Each month at the Institute of Hospitality, we put the spotlight on a key topic within our industry. For this month, we are exploring the world of social media. It’s a subject that constantly changes as new applications and algorithms impact its success so it’s vital that marketers keep their knowledge up-to-date.
Digital Blonde has been helping businesses in hospitality with their digital marketing and social media strategy for many years, as well as speaking at events such as Hotelympia, The Restaurant Show, IFE and Propel to share the team’s vast expertise. In addition to training clients on how to manage their own social media activity and create a strategy, the team also manages social media accounts on behalf of clients. To celebrate the topic of the month, we asked the Digital Blonde team to reveal five apps its busy social media team couldn’t manage without.
Nicola Proud AIH, creative director at Digital Blonde said “As a social media manager for multiple clients I need to be able to respond to enquiries and produce engaging content wherever I am. I manage 75% of my working life from my mobile phone so it goes everywhere I go. Obviously, the key apps are the social networks themselves but there are many others that help our team with their roles.”
Did you know that 85% of Facebook videos are viewed without sound? This means when you post videos on social media it’s important to make sure they are captioned. Those of you who have used the Facebook caption tool will know this is time-consuming and needs a lot of checking and editing to make sure it’s accurate. This app makes it so simple to make, edit, and release videos with text. It uses speech recognition to transcribe text in your videos, converting them into subtitles quickly and easily. You will be amazed at how much time you save as the video can then be used across channels.
Sharing high-quality images is important as it shows you have really thought about the content. Nobody wants to see blurred images or boring, empty room photos on their social channels. When we are covering live events on social media, we often get comments about the quality of photos we share. Whilst Karen does have expertise when it comes to photography, all our photos are taken on a mobile phone which does bring some constraints. Snapseed is so quick and easy to use and you can edit, lighten, brighten and add a wide range of filters in just a few seconds.
So many times, you will see a photo shared in the wrong size or shape for a social channel. Many people just use the same photo across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn rather than edit where necessary for the particular network. This is mainly an issue on Twitter or LinkedIn when it crops portrait photos so when scrolling through a feed you may just see the middle of a person. Canva is a fabulous app for creating graphics for all social channels at exactly the right size. You can also use its huge range of existing templates to create professional-looking graphics.
These days it’s completely normal to see GIFS as you scroll through social media or even the messages on your phone. The movement of a GIF is an easy way to attract a follower’s attention as they look through hundreds of posts on a newsfeed. ImgPlay allows you to create a GIF in just minutes by joining together a series of photos or editing a video. We will use Canva to make sure each graphic is the same shape and size and then take them into ImgPlay to create a GIF or video. It’s one of the easiest apps we use.
Planoly is an awesome app which allows you to schedule Instagram feed posts and graphics for stories on both your mobile and desktop. It also allows you to layout your feed posts so you can see what it will look like in a month’s time, for example. If you decide to re-arrange pictures, this can be done in just a few simple clicks. You will also find it saves loads of time adding in hashtags as you can set up hashtag groups that you regularly use and just drop them into your copy as and when you need them.
Useful documents on this topic
We have a range of resources to help our members bring their social media knowledge up to speed.
Your customers make 99% of their decisions emotionally, does your marketing reflect this? In this webinar, Karen Fewell reveals how a little psychological understanding can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of your marketing. Karen talks through how to create compelling content and engaging stories for social media, covering everything from Instagram Stories to SnapChat. Offering you unmissable insights into the latest developments in digital marketing, this session will help supercharge your marketing and boost your business.
This handy resource from the team at Digital Blonde gives plenty of insight and advice on how to manage your online reputation.
In this news article, Louise Newman from Critique shares her thoughts on the role social media has to play in hospitality.
We’ve also produced a wide range of Management Guides on other topics of relevance to hospitality professionals, academics and students in partnership with industry experts. If you are not a member, find out how to join and gain full access to these exclusive resources.