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1–2 July 2024
Olympia London

Using Social Media to Promote Your Bar 

Delicious food, tasty drinks and great experiences, we have it all here in the UK, but times have undoubtedly been tough.

A sharp increase in energy bills as well as rising food and drink prices means that outgoings have shot up, while some business owners have seen a decrease in customer footfall. All of this is old news but coming straight after the Covid-19 pandemic, it means that many hospitality venues have struggled to get back on their feet, if at all.

As we work hard to bounce back from these unexpected circumstances, you might be looking for some inexpensive ways to draw in customers and reach new audiences. Social media is a great tool for helping you to grow your brand presence and build a community, and making use of these platforms can ultimately help your business in the long run. Here’s a basic guide on how to get the most out of social media marketing for your bar, pub or club.

Establish your brand and target audience

First and foremost, knowing and understanding your audience will help you to identify which social media channels to use and what kind of content to post. If you’re in and around your bar during busy times you’re likely to have an inkling of who your audience is based on the types of customer walking through the door - think age demographic, gender, job functions etc.

A multi-channel approach is always recommended for social media marketing to ensure that you reach potential customers at a variety of touchpoints. In other words, don’t put all your eggs in one basket - people favour different platforms for their day-to-day scrolling. 

Here are a few suggestions for how to use each platform:

  • Facebook pages and groups are a great way to interact and speak directly with your audience to build a community. Check out Swift's Facebook page as an example. They use their Facebook account to share clips and images of events they’re running, as well as general bar news updates with catchy captions. You can also use Facebook to tap into local community groups to get your name out there and push any promotions or events you’re running.
  • If you love great photography and short form videos, Instagram is a good place to entice customers with aesthetic pictures of your drinks and menu items. If you make stunning cocktails or mouthwatering cuisines, this is the place for you!
  • Following popular topics and hashtags is a good way to engage with the Twitter community. Twitter is fast-paced and on-the-fly, with the algorithm favouring text-based content more than visuals. Most of its users are active and ready to engage, so this is a good place to connect with customers and respond to queries.
  • YouTube is also a great platform to introduce long-form videos about your bar and YouTube Shorts is good for promoting short form reels. This is a good place to upload promotional videos, walking tours of your premises, recipe videos and more. Upload it to YouTube, and cross-promote it via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.

If you’re looking for ways to make your cocktails look Instagrammable, check out this session from Imbibe Live 2022:

The main purpose of using social media platforms will be to drive brand awareness and convert viewers into customers. Make sure you have somewhere to send them to make a reservation - your website should be well organized with prominent branding and easily accessible information like hours of operation, locations, and contact details.

Lab22’s website is a great example of how a hospitality business can successfully showcase their branding and other details on their website. 

Decide on the types of social media content you’ll post

If you really want to gain traction with social media marketing, always consider how you can provide value for your customers with the content you produce. Think carefully about what your customers will want to hear about most and what they’ll get out of it. We recommend checking your competitors’ social channels to see what they’re doing and what works well for them.

Next, if you’re a social media user yourself, have a think about the type of content you engage with and try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Most of the time, people will be checking your channels to see what you have to offer and to get an idea of the quality of service you provide – this is your chance to make sure it’s clear from the get-go.

You can do this in many ways. Cocktail recipe videos where you showcase the care and attention that goes into crafting your drinks; aesthetic images of your products looking delicious or even behind-the-scenes videos from your bar staff to showcase the level of customer service on offer. Audiences love to be able see the faces behind a brand and these are all great ways to help people get a sense of what you’re all about. 

You don’t need any fancy equipment - an iphone camera will do, but make sure that your photos and videos are high-quality and follow your branding. Try to tell a story that allows your audience to visualise the experience they will have when they visit your bar. You also can reach a wider audience with the help of hashtags.

A great example comes from Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel who manage to capture unique moments from their events to showcase their offering in a way that appeals to their audience. They also use branded hashtags that can be used by their customers on their own posts. Check their account for more bar Instagram post ideas.

Looking for more inspiration? Read our article on ‘How social media has changed the way we make cocktails.’

Regularly engage with your community 

Engaging with your customers on social media is essential for fostering a sense of community. It’s also a great way of ensuring that the algorithms work in your favour - more engagement means more visibility of your content.

It’s all part of creating a great customer service experience, so make sure that you are regularly active across your social channels and promptly respond to any queries sent to you directly through these channels in the comments and direct messages. Once you start getting more and more engagement and followers, you may find that customers comment or leave reviews for your attention – this is a useful way to get feedback that you can use going forward as you adapt and improve your offering. 

Hop onto social media trends

TikTok and Instagram reels are absolutely thriving right now, and brands are piggybacking off of the trending sounds on these platforms to stay relevant and showcase personality. Of course, the added benefit of this is that the algorithm will push this type of content because it’s trending. The same can be said for trending hashtags on Twitter and getting involved in wider conversations on there.

Most of the time people aren’t on social media to be sold to, they’re there to be entertained, amused and informed, so remember to be playful with your content and have fun with it. If you follow these guidelines, we're confident you'll be able to expand your business reach more customers for your bar. 

Enjoyed this article? Make sure to share it on social and let us know how you use social media for your bar.

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