For many people, bars and pubs are their happy place. As Oscar Wilde said: “work is the curse of the drinking classes.” The fact that you, as a bar or pub owner or manager, have a place where people really want to spend some time, is a great position to be in.
As we know though, the bar and pub game is a competitive one. How do you stand out from the crowd to become the “it” place to be? What tools do you have at your disposal to create a bit of hype, or at the very least, a conversation about your venue?
And I’m not simply talking about setting up a Facebook page and throwing up a weekly poster of who’s playing on Saturday night. I’m talking about truly leveraging this sucker. Social media gives you intimate access to a wealth of possible punters, and often without the need for you to fork out a cent.
Here are just five awesome ways that your bar or pub can squeeze as much marketing juice as possible out of your social media orange.
Bring HONY to the Bar
Humans of New York is somewhat of a Facebook institution. For those who are unfamiliar, HONY offers insights into the lives of standard New Yorkers, who the interviewer simply bumps into on the street. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, everyone has an amazing story to share.
Bars and pubs are social places by definition. Why not take a HONY approach to your Facebook page, and post some customer interactions? While your posts needn’t be as in-depth or meaningful as HONY offers, featuring a patron not only piques the interest of that person’s Facebook friends, it also helps to make your venue feel more accessible and welcoming.
Deliver Some Fun Facts
What sort of social media posts will grab people’s attention? There are two main types – those that entertain and those that educate. Let’s have a look at those that educate.
Posting fun facts about bartending or liquor production can be a great way to gain followers on social media. New York’s The Flatiron Room is a great example of this – the Facebook page of this whisky-centric bar is regularly updated with fun whisky facts, news and views. It gives punters a fantastic reason to follow their page.
Entice with Exclusive Offers
Your followers have invested the time (albeit five seconds) to click “follow” on your social media account – why not make it worth their while?
Who likes free drinks? I like free drinks. Everyone likes free drinks. Even if you’re a teetotaler and that free drink is a lemon squash, you like free drinks.
Posting some sort of exclusive offer to your social feeds semi-regularly will give people a reason to follow you. A two-for-one offer or a free entry deal will have your followers seeing obvious benefits in having a relationship with your venue, and will have them feeling like a valued member of the community.
Ride on Your Entertainment’s Coattails
If you’re a venue that plays host to live music (or other entertainment), you’ll likely find that more-often-than-not your entertainment will have more fans on social media than you do. Whether it’s a particularly large following, or small yet committed one, hosting them at your venue brings access to a totally fresh fan base.
Ride on your entertainment’s coattails. By tagging them in posts, their fans will gain access to your social media feeds, and hopefully, some of them will make the leap to “like” you!
Invest in Professional Snaps
Many people in their 30s and 40s will be quietly whispering to themselves “thank God bar photography wasn’t a thing when I was in my prime.” Many of us prefer our young, drunken shenanigans to remain as hazy memories. But the game has changed.
Taking professional-quality photos and uploading them to your Facebook page on a Sunday can be a boon for your reach. Capturing people in their Saturday night element can result in share upon share upon share. The price you pay for a professional photographer can be quickly paid back in exposure if you get the right snaps – just be sure to watermark them!
Creative uses of social media avenues can result in a huge amount of exposure for your venue. By playing to your strengths, and involving your patrons, you could be well on your way to being the new “it” spot in town.