With social media becoming such an integrated part of daily life, restaurants and bars can benefit greatly from a solid social media strategy. Check out these 5 tips for using social media for your bar or restaurant to ensure you are getting the exposure you deserve!
1. Develop a strategy and stick with it.
Develop a strategy that aligns with your company culture and more importantly your customer’s. Your plan should account for the number of times you will post each week and at what time you will post. Make sure keep social media peak hours in mind (Facebook: from 10am-4pm Monday through Thursday; Twitter: 1pm-3pm Monday through Thursday). It is also important to remain consistent with your strategy. If you commit to posting X times a week, you must stick with it.
It is important to realize that while a social media presence is inexpensive, it does require a large amount of time. Your plan should also allow for its effectiveness to be measured over an established period of multiple months. After this period, evaluate your success and make adjustments accordingly.
2. Directly engage with your fans and customers.
Undeniably, the best way to turn a customer into a loyal customer is to engage with them. Building individual brand relationships with as many people as possible directly increases the likelihood of developing loyal customers. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. First, you should always acknowledge when a customer or fan tries to interact with you. For example, when a customer tweets your location you should favorite, retweet or respond to it. Second, you should post content that will be of interest to them. For example you should post and tweet when you change your beer list or put a rare beer on tap.
Yes, this sounds like a lot of work. Luckily there are some dashboards out there that can help. Hootesuite is a great social media manager that helps you manage all of your social media accounts from one platform to ensure you don’t miss anything. The TapHunter dashboard can also help! TapHunter automatically tweets whenever you change your beer list so your customers will always know what’s on tap. It also automatically updates your Facebook beer list.
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3. Pay attention to customer comments and complaints.
It is extremely important to track customer comments. The implementation of changes addressing specific customer comments will steadily improve the perception of your bar or restaurant. It will also make the customer feel important which will create loyalty. Many times, this can be accomplished subtly through increased employee training. On the flip side, ensure your fans and followers are aware of any and all good press your business receives by sharing or retweeting it. Utilizing your social media presence to create a constant loop of communication and action between your business and its customers will work to create a deeper customer relationship.
4. Offer special deals to your customers.
Offer special deals to entice your loyal customers to return and to attract new customers. Providing discounted rates and deals through social media for your customers demonstrates to them that they are valued patrons.This in turn will make your customers feel special and will increase their brand loyalty. These offers will also help draw in new customers to your location.
For example, tweet out a “secret word” once a day that the customer can tell the bartender to receive a free beer. This will not only bring customers into your location, but they will likely bring their friends and order more than just that one free beer.
5. Reach out to new people outside of your social sphere.
It is essential for any company hoping to grow to connect with new people. There are many ways to accomplish this. However, one of the most successful ways to do this, requiring comparatively little time, is to promote your blog posting or newsletter on multiple sites other than your own relating specifically to your industry.