Thursday, 11 August 2016

Social media for bars and restaurants: five easy Facebook tips to build a community and enhance your brand

We know you've heard it a thousand times: social media can make or break your business.

Running a restaurant or bar is time consuming; unless you have a fully devoted marketing team, social media promotion can seem daunting. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube... where do you even start? And how do you promote your restaurant or bar? Is it worth it?

The good news is that it's a myth that you need to be everywhere all the time to see results from your social media efforts. It's better to choose one platform and do it well than spread yourself thin and communicate halfheartedly. 

But which social platform should you choose?

There are pros and cons to every social networking site; however it's hard to ignore the networking and communication powers of Facebook.


Facebook is currently the most popular social media site-with more than 1 billion users worldwide. Facebook provides your restaurant or bar an online space to engage with a captive audience, promote your business, build brand loyalty and receive valuable feedback from your patrons; think of it as an interactive brochure.

So now you have a Facebook page. What's next? How do you use it promote your business and engage your followers?

Here are five easy tips to creating effective Facebook content for your bar or restaurant:
  1. Be genuine and consistent

    You've invested a lot of time and money into cultivating your restaurant or bar's perfect vibe. It's one of the best parts of your brand and what your patrons seek when they visit your establishment. That vibe should be extended onto your Facebook page. Make sure the language and branding visible in your restaurant is also reflected on your Facebook page-keep things consistent.

    Your Facebook page is your greatest connection to customers beyond the walls of your business-it either enforces their image of you or changes it

  2. Provide value

    Nothing's going to get you unfollowed faster than spamming others' newsfeeds. Think of self-promoting posts as the commercials to your content; if your posts come across like a sales pitch, you're going to lose engagement.

    A good rule of thumb is to follow the 3:1 posting ratio-share three value-add posts for every self-promoting post.

    What does that mean?

    Well, every time you post something to promote your business, make sure to share at least three other posts that are interesting, helpful, interactive or funny-something that gives your audience a reason to follow you.

    Examples of value-add posts might be:

    • A recipe
    • Share a post from one of your followers
    • Something funny that's related to your content
    • An entertaining YouTube video that's related to your content
    • An exclusive deal: FACEBOOK DEAL OF THE WEEK: Free upsize to a large pop. The password is "fizzy"

    Promotional posts are only effective when your audience is engaged.

  3. Interact

    Social media etiquette follows the same rules as basic human interaction: it's typically considered rude to dominate a conversation by only talking about you.

    It's called social media because it's meant to be SOCIAL. You won't get much out of a conversation if you don't participate. Make sure you frequently interact with your followers.

    For example:

    • Respond to comments whenever possible
    • Like or comment on others' posts
    • Share positive posts and pictures taken at your restaurant or bar
    • Answer questions asked on your page
    • Address complaints or concerns; show you care about your customers and value their business

    Don't be afraid to initiate the conversation-there's nothing more engaging than showing an interest in someone else.

  4. Ask questions

    People love to share their opinions-especially on the internet!

    Asking questions is a win-win: you engage your customers and receive valuable feedback about your business. When your clients feel included in your decisions they feel loyal to your brand.

    For example:

    • Want to know which band you should hire to play next weekend? Create a poll.
    • Need ideas for a new cocktail? Ask for help.
    • Thinking of adding or removing a menu item? Ask for feedback.

    Asking questions is also a great way to start conversations that help you to interact (tip #3) with your followers.

  5. Include a call to action

    So maybe you've mastered creating the perfect post and building an exceptional Facebook community. Now what? How do you convert that community into actual business?

    Simple: include a call to action. Let your followers know what you want them to do; sometimes all you have to do is ask.

    For example:

    • The best wings in town are on for half price today. Don't believe us? Come in for lunch and see for yourself!
    • Here's a great article we found on how to grill the perfect steak. Share with the griller in your family.

    Suggesting a clear and concise call to action engages your customers, and also helps you measure and track the effectiveness of your post.

    Building an engaging Facebook community helps to build buzz about your bar or restaurant, attract and maintain customers, and enhance your brand. It doesn't have to take up all of your time. Just hop online, follow our tips and start building your tribe.

Join the controlPLAY Facebook community to learn more about how to elevate your bar or restaurant's brand.  

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