We probably don’t need to tell you that bars and social media go together like olives and martinis. It’s one of the most common pieces of bar marketing advice out there: Get on social media!
But what does that mean? It’s not very helpful for bars that don’t have much time to invest in social media or keep up on all the things they’re supposed to be doing. So, we’re going to make things easier with a quick guide on how bars should be using social media in 2019. These tips will give you maximum exposure online and generate powerful word of mouth – without wasting your time.
Use Images to Define Your Bar
Bars are naturally an image-friendly business! If you aren’t posting images on social media, you need to start. If you’re worried about taking images that look good, look for employees that have social media experience or consider hiring a professional for a series. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are all great places to post. Instagram is particularly important for bars: 80% of Instagrammers follow businesses on Instagram, and it’s the number one social media site for people under the age of 35 – you really want to have a presence there.
- Pics of Food and Drink: This is the obvious one, right? Humans are very visual: They’ll respond automatically to picks of tasty drinks and delicious food or snacks. This also allows you to showcase your bar’s charm. How are the drinks served? How is the food portrayed? All the little details can help you out with these images, from salt on the rim to unique serving methods.
- Pics of Your Space: When people are trying out new bars, they really want to know how much space there is. Make sure some of your top pics are of the interior/exterior seating in your bar.
- Pics of Patrons Having Fun: Include some images of favorite patrons having fun or making silly meme – this shows your connection to your customers, and proves you have fans. Add favorite quotes to the caption for more engagement!
- Pics of Events: These images offer proof that your bar is a popular spot where people gather and things happen, so grab some pics of the action. We’ll talk a little more about events later.
- Pics of Your Menu: There are many ways to load your menus online, but it’s also a good idea to have some menu pics in your roster for viewers who prefer to see it that way.
- Watch for Posts You’re Tagged In: Ideally, you’ll have a couple hashtags that define your bar brand, which you can include with all your images. This also allows you to watch for images that other people have taken and tagged with your hashtags. You can share and reblog these images for added effect!
Fill Out Your Facebook Business Page
Facebook’s Business Pages are an excellent way for bars to advertise and bring in new traffic (both on and offline). If you don’t have a Page yet, we greatly encourage you to create one. And if you do have Page, you should check to make sure it is filled with valuable information that searching customers can use. List your correct contact information and hours of operation. Build out a menu page if possible, and use your food/drink/space images here so that people stopping by Facebook have a clear idea what you offer. Facebook can also show information like what your busiest hours are, which really helps people decide where to go. (Plus you will be able to gain benefits of social media, like analyzing what your target audience is saying about your service). Always keep your Facebook information current and specific!
Highlight Your Entertainment
What sort of entertainment does your bar offer? Do you have regular band performances, special music nights, or pub trivia? Do you have a day devoted to standup comedy, or a special ladies night? These events all have excellent synergy with your social media efforts – take advantage of that! Always announce your entertainment events online with social posts and, for one-time events, blogs. Take photos of the event when it happens that you can use for future content, too. And, when possible, encourage bands and performers to post about your bar on their social media as well, to reach a much larger audience.
Post Fun Local Facts
When people try out a new bar, one of their priorities is finding a place with a lot of local color, style, or cuisine – they want a place that’s really connected to the community and can offer a unique experience. One simple but effective way to demonstrate that your bar brand can provide these experiences is to make local facts and lifestyle information a regular part of your social media. Post helpful facts for visitors, interesting local happenings, and always highlight if you are getting an ingredient or drink from a local source.
Use Events to Encourage User Generated Content
We mentioned above that user-generated content is great to find and re-post (and a good reason to use your own hashtags). But you can also use social media to encourage people to produce and share their own content. From photo contests to basic “take a pic of what you’re drinking tonight!” posts, always look for ways to get people involved.
Encourage Check-Ins and Sharing Location
Check-ins refer to apps where you can check in a specific location to let people know where you are. Many social media platforms allow for this, and as you can imagine, it’s a particularly effective option for bars, where people have a vested interest in letting their friends know where they are. Here are a few ideas about how you can capitalize on this:
- Post Your Address and Contact Information Everywhere: Make it easy for location-based services to detect your business and when people are there. This is one reason it’s so important to be on Google My Business, YellowPages.com, and similar services. Always use the full name of your bar and make sure the contact information is updated and correct.
- Offer Prizes for Apps like Foursquare: People in your area may or may not still use Foursquare, but there are also many alternative apps out there that they could be using. Find out what check-in apps are popular with your community, and try to arrange events or prizes around them. The first “certain number” of people to check in get a drink discount, for example. This ensures that all their social media friends are seeing your bar, too.
- Ask People to Tag Your Location and Give Reviews: Just ask! Most check-in apps focus on reviews or at least have review features. So do Google, Facebook, and many other sites. Don’t be afraid to occasionally ask your followers on these platforms to tag your bar and give you a positive review. This can produce more results than you might expect.
Take Short Videos of Patrons Having Fun
Nothing embarrassing, obviously! But short video clips of your events are powerful content for social media. Did you know video marketing gets 66% more qualified leads per year than other types of marketing? It also provides valuable social proof that your bar is a hotspot and has fun events, giving people a reason to trust the brand image that you’ve set up. Remember to post these brief videos with captions that tell what’s going on, and how viewers can get involved themselves.
Do you have any more specific questions about social media for your bar? Are you interested in professional help with certain parts of your content? Take a look at our Digital Marketing page and see how we can help.