Gaining exposure for your bar in the Phoenix area is difficult without an all-around strong social media game. The city has a vibrant, young population, a generation raised on hashtags and location check-ins, so in order to attract the right crowd; you have to understand how to play game.
A comprehensive social media presence is an ideal way for bars looking to connect with people sooner rather than later. Also, the fact that bars are naturally social environments that attract social people puts them in a great position to benefit from the advantages offered through these channels.
If your promotions aren’t as successful as you’d expected, it’s most likely because you are doing the same thing as everybody else, and you are not measuring your results. It will take a lot of research on your part to get going; here are a few tips to help you get more results from your social media efforts.
Find Your Niche
If a tree advertises in a forest and no one is there to hear him, will anyone show up to his promotional happy hour? Highly unlikely. Knowing where your customers engage socially online will help you to come up with a plan to reach them. Do you know which social media sites your customers and potential customers use the most? Knowing that information will help you come up with the best plan. You don’t want to waste time on Facebook if your customers use Instagram. To find your customers’ niche, research what is popular around your area, and test different strategies. Do a promotion with the same special on different platforms, and see which one gets you the best response.
Measuring metrics such as open rates and click rates can also assist bars in cultivating engagement by indicating which posts and messages resonated most with the audience. When you know what your customers respond to best, you can tailor future communications accordingly to increase your rate of engagement.
Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are immediate communication channels that allow you to share information and are great ways to engage your audience. However, the days of promoting your business only through Facebook and Twitter alone are over. In order to stand out, you need to know what’s trending and take advantage of it. Bars should be working with Instagram (photos), Vine (short videos) and Snapchat (deals). Also photo-sharing sites like Flickr and Photobucket are often overlooked when it can do wonders for your visibility and in terms of search engine optimization. Many people often google nightlife venues and search through the ‘images’ section.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether users regram your Instagram photos, re-pin items on your Pinterest board, retweet something from your Twitter account or share one of your Facebook posts ; the important thing is that they’re engaging with your content somewhere and are getting your message out there.
Coordinate Your Efforts
Whatever content is created should have a direct tie to the brand of your business and its values. At the end of the day it’s a direct representation of the venue. Make sure to have the same message across all your social media pages. Keep the same designs and information, so you don’t confuse customers.
These actions across social media should all link back to your website and help drive more engagement and traffic.
Getting Happy Hour Right
Most bars tend to be judged by how creative their Happy Hour specials are, so this is something important to consider along with your social media marketing plan. To run a successful Happy Hour promotion and accomplish your goals, you need to have a localized digital marketing plan for phoenix so be sure to ask the following:
- What phoenix customer segment do you want to target for your Happy Hour?
- Is your Happy Hour happening in times that make sense for this target customer?
- How do you increase profitability by having strategic Happy Hour offers and times?
- How do you effectively market your Happy Hour to your target customer?
- Are you competing with any other Happy Hour offers from other local bars or restaurants?
Social media is a great way to get feedback about your bar, and the more you put yourself out there, the more people will want to interact with you. When you get positive feedback on certain events or drinks, you can use it as a guide to what you should have available more often in your bar. If you get negative feedback, don’t react in a harsh way. Use it to fix what your customers aren’t really enjoying and they’ll often appreciate the fact that you were so responsive. Here are a few more tips to help with building interest online:
- Humanize your bar by posting photos and bios of your employees. This works especially well when showcasing patrons’ favorite bartenders.
- Spread the word about any awards you won, reviews you got or articles in which you were featured.
- Send out exclusive email promotions or post secret codes on your social platforms that customers can present at the door for reduced admission or at the bar for free drinks.
- Monitor the comments and other feedback you receive on social media, and then enter into conversations with the people who shared their thoughts.
- Share intriguing or funny content that may not have much to do with your brand but will be of interest with the people who follow you.
- Track everything, that way you can calculate the ROI. Keep track of all the responses you get so you can compare and improve for the next promotion.
These strategies will attract a targeted and localized customer segment into your bar and increase your influence, reputation, and relationship within the phoenix area. Creating a strong social media presence for a nightlife venue isn’t as easy as flipping a switch, but by dedicating time, resources, and the same level of attention as other areas of the business, the return on investment could be immense.