One of the biggest challenges of working across digital channels for hospitality brands over the last decade has been how best to manage local activity because we know, when you get it right, it can be incredibly powerful.

Now more than ever, people are looking to their local community for a sense of connection and belonging….

The National Lottery Community Fund identified that seven in ten people in the UK (69%) feel like they are part of their local community – over a third (35%) say that COVID has made them feel even more so.  

Pubs and restaurants should be at the heart of our community both on and offline! ‘Local’ has become a vital component of any digital marketing strategy and in this blog, we’re going to specifically focus on social media.

In the same way Google has rewarded companies for focusing on local optimisation, social media is the same. We recently presented at a General Manager Conference for a well-known restaurant brand whose local social media pages were eight times the size of their brand social channels. Engagement was much higher too.

So, thinking about social media, here are five ways to super-charge your local social media channels:

1. Training

A photograph of the Brew marketing team brainstorming local marketing ideas around a table.

Offer training to managers on social media. Think practical tips that are going to really help and support managers and their teams to make the most of their social media.

  • A survey is a good starting point to understand where their skillset is at currently and what gaps exist.
  • Training would ideally be delivered in-person, but in some instances this isn’t possible so online is the next best thing. It is, however, important to keep it punchy, practical and relevant. It’s also critical to include a takeaway and diarise a follow-up to check-in on how the teams are doing.

2. Social Champions

A group of Brew social media marketeers brainstorm around a table.

This is a tactic employed by brands we’ve worked with to create an additional layer between the brand marketing team and the pub and restaurant teams. You’ll typically find big differences in the understanding and skill level of managers when it comes to social - from incredible to abysmal…and everything in between.  

  • Grouping the most competent managers together to create a social champion team is a great way to cascade communication down to the pub and restaurant teams. Train-the-trainer is an effective and reliant method to reach their peers. 

3. Social media tools

A green graphic showing the What’s App messaging app logo.

A range of tools are now available to help manage this communication from the brand or central team to local teams.  

  • Tools such as can help share assets from the brand to local sites, propose posts around key calendar dates and can even schedule posts you might want to appear on all local social media pages typically around Christmas or offers such as Black Friday discounts.
  • Think through the role of these tools - there is also the danger of too much control which could undermine sites and take away that ownership. Talk to your social champions and identify a strategy that works specifically for groups of sites based on their capabilities.
  • We’ve also found WhatsApp Groups to be really useful for sharing content, tips, tricks and techniques as a broader team. There’s something about a group chat that can do what the tools can’t - it’s likely that the team will already be using these personally and it may feel less daunting.

4. Content planning support

2 digital marketeers deliver social media training to a room of workshop attendees.

A ‘key date’ calendar of activity is always a good starting point for supporting teams at a local level. These can be created online, as a PDF or even better as a printout that sites can stick on their wall.

  • Map out a calendar year highlighting key dates that local teams could tap into with their local content. This could anything from Easter to World Emoji Day. Having it on the world can help engage teams coming up with ideas that can be created for the site.
  • One better is providing teams with content pillars and tactics that they can also use. For each content pillar (eg. steak) you might have a range of topics you could talk about around this pillar (eg. cuts, steak and drink pairings, steak sauces etc.)
  • Tactics would typically sit in one of four quadrants – Educate (guides, infographics), Entertain (quizzes, competitions), Inspire (endorsements, reviews) and Convince (offers, sales). You could then pick a topic and a tactic and combine them together to create an effective post eg. a competition about steak cuts.

5. Social reporting

‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it,’ consultant Peter Trucker famously said.  

  • For us, reporting can help massively with engaging teams in the success of an individual page or the brand as a whole. Highlighting results and headlines from an activity and arming local sites with insight tools and instructions to measure success can work wonders.
  • It’s also important to show how they’re contributing to the overall success of the brand. Evidencing the impact of an improved local social media strategy or even just consistent team improvements can motivate teams to keep improving.

Finish your brew…

…and drop us a line to talk about our social media workshops and training. We’re more than happy to help with content planning too!

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