Drinking and social media go hand in hand. From blurry selfies of car bombs to filtered Instagram photos of your craft cocktail, chronicling your night out has become normal behavior. As a small business owner, you don’t have time to commit to every social network out there, and you don’t need to.
The most important part of social media is connecting with your customers, so do some research and find out which platforms they actually use. Ask them about their favorite social media networks, and focus on those.
Here are our five favorite social media sites for bars:
You probably already know that Facebook is the most popular social media application among your customers. Use it to your advantage with a business page. Good content marketing is key to the success of your bar or nightclub. Post pictures of people having a good time, videos of a band you showcased or links to high traffic articles.
Organic reach is changing, and that means you’ll have to adjust your strategy regularly. Use contests to get your content in front of more eyes for free (almost). If you have a big event coming up, consider a Facebook advertisement campaign. Encourage your employees to share, comment or like your posts as well.
Pictures are a powerful tool your bar can use to leverage new customers and keep existing ones coming back. Instagram has grown to over 150 million monthly active users. It gives you the opportunity to engage with your customers on a more human level.
Avoid posting promotional or text images. Instead, focus on things your customers want to see. If you’ve got a unique beer on tap or a new bartender, highlight them. Don’t forget to like or comment on pictures where customers tag your business. If you’re having a slow day with nothing beautiful to take a picture of, consider reposting customer pictures with an app like Repost.
Like it or not, Yelp is an important marketing tool for your nightclub or bar. When someone is looking for a new spot to go with friends or a place to take their date on Friday, they’re probably going to check Yelp.
Make sure your profile is completely filled out with any keywords people might search for. If you have live music or specialty liquors, put those details in your bio! Encourage happy bar-goers to help you out by writing a review.
Much like these other networks, Twitter gives your bar the opportunity to brand itself and engage with customers. Listen to your customers with notifications and the search tool. It’s also a great instrument for networking and promotion.
Do you have a local beer on tap or wine from a nearby vineyard? Tweet with them! Don’t forget about the obvious use for Twitter either — promote your business and events like you would with Facebook!
The last network you choose should be based on the niche your bar holds in the local market. If you have a huge beer list, pick an application like Untappd, Taplister or Taphunter. Your fans can search for craft beers around them, using these apps. It’s important to keep these listings updated — a customer will be upset if they come in looking for a specific brew that’s already kicked. Some specialty apps also have cool features like sending out a tweet every time you tap a new keg.
Is Foursquare really popular in your area? Create a special on the site to thank customers for visiting your bar or encourage new ones to try you out.
Use this last network to showcase how special your bar is. There are specialty sites and apps in many cities. If you have a question about yours, let us know in the comments, and we’ll steer you in the right direction!