Pubs rely on word-of-mouth promotion to get people through the door and buying their beers. Increasingly, this form of promotion is taking place on social media, where users are telling the world about their night out and ‘checking themselves in’ to a pub online.
It’s now, therefore, becoming increasingly vital that pubs use social media in their favour to build brand awareness and to reach their target market.
Here’s our handy guide for pubs using social media:
Find the right person: If you have someone in your team who is constantly stuck on their phone, don’t get annoyed with them, channel their enthusiasm into making them your social media expert.
Create a personality: There is little worse than social media by people with no charisma. Use punctuation or emojis to add some life to your messages. It’s not essential to actively sell all the time – a lot of selling is done indirectly by creating a personality that customers will want to come and meet and chat to.
Don’t overstretch yourself: You’re better to find a few platforms that you can specialise in, than trying to add content (badly) to many different social media sites.
Get a platform: Find a platform such as Hootsuite, TweetDeck or Seesmic where you can monitor and produce social media activity across multiple sites.
Know your market: the top ten most popular social media sites in order of usage are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, VK, Flikr and Vine. But you need to know your target market and what they are using. Facebook has three times more daily users than the next closest site.
Interesting content: Don’t just go on about the latest beers you have on sale. You need a variety of content when you are communicating telling new customers why they should visit, existing customers what’s changing, special offers to promote that slow selling beer, the new menu, pub quiz, the trials and tribulations of running a pub (but keep it light hearted). Most importantly, your Cask Marque logo signalling quality.
Plan your messages: Not all social media has to be spur of the moment or reactive to other people’s comments. Spend half an hour once a week with a couple of creative people from the pub and brainstorm a few messages which you are going to send out that week. Then schedule them so they are automatically sent at the most appropriate time. The message that arrives at 4.59pm encouraging people to the pub for happy hour may arrive just at the right moment.
You Tube: Is the second biggest search engine in the world after Google. With 3 billion searches a month, can you afford not to have a video of events, such as your beer festival, so people can see what they missed out on, or experienced? Film a tour of your pub or your food and drink range and interview your staff. It all adds to the personality of the pub.
Engage beer drinkers: Display your Cask Marque certificate in an accessible area so it can be scanned by customers with the Caskfinder app on the device. This logs their visit and the more certificates they scan, the more prizes they win. The pump clip scanner on the app displays tasting notes and interesting facts for all beers (not just cask), and creates curiosity amongst non beer drinkers when they see it being used.
Allocate some time: social media is a two way communication. Don’t contact people and then ignore their replies. Of course you are busy running your pub, but it only takes a few seconds to reply to questions and feedback. Your prompt reply about what time you open could be the deciding factor on visiting your pub or the one around the corner.