10 of the Best Promotional Ideas for Bars and Cafes Using Social Media

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There are endless social media-focused promotional ideas for bars and cafes – you’re really only restricted by your imagination and how social media savvy you are.

Here are 10 of the best social media promotional ideas you can use for your bar or café:


1. Team up with influencers

This is a great way to access a huge new audience. Get in touch with a local influencer and arrange for them to run a promotion for your bar or café on their social media pages. A great example of this in action is burrito joint Zambreros pairing up with Adelady, a local influencer in Adelaide, Australia.

Adelady hosted a competition where entrants had to follow both accounts on Instagram and tag a friend in the post to go in the running to win a year’s worth of burritos. The competition was entered by nearly 3,000 people, and the Zambreros name was seen by all of Adelady’s over 50,000 followers.

2. Social-only specials

Advertising specials only to your social media followers is very effective for building customer loyalty and for growing your social media base. There’s a broad scope for what you can do with social-only specials. You can make it as lax as posting to Facebook saying “$5 off cocktails for our Facebook friends”, or as exclusive as creating a SnapChat or Instagram story with the details.

3. Allow people to vote for what they want on the menu

People love to feel involved and to have a say. If you’re changing your seasonal menu, selecting daily specials, or creating a new cocktail list, post about it on social media and get people to vote by commenting, liking, or sharing.

4. Branded cups, sleeves, or wrappers

This traditional form of advertising translates very effectively to social media as good old-fashioned product placement. Everyone loves to take a snap of their coffee, their Friday night knock-off drinks, or their Sunday brunch. Make sure your visually-appealing branding is displayed in those photos.


5. Promote daily specials on social media

People turn to a website for information that doesn’t change, i.e. your opening hours, your address, your contact details. People to turn social media for up-to-date information and to get a feel for what a place is like. Use this promotional opportunity to entice people in by posting your daily specials. This also positions your social media pages as valuable sources of information for guests, therefore attracting more followers.

6. VIP events for your most loyal customers

Creating and rewarding loyalty is very important for many reasons, and it’s especially handy when it comes to promoting your bar or café on social media. Hosting an exclusive event for your most loyal customers will result in plenty of posts splashed all over social media by those very appreciative customers. This is very persuasive user generated content and will have everyone desiring to be a VIP customer of your bar or café.

7. Sponsor a community group

Allowing a community group to use your space to hold meetings or giving them a discount is a good look. Not only are you fostering community and therefore loyalty, you’re bringing in a group of people who are going to spend money, and it brands you as altruistic and generous.

8. Informational emails

Use your emailing list to distribute valuable information to your customers rather than spamming them. Pad them out with links to interesting articles and cooking tips or tricks, but throw in email-only discounts or special offers.


9. UGC competitions

Run a competition where customers take a photo of themselves with one of your products and post it to social media. This is not only a huge reward for little effort on your part, it also reaches a whole new audience with the very powerful user-generated content (UGC). Turn it up a notch by making it a like-based competition with the winner being the person with the most likes on their post. They’ll try extra hard to spread the word.

10. Celebrate the holidays

Throwing a Halloween party, Independence Day party, Star Wars premiere party, or almost anything in between not only attracts people to your venue, but it provides a fun and unique backdrop that’s primed for social media coverage. Any promotional idea for your bar or café that encourages patrons to take a photo and upload it to social media is powerful!

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