Forrest Gump might say that Instagram and bars “go together like peas and carrots“. The drinks are flowing, the smiles are abundant, and everyone is dressed up to the nines in their finest weekend wear. As a bar owner, you are surrounded by potential Instagram gold, but this gold can turn to lead if your Instagram strategy is at all lacking.
Instagram content needs to be produced and posted in the right way if you want it the platform to be a successful marketing tool for your bar. So let’s take a look at five of the most effective ways your bar can achieve Instagram success.
1) Only Post High-Quality Pics
Before posting anything, you need to ensure that you’ve got fantastic imagery to work with. Sure, your iPhone 7 is a nice bit of kit, but (despite what Apple might say) the images simply don’t compete with those taken on a purpose-built DSLR.
You should either buy a DSLR (with a good flash) and learn how to use it, or employ a professional photographer to take great photos at least once a week for your bar. This will give you a continual flow of quality content that is invaluable for your Instagram efforts.
2) Post FOMO Content
So you’ve got all the gear, but have no idea what to actually post. The aim should be to get people excited about going to your bar, right? So over and above beautiful imagery, which is rightfully expected of all Instagram content, you should aim to post FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out – content. Great FOMO content includes:
- Introducing delicious new signature drinks (artfully shot, of course)
- Share daily specials or info on upcoming events
- Show off a bartender’s flair skills
- Post pictures of the famous, beautiful or crazy people that frequent your establishment
3) Play the Hashtag Game
There’s a reason that the more successful of Instagram’s users are heavy on the hashtags – they work. And playing the game well is one of the most important pieces of the Instagram strategy puzzle.
Use hashtags that are relevant, and be liberal with their usage. You can use up to 30, and the more you use the more ways other Instagram users will have to find you. If you like the look of a “clean” post, try inserting your hashtags as the first comment in order to somewhat hide them from view.
4) Encourage Your Customers to Post
One of the best ways to get your bar in front of new eyes on Instagram is to encourage your customers to post about your venue. Simply putting up posters saying “tag us on Instagram @instagramhandle” could be enough, but to really get your patrons on board it could be worth offering a free or half-priced drink for every post that a customer uploads. This can introduce your bar to not just hundreds of new people, but the super relevant and like-minded ones.
5) Analyze Your Performance
There’s no real point in trying to succeed in any marketing effort if you don’t measure and analyze your results. By keeping track of your numbers and noting what worked and what didn’t, you’re going to learn from your mistakes and improve your performance.
There are a wealth Instagram analytics tools available which offer up fantastic insight into your performance on the platform. What’s more, many of these are entirely free. Try Iconosquare, InstaFollow or SimplyMeasured as starting points.
Sure, Instagram and bars are like peas and carrots, but you still need to cook them right. A focus on strategy will have the whole thing salted, peppered and covered in butter.