What’s the secret to social media?

By PubFood

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Social media Sociology Question

Karen Fewell believes you need to entertain on social networks to get customers to engage with you
Karen Fewell believes you need to entertain on social networks to get customers to engage with you
Karen Fewell, founder of @DigitalBlonde, a digital marketing consultancy and marketing training company for the hospitality industry helps answer the question

Both my parents were hoteliers, so I grew up in hospitality and was probably learning about pubs and bars from the age of two. I feel very fortunate to use my marketing skills in an industry I am passionate about. When we go to see clients, one of the first questions we’re asked is ‘what’s the secret to make social media work for us?’  There is no magic solution; being successful takes time, strategy and understanding, however I wanted to help our clients by starting a ‘secret’ of my own.

SECRET stands for Spark, Entertain, Connect, Reward, Educate and Trust.

This model was created using our knowledge and understanding of the brain and human behaviour.


When posting on social media you should be looking to spark an emotion, a conversation or an action – ideally this is to visit your pub or bar.  However, it’s very difficult to create action, without first sparking emotion.  Think about the emotions that would drive people to your venue. Remember emotions will vary between days and times so don’t just think about what you post, think about when you post it.


Constantly posting sales messages won’t work as people don’t go online to be sold to. In fact, 50% of people go on social networks to waste time so you need to be sharing something that will be of interest to them.


People won’t connect with you because you tell them they should.  Followers are looking to connect with people or businesses that share the same values and beliefs.


We manage several client social media accounts and always try and make their followers feel awesome. When you have made someone feel awesome they are motivated to do something for you. For example, thanking someone who has been to your venue, asking them a question about their visit and remembering something interesting they said to you, are all simple ways of making them feel special.


Marketing via education is very powerful so have a think about how you can educate your followers through social media.


If you are saying one thing in your marketing messages and your customers are saying something different in the digital world you will get caught out. It doesn’t matter whether you have a digital presence or not, people will talk about you if they want to. Simply listening to what people are saying about you is one of the best things you can do. 


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