Christmas may be upon us, but there there are opportunities for seasonal promotions throughout the year, from Valentine’s Day to Halloween, and it’s never too late to start planning. Here we speak to Patrick Falla, founder of Hanger SW6, Alexandra Kovacova, events and marketing manager at Buddha Bar London, and Jing Li, business development and marketing manager at Mango Tree and its sister restaurants, to find out their tips for effectively using social media and email marketing for their seasonal promotions.
What is your email marketing strategy for seasonal promotions?
Alexandra Kovacova: Each month brings opportunities for special deals but that doesn’t mean we need to use them all. Highly targeted messages are our chance to stand out in the crowd but they require a long-term strategy because we will need some time and effort to collect personal and behavioural data. We invest in preference centres and website-behaviour tracking throughout the year.
Jing Li: I make sure to use visual and festive content design, a call to action, and email personalisation.
How do you use your email database to get the message to the right customers?
Patrick Falla: We communicate via a monthly marketing campaign for subscribers. We try to ensure that we don’t flood people with too many (or regurgitated) messages, and instead make sure there is either a relevant topic to document or something new we are introducing to promote.
Alexandra Kovacova: We plan every event very carefully and it is important for us to know who to target. Factors include knowing where people live, the general age range of people on our list, what complimentary products or additional services our customers may enjoy based on past purchases, and segmenting our email list based on how often someone dines with us.
How do you use social media in your seasonal marketing activity?
Patrick Falla: We have focused our social media marketing heavily on a geo-targeting basis as we’re a local restaurant, and it helps us reach our demographic.
Alexandra Kovacova: It’s never too early to start planning and we do not wait for the holiday season to start before we begin putting messages out – we use social media to create a buzz leading up to our seasonal promotions.
Jing Li: We create various pieces of content such as video and illustration to use on social media as well as using a relevant hashtag, and use social influencers to amplify the activity.
What are your big dos and don’ts?
Patrick Falla: Don’t talk about yourself too much; either focus on discussing something relevant that links with your business or focus on promoting what another source has documented, such as press or customer reviews.
Alexandra Kovacova: We don’t post too often to ensure we don’t overwhelm or annoy our customers. We also know when our followers are most active on social media and we make sure we post during those time frames. Also, don’t ignore comments. It is vital to engage with customers otherwise they may feel as if we don’t value their opinions, questions, comments or concerns. It all comes back to customer service.
Do you have one final piece of advice?
Patrick Falla: Make sure you’re trying to do something slightly different from the competition and always aim to differentiate yourself.
Alexandra Kovacova: Work efficiently, stay organised, publish compelling content and schedule everything for maximum growth.
Jing Li: Use eye catching content and influencers to amplify your activities.
Photos courtesy of Hanger SW6
To sign up for upcoming OpenTable holiday promos, log in to Restaurant Center, click on the Marketing tab, and select Seasonal Promos to choose a holiday and enroll. Don’t forget a personalised message for diners!