November 9, 2016
THE NUMBER ONE MARKETING TOOL YOUR BAR SHOULD BE USING IN 2018
As the owner or manager of a bar, you know how many little things there are to manage from inventory invoices, rotating specials and menus, point of sale software, merchant processing chargebacks, and the list goes on and on and on. With some simple organization and prioritization you can make this barrage of responsibilities less stressful and accomplish them on time. So you’ve got your ducks in a row and are looking to take you bar or restaurant to a new level for the New Year approaching rapidly. While there are many ways you can pursue to increase revenues for you bar in the New Year, there is one that stands out in today’s day and age. Your investment in social marketing will not only be the best investment you make all year, but also a necessary one to stay competitive with the other businesses in your area. Your digital presence is now the façade and first impression your consumers get from you which ultimately makes it important to monitor and manage effectively. Creating marketing content for your bar and brand to promote through social media will help to spread the message about your business and why consumers should choose your bar over the competition. Let’s take a look at two of the biggest parts of managing your bar’s social marketing presence.
Updating Specials & Highlighting Events
Your bar most likely has rotating specials for certain days of the week or even times of the day like Happy Hour. Being able to effectively advertise these specials to your target market could be the deal breaker on a profitable day in business or not. As consumers, we are always looking for deals, coupons, discounts, and any savings we can receive… especially in the hospitality industry. A nightly drink special like a 2-4-1 or a Happy Hour deal can most definitely attract more customers to your bar. The key is to consistently publish content that your target market enjoys seeing but also touches on the daily special. Posting a variety of content will also help to keep your consumers on their toes and looking for what your bar can offer next. Along with specials, consumers oftentimes like to take part in events. Your bar may or may not host events for organizations, themed nights, and more types of gatherings; utilizing social marketing to promote these events can help you have a better event turnout. Often times, bars will create a marketing campaign around these events on social media to help build up the event hype and engage with local consumers regarding the event. In today’s day and age, VIP tables and other types of reservations can be sold or promoted through social media effectively. With more and more people using social media each day, it will be critical for your bar to effectively promote the weekly specials and events to increase monthly revenues.
Using your social channels to interact with your customers can help build customer loyalty and augment your bar’s digital following. Both of these things will translate to higher revenue for your business and most likely more positive word-of-mouth advertising – the best type of advertising. There’s two main ways to engage your target market and patrons as a bar that will help to draw more people into your business: digital engagement and “in-store” engagement.
- Digitally engaging with your consumers is defined as any type of communication or interaction your business has with your consumers via web, social media, email, and other types of digital mediums. Great examples of these are: event recaps on your website, commenting on or liking customer posts, email or SMS blasts with special updates, and messaging or responding to your patrons on social media. Let them know that you’re thinking about them and provide incentives for them to return to your bar. Delivering engaging content to your consumers is often times the best way to do this but monitoring the interactions on your profiles and pages is also important. Just as positive word-of-mouth advertising can go miles for your business, a negative review can damage your brand’s reputation. Digitally engaging with your patrons and future customers is about being proactive and reactive on social media to ensure that your bar’s brand stands above the others.
- “In-Store” engaging is the process of interacting with your current customers to help increase your bar’s digital following and reach. There are many ways to go about this but some common and effective examples are: receipt coupons, discounts and incentives for checking in, sharing your page’s post, and lastly point of sale displays. In the last couple of years, receipt coupons have become less effective as we transition into more of a mobile world; it’s common for people to avoid a paper receipt now and opt for email or no receipt at all. In replace of this, savvy marketers have realized that consumers are easily convinced to interact with your bar on social media for an immediate of future discount, free item, etc. This social engagement will give you a boosted organic reach that is similar to positive word-of-mouth advertising. The true cost of this is the tradeoff or incentive you provide to the consumer. If you’ve been in a bar or restaurant recently, it’s common to eye-spy point of sale displays. Bars have begun adding their social media handles often accompanied by a Yelp page link to help grow their digital presence and increase the organic reach as mentioned above. The more “in-store” engaging your bar is able to do, the more digital engagement you will reap in the future.
The best way to realize the importance of social marketing in the hospitality industry, specifically in bars and restaurants, is to observe as a consumer. Next time you’re enjoying a night out on the town or enjoying a meal at a restaurant, look around a little bit. There’s a good chance that you’ll be able to spot some kind of point of display sign, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Yelp stickers. Ask your bartender or your server if there are any kind of check in discounts or a loyalty program. Maybe you already saw a social media promotion for the bar’s special and that’s the reason you chose that place versus another one. As more and more bars realize the importance of using social marketing to promote their business, you will be able to see the signs everywhere as a consumer. As a bar owner or manager, hopefully you realize the immense value that can be provided to your bar by augmenting your social presence.
At Bloom Social, we specialize in managing bar and restaurant’s social media and digital presences. Our clients have seen exponential growth in their social media following and reach, more ubiquitous brand awareness, and most importantly, higher revenues. We work hand in hand with each of our bar and restaurant clients to customize a social marketing strategy that will be effective for their respective target markets. We provide brand consultation for free as part of this service and offer advice on how your business can make the biggest splash in your area. At Bloom Social, we value the effort and hustle of small businesses and want to see you succeed just as much as you do. As a strategic partner in your business’s success, few things are more rewarding than helping your brand grow and reach your goals. Ask us today how we can vamp up your bar’s brand image, social marketing, and digital presence! It’s time for your bar to Bloom!