Social media advice for bar owners

Entree Battersea. London.I was recently asked to address social media strategies for owner mangers in the bar industry. This is an outline to what I said.

Seeing as only your Dad uses email anymore.

What should your social media strategy be?

First off, you need one, specifically one you believe in and can action. Sounds obvious but too many people sign up to the idea of a social media plan without actually working out how and where the resources are going to come from to implement it. Should your bar have a Facebook page? Yes, if you have the time to populate and manage the content on a daily basis, no if you don't.

Twitter can be a much more resource light alternative, which if following certain basic rules can deliver pretty good customer engagement. Keep an eye on new developments going mainstream like; and Google+ the latter’s format is still in development but now offers brand pages with maps and video content that work well for the bar industry, the added advantage of being built for the mobile platform (particularly Android phones) delivers key customer benefits when out and about.

Location aware platforms like Foursquare are slowly becoming mainstream. With a bit of creative thought about content, being able to reward customers for 'checking in' to your bar will pay dividends.

I’d be amazed if you had the time to manage a host of different social media platforms. Look at linking everything together with either a or account. These make it super easy to update one, update all in a single click from your phone.

Got Wi-Fi? If you have, tell people! It’s a tool for branding. Having 'BTinternet67845GH' coming up on people’s phones is no way to engage customers. 'Welcome to Dicks Bar' is. Same goes for your password, nothing wrong in having ‘241Thursdays’ -Knowing your customer base is crucial so if you do name your Wi-Fi network 'basement gimp room' make sure they know its you and not nextdoor.

Websites. If yours has not been optimised for mobile do it now! The UK is still pretty old school when it comes to web access. But smart phones are pretty much standard now. Most of American cities are now using full streaming 4G signals and in some emerging markets up to 80% of web traffic is via mobile devices.

People using location aware features expect something more than a simple X% discount, make them smile! The reason for the success of brands like Foursquare is that its content is a humorous take on popular culture. It’s not an advertising platform; it’s a conversational tool.

One would hope your bar is a fun, engaging place to go. Just remember your social media content needs to be the same.