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There are endless ways that bars and cafes can use social media to increase awareness and attract new customers. But even if you don’t have lots of time or huge marketing budget to spend on your online marketing, you can do a few basic things to boost your social media game.
If you’re one of those people who need the biggest bang for their buck, the biggest result for the smallest investment, here’s what you need to do.
These are the three most rewarding social media tactics bars and cafes can use to improve their online presence and get customers through the door. Even if you don’t have time for anything else, employing these three tactics will get your social media presence working double time for your business.
Investing Time in Review-Based Social Media
For bars and restaurants, review-based websites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and FourSquare are a hugely important aspect of social media. The potential to snag (or lose) new customers from these sites should not be underestimated.
For many of these sites, you don’t have a choice whether your business is listed or not, and it’s very much a case of “if you can’t beat them, join them.” You might as well make it work to your advantage.
It’s worth spending some time on these sites making sure that your presence there is helping rather than hindering your bar or café. You’ll be rewarded with increased business, including first-timers who you can then convert to regular customers.
The first port of call is to claim the space for your business on these sites. Make sure all of your details are accurate and add as much information as you can – opening hours, menu, website, phone number. Upload some pretty pictures of your dishes and your premises. It leaves a far better impression on potential customers than a sparse page.
Encourage customers to leave reviews on these pages. This could be as simple as a “please review us on Yelp” note on the bottom of the bill, or as elaborate as a promotion for 10 percent off for anyone who checks in on FourSquare or leaves a TripAdvisor review.
Then, of course, there’s the inevitable bad review. You can’t stop them, but you can respond to them. Respond to bad reviews soon after they’re left, address the issue, apologize if it’s necessary, and always use a “human” voice. Responding to reviews appropriately can go a long way to mitigating their influence on potential customers.
Spending this time managing your review-based sites is a rewarding social media marketing tactic. You’ll be rewarded with greater awareness of your bar or café and more new customers through your doors.
Partnering with Adjacent Businesses
A very rewarding social media tactic for increasing your brand awareness is teaming up with a business whose clientele are the same as yours yet whose product is different.
Establishing a symbiotic relationship with an adjacent business allows you to access to their customer base and social media following. For example, if you run a bar team up with a local brewery or distillery. If you’re a café team up with a food truck, a coffee roaster, or even a community group who use your café as a meeting point.
You can use these partnerships to run real-life events, or simply post a photo of their product and tag them in it, and get them to return the favor. Take it as far as you want or keep it simple. However you approach it you’ll be rewarded with increased exposure to your target audience, new customers, and greater social media presence.
Using your feed to Offer Freebies and Discounts
Effective social media marketing requires followers to engage with your social media posts and pages rather than just scroll past them. A rewarding tactic which will have people flocking to your page and hitting the like button is to frequently offer exclusive freebies, discounts, or promotions for followers.
Using your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter page to run promotions means that customers will make the effort to stay abreast of your social media efforts so that they can reap the benefits.
Promotions which are based on liking, sharing, or commenting will have your social media posts reaching further into the feeds of friends of your followers, increasing awareness of your bar or cafe exponentially.