A few posts ago, I focused on the importance of a good mobile marketing strategy for bar owners.
This week I did some online research of bars worldwide. I had one question in mind;
How are bars using social media to grow their business?
Here’s what I found..
Combining images and text reaches out to followers in one quick post. This seems to be a winning strategy for bars. They’re using it across the board for events, new specials, and entertaining announcements.
Check out this brunch flyer posted on Instagram by The Butterfly. Images like this take a few minutes to create, and they really capture the attention of your followers.
What makes an even better digital flyer – a daily photo of your sandwich board! It captures your character, and it’s quick and easy too.
Many of the bars I found showed their industry interests (liquor production, bar tending) through Facebook and Twitter.
Posting material on a specific type of alcohol or food is a great strategy for bars that have a clear focus on one or two brands or liquors. The Flatiron Room, for example, regularly updates their Facebook page with whisky trivia and news. Toronto’s Bier Markt uses poetic Facebook posts centered on their love for all things beer-related.
Interesting facts about alcohol production and brands will not only help network with industry professionals, but also appeal to foodies and liquor enthusiasts. It helps create a unique voice for your bar, and situates you in a network of suppliers and consumers. (tweet this)
When a local newspaper or influential website mentions your bar, you should be sending out a link to Facebook and Twitter on the same day. This is the perfect opportunity to show potential customers that you’re well-liked by taste-makers in the community.
The same goes for shining customer reviews on Yelp or TripAdvisor. When someone takes the time to write a really great review, show your appreciation by sharing it through your social networks.
Bars are social places. Many of your customers love to take photos or post updates related to a their experiences with your bar. Reposting or sharing relevant social media is a fantastic way to engage with your biggest fans. (tweet this)
To track material posted by others, try following relevant keywords and hashtags. Also track your bar’s name using Google Alerts. This will give you a good sense of the online buzz around your bar.
Create a system where you look for the best posts every day or two. Share that person’s thoughts or images with your network to get closer to your patrons.
Facebook’s recommendations box for Pages is a great tool for bars to engage with their most loyal customers. Check out the Facebook recommendations for Whiskey Soda Lounge to get a feel for this feature.
I did notice, however, that many of the bars had meager or outdated recommendations. Try leveraging your closest patrons to rate and write a 1-2 sentence review. You only need about one every month or two to keep the conversation going.
Follow this process to add the recommendations box to your bar’s page.
If you don’t have live performers or art events at your bar, stronger social networking is a great reason to start. Looking through the Facebook posts of Sydney’s popular Governor’s Pub reminded me of this.
Artists and musicians tend to have wide social networks of young, fun-loving fans. Translation? Potential loyal patrons and social marketers for your bar’s brand.
Always connect with creative groups who are associated with you bar in any way. For each new band that uses your venue, reach out by following them. For bands that you enjoyed and want back again, Tweet or post a genuine compliment to their Facebook profile.
Bands and their followers will be impressed that you made the connection first – they’re often the one who have to initiate and push to connect with bar owners online.
Note: Almost every bar with a successful social network had their Facebook and Twitter icons in a visible spot on their site’s home page. If you haven’t added these to your site yet, do it ASAP!
Have you used social media to promote your bar business? Share your experiences in the comments.