running events on a budget.
D. Behind the scenes
The best way to build a relationship with people you don’t know is to let them see you. Authentic, insightful content that shows your team doing what they do. These posts are by far the ones that get HeadBox the most engagement. Keep it professional, no one needs to see your team on a night out, but there’s no harm in letting your followers see a fun moment you shared at work.
The only way to really nail your content strategy is to start posting! You will quickly discover which types of content are of real interest to your target audiences. Test and learn, be agile.
3. Growing your community
Forget about paying for contact lists. Social media is totally free, and the opportunity is endless. Put in the effort and you’ll reap the rewards. There are four easy things you can do to maximise your impact, for free.
A. Join in with relevant conversations
Your prospects will be communicating with other potential bookers and brands all the time, and the good news is, it’s easy to find where they’re congregating. Start by identifying a handful of influencers, and check out who they follow, who they’re talking to, what topics they’re interested in, what hashtags they’re using, what questions you can answer. Get involved!
B. Promote your social media handles
Add links to your social media channels in your email signatures, and replicate across your whole team. Anyone you email will be able to navigate to your social channels, so they can easily follow you and stay up to date with your news. Make sure that you add this information to any brochures, handouts, and other marketing materials.
C. Invite people to follow you
You likely spend a lot of your time in site visits and at events meeting new people. Invite them to follow you and tell them what’s in it for them. With an engaged following of contacts you already know, you’re much more likely to get bookings when you feature new deals and promotions.
4. Getting your team involved
One of the easiest ways to multiply your efforts on social media is to encourage team engagement. We see time and time again huge results from our social media activity when our own team like and share our content. Every time your team like and share company content, that content is shown in the feeds of their personal follower network. A post that would ordinarily be seen by only our company followers can be seen by up to 150,000 people.
If your team are behind your content, it’s much more likely to be trusted. Everyone in your company is an expert in their own skill set. Get them involved in the content writing process. Take advantage of the knowledge that’s in their heads and show your prospects how knowledgeable your team are.
5. Trying new things
The most important tip we can give you is to post a variety of content. Mix it up. Try long posts, short posts, images of your venue, images of your events, GIFs, scrolling image carousels, polls and videos. If your venue has any design capacity, infographics can be a really effective way to communicate more complicated messages. There are just two important things to remember:
A. Be early
Brands who adopt the latest trends on social media reap the highest rewards. Be the first one on the scene when a new feature is released.
C. Be on brand
Experimentation is all well and good, but your prospects still need to recognise or begin to know your brand. Don’t throw your brand guidelines out the window for the sake of testing. Your venue has a story. Make sure that your social media activity reflects that.
D. Be committed
If you’re going to log in once or twice a year, there’s no point logging in at all. Success on social media is all about volume and consistency. Be there when your clients want to talk, and post a variety of high quality content.
E. Measure your success
Setting targets is the only way to understand whether you are posting the right content, at the right time, on the right channel. Make sure your targets are measurable and realistic and monitor regularly.
Social media can seem like a huge project when you’re just getting started. You’ll need to do some research, get to know your target audience, and regularly check in on your performance to get the most from your social media channels. But using them more strategically can help you to see much bigger and better results for your brand.