When people are looking to unwind and connect with friends as the new year begins, their local neighborhood bar is the perfect spot. Enjoying your signature drinks, delicious bar snacks, friendly staff and relaxing environment is the perfect way to kick off the new year. But as the owner of the bar, how are you kicking it off? Consider re-evaluating your social media and reputation management plan. After all, one bad review can do a lot of damage.
As we kick off 2019, bar owners need to know the best social media and reputation management tips for branding they can utilize in the new year and beyond to bring in new people and keep their loyal regulars coming back.
11 social media and reputation management tips for your local bar
Here are some social media and reputation management tips that will help spread brand awareness and bring in new customers this new year.
Connect with your audience on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Define your voice and brand.
Think about what people want to see and when they want to see it.
Highlight your drink menu.
Focus on the experience inside your bar.
Create and promote events.
Share user-generated content.
Keep your responses casual and friendly.
Be professional and polite.
Don’t be afraid to explain.
Extend your customer service on social media.
Let’s raise a glass and get started. Cheers!
1. Connect with your audience on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
First, you’ll want to make sure that your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages are engaging for your new customers, and you’re using them to connect with your audience.
Monitor and measure your engagement (likes, clicks, comments) across all platforms — if you’re getting a lot of interaction — then it’s clear that what you’re posting is resonating with your friends and followers. If your content is not getting a high number of likes or comments, you might need to rethink your strategy — (read on for related social media and reputation management tips!)
2. Define your voice and brand
One of the very first things you want to do as you brand your bar is to define your voice and brand. You need to think about who your audience is and what they’re looking for.
Are you targeting millennials, sports fans or a certain age demographic? Knowing who your audience is will help to guide your efforts on social media and allow you to create content that will really connect with them.
3. Think about what people want to see and when they want to see it
Posting content at strategic times of the day is a powerful tool to get people to visit your bar — and one of our strongest social media and reputation management tips.
For example, after a long week day, posting a photo of a frosty pint of beer or a beautiful craft cocktail might be just what your customers need to gather their friends and join you for happy hour.
Over the weekend, reminding your fans that you offer brunch or that you’ll be playing the game will encourage fans to adjust their plans to head over to your bar.
Here, Cane Rhum Bar, in Charleston, South Carolina, lets followers know about their refreshing specials for happy hour on Twitter. Note the time: they sent the tweet out midday — a perfect time for Twitter users searching for happy hours in Charleston as they plan their evening after work.
Don’t mind if we do. ? Happiest Hours! $4 Domestic Beer & Wine, $5 Cuba Libre, $6 Select Cocktails, $6 … pic.twitter.com/ikarNXkwZM
— Cane Rhum Bar (@canechs) July 31, 2018
4. Highlight your drink menu
Use social media to show off what you have in store. If your bar offers a wide selection of beers on tap, craft cocktails or specialty wines, that should be at the forefront of your content.
Consumers want to know that their favorite go-tos are on the menu, but also that they can branch out and get something new and unique at your local spot. (And if you only take away a few social media and reputation management tips, this should be one of them.)
Here, Irene’s in Austin, Texas, shows off their tequila drinks and specials:
5. Focus on the experience inside your bar
Your potential customers want to know what the atmosphere will be like when they visit your bar. Share photos of your team and your customers having fun in your space! That way, your bar will already feel familiar when new customers walk in your doors.
6. Create and promote events
Here’s one of our most fun social media and reputation management tips: Hosting recurring events and promoting them on your social media pages is a great way to attract new customers.
For example, you can host trivia night, karaoke night, college game days, wine tastings, networking events, themed nights (like 80s night) and many more.
The main goal is figuring out what kind of weekly or monthly events your demographic would be most interested in and experimenting to see the kind of attendance you get for those events.
This is Project Bar and Grill in San Diego, California, promoting their trivia night:
7. Share user-generated content
One easy way to make sure you’re posting engaging content on your social channels — especially Instagram — is to share the content your fans are already sharing about your business (aka user-generated content.)
Eighty-five percent of consumers find visual user-generated content more influential than brand photos or videos.
With Instagram, you can monitor your notifications for users tagging or mentioning your business. If you see a post you like and think would be a good post to share on your business’s Instagram account, reach out and ask that user for permission to reshare.
Once they give you permission, you can use apps like the Repost app, which will post using the link from the person who originally posted the content, or simply screenshot the post and give that user credit by tagging them in your caption.
No one wants to see the same posts over and over again. In the same way you mix up your cocktails, make sure you’re mixing up the kinds of content you’re posting and where you’re posting it. Your audience wants to know the story of your bar — rather than being sold to — so tell it.
Give your audience interesting and varied content on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so they keep coming back for more.
When you have a good variation of different kinds of content, your feed will be more interesting to anyone who comes across it, and you bar will have a better chance of connecting with different people in your local area.
8. Keep your responses casual and friendly
Let’s move on to the latter part of our social media and reputation management tips. The first step in managing your online reputation is to respond to all of your reviews — and it’s important to strike the right tone.
Taking on a friendly tone in your review responses will help your branding so customers will associate you with a fun, casual and enjoyable experience.
People go to bars to relax and meet with friends, and they’re looking for a casual atmosphere.
9. Be professional and polite
It’s always a great idea to be friendly and likable when responding to reviews, but it’s still important to remain professional and even keeled in your responses, particularly when it comes to responding to negative feedback.
It’s easy to get defensive when you receive an inflammatory or misleading review, but it’s best to stay calm, professional and polite. It’s not just the reviewer who will see your response, but anyone coming to your page to check out reviews.
10. Don’t be afraid to explain
Especially with negative reviews, you can always use your response to politely explain why you think an occurrence might have happened or that you think there might have been a misunderstanding.
In addition to explaining, you can also ask questions to try to get to the bottom of the issue.
Either way, you’ll want to let the reviewer know that you’re sorry that they were disappointed in their experience at your bar, and that you’d love for them to give you another try.
11. Extend your customer service on social media
Here’s one of our timeliest social media and reputation management tips: Being responsive to your customers online is not just about answering reviews. People today expect prompt responses from businesses when they post questions, concerns and comments on social media.
And they’re sending more private, direct messages and posting more comments and concerns than ever before — many prefering to contact businesses via social media rather than over the phone.
Make sure you’re monitoring every social account that you have for your business so that if someone sends you a message, asks a question on your Facebook timeline or expresses concern in a tweet, you can respond quickly and extend your customer service online.
Remember these social media and reputation management tips
Use these bar branding strategies to get people engaged and excited to come have a drink with you in the new year. If you’re finding that your posts aren’t as successful as you want them to be, you can always test out different strategies to get customers to engage with your brand, just keep it interesting and stay active to let your customers know you’re listening, that you are excited by their engagement, and that you value their business.
Editor’s note: If you need extra help with social media in the new year, GoDaddy Social has your back! Our experts will help with content and post for you, making meaningful connections with your patrons.
Here’s to a successful 2019!