To get the best out of social media takes planning. Have I drummed that into you enough yet?! Once you know what you want and you’ve figured out a way to get there – you are on your way! All you have to do is to produce valuable content and information that people will find useful, unique and unrivalled. Ahem.
Now if you are a pub, bar or restaurant, using social media is vital. But you are up against a lot of competition. You also don’t have a lot of time, being very busy people! So how do you get your social media rocking in your restaurant or make your pub stand out from the crowd?
In my opinion, both Twitter and Facebook are your front running channels. Facebook will be brilliant for pictures, sharing promotions and connecting with punters and Twitter will be great at pointing people to Facebook, new connections, PR and of course, its in real time therefore you can tell people what is happening then and there. If you really want to get busy, a blog would be the next task. This would be where you really get to show who you are.
I have worked with quite a few establishments, set up an events agency for a number of pubs under one management, plus ran a successful bar and restaurant for many years. I have produced social media campaigns that have upped their game, increased their sales and enhanced their brand. I’m not giving it all away, naturally, but here are some tips to get you on your way.
- The hub of your business is your customers. Just like a database is to an event company. So USE them. Ask them for content, get them tweeting about you and @mention them, collect their social media addresses, Get photos and get them to tag themselves on your Facebook wall. You could make this fun and increase engagement by asking ‘Does anyone know this man?!…”
- Show your personality. Keeping things ‘brand appropriate’ is vital. Your target market will therefore already know what they are getting before they have come in. Of course, that doesn’t stop you from having a few surprises at the venue! We wouldn’t want them to be 100% presumptuous!
- Get to be the expert on Twitter and Facebook in your community. This will take time and you will most probably benefit from someone doing this for you, but once established as ‘the one that knows’ you will find marketing events and promotions much easier.
- You can search for brands, businesses and other venues in your community and hook up with them on a promotional tip. What have they got to promote that could bode well with one of your promotions? DO IT TOGETHER! You get their database and they get yours!
- What stuff happens in the real world that you could imitate online? For Example: A pub crawl. Could you devise with the other pubs in your area, a promoted crawl? You could utilise in house promotions and create a collective of pubs on Twitter. Which establishes you as the host/expert/creative thinker! Hashtag it and you are away! What about a #comedinewithme with a collective of eateries? starter at one, mains at another and dessert somewhere else? This could be a monthly and you all alternate so you all get to do a dish.
- Run an event for charity. Get tweeting and posting pictures and increase your database.
- Get your staff to tweet when they are on their shift. Chefs can post up recipe ideas, ingredients information, competitions, pictures of their food to entice people in and the bar staff could have ‘banter’ on twitter to give a real ‘familiar’ feel to the place. Remember, people like to be in the know!
- Put the best tweets of the week from your customers up in your bar so people can see them.
- Use Foursquare/Google+ etc. The Geolocation side of this is HUGE online and for bars restaurants and pubs it’s essential.
- Commission a 3-minute Video of your business. Not only can you put up videos of events or slices of life moments but you can also put up staff showing how to make the cocktail of the week. Similarly, put up videos of any acts performing at your bar. You Tube is as big as Google on the search engine front; this will most definitely raise your Google ranking.
Devise a strategy and plan a 6 monthly campaign. It’s really important to track your progress then you can see what works and what doesn’t.
Set up an account with Hootsuite or Tweetdeck and have a bunch of search terms – for people in your area, for locals, for any mentions of your business, products you serve, i.e favoured spirits/beers sold at the bar etc. Use the likes of WeFollow to find people nearby or that you want associating with.
If you would like a detailed campaign written for your pub, restaurant or bar, then please get in touch with me! I’d be happy to help.