Social distancing encouraged and travel bans put in place led to an almost-immediate depression for the hospitality industry. Many hotels and resorts have already made the decision to temporarily close their doors. No guests means no cash flow, and with resources quickly dwindling, companies have been forced to lay off, or completely terminate, a large amount of employees. The first departments to be cut appear to be social media, marketing, and PR teams. While we understand that businesses have to be pragmatic at this moment but leaving communication functions unattended or neglected is a mistake. There are multiple benefits to maintaining your social media communication during this time.
In our hospitality industry observations, the Midas PR team have noticed an influx in what appear to be automated posts on hotels’ social media pages. All these posts completely ignored the current situation as if nothing was happening. It is completely acceptable to plan and schedule your posts, as long as they are relevant to your audience, the occasion, and your key message. Coronavirus is relevant. Failure to acknowledge the situation portrays you as apathetic or inadequate. Posting beautiful nature landscapes with hashtags like #WishYouWereHere conveys a sense of tone-deafness. While it’s important to contribute some happiness to peoples’ feed, we would recommend to do so mindfully.
Being transparent about the steps you’re taking during this time will attest to your credibility. Maintaining full operations may not be possible; showcasing your adaptability, however, is. Whether it’s scaling back your operations, keeping present guests safe, allocating more resources to the custodial department, taking care of your employees, or arranging your restaurant seating to reflect social distancing, it’s worth mentioning. Your audience will remember that you prioritized people over profits.
Your social media feed has been regularly updated for years with carefully curated content according to your strategically planned content calendar. This content has generated loyal followers who clearly were enjoying it. Suddenly putting everything on standby will have consequences with people unfollowing your accounts. And this is now acceptable during the times when you need your customer base to remain loyal more than ever.
In the event that your establishment is closed, your online following are essentially your future customers now. Though obvious, it’s important to remember that followers are people that consciously chose to receive news about your activities and promotions. Whether they’re previous or potential guests, their interest can transform into a reservation. However, it’s a two-way street. In order to keep your audience engaged, it’s important that your business shows that you value them.
Balancing your communications, human resources, finances and other operations can all seem like a juggling act right now. We at Midas PR understand. In order to help our friends in the service industry, we have set up special packages that can take your communications strategy to the next level, and put you in the best position to grow your business. For further information please feel free to reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org