Marketing tools have become more powerful than ever to drive business to restaurants and unique venues. With people staying close to home because of COVID, social media, your website, email, and other marketing platforms have become the best way to connect with customers directly.

On this week’s Social Hour virtual roundtable, we were joined by marketing expert — and 2019 EventCamp speaker — Dorien Morin-van Dam of More In Media to share her tips and best practices for restaurants and venues that are trying to reach customers as communities reopen after lockdown.

Morin-van Dam said that no matter what marketing tools or campaigns your business uses, it’s important to always think at the customer level — what does the content you’re posting mean for the people who come to your business and the things that need to change? That includes COVID safety protocols. Businesses need to stay on top of advice and requirements shared by local and state governments and use marketing to let customers know what changes they’re making to follow those orders. Being upfront and transparent about this make customers feel that you are being responsible and they’ll feel safe at your venue.

Posting photos and videos on social media will help to encourage your customers to order pickup or delivery, make a reservation for dine-in, or book events. It’s the power of show and tell, Morin-van Dam said. These visuals will stay in your customers’ minds and build trust with them.

Participating in Facebook groups is another great way to spread the word about what your restaurant or venue is offering. You can start your own group about food or restaurants in your area or join a local existing group that a lot of people follow to get information on those topics. Post about your COVID plan, pickup and delivery, indoor dining, event packages, your menu items, or anything else they may be interested in.

You can check out the full discussion by watching the recording of Social Hour: Using Marketing To Drive Business and Bookings During Reopening.

More resources for event professionals

If you’ve missed our past roundtables, you can access recordings of Social Hour online. Event professionals can also find more tips for the hospitality industry on our blog; by listening to our Two Chicks, Three Seats podcast; and by joining our Facebook group, Event Manager Community, to connect with peers and discuss the impact of the coronavirus on the events industry.

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