If I was advising a bar that does great food, cocktails, and is all round cool, I’d be recommending a mix of social media platforms to reach the different demographics:

  • Twenty somethings who are in for drinks on Thursday – Saturday nights
  • Families for Sunday lunch
  • Local work crowd for lunches and after work drinks

Your basic social media platforms where you need to be are Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.  Then add in a sprinkling of others directed at specific demographics and see how you roll!

  • Snapchat drinks vouchers to hit the twenty somethings.  Get the word out that you’re going to send drinks vouchers to anyone who follows you.  Then on Thursdays, send a whole load out – but don’t say what they’re for!  The lucky recipient will know whether they’ve won a pint, a pitcher, or a sparkling water only when they open the snapchat and show it to the server!  Double up if they post a picture of themselves at your venue to their friends.

A total of 43% of people aged between 15 and 24 reported that they have a Snapchat account, with half of these saying that they use it every day. (IPSOS MRBI survey August 2013)

  • Assuming that women are the decision makers as to where the family goes for lunch. Assuming that your competitors here are supermarkets (ie. you need to lure cash strapped families back out), then you’re looking at some Facebook targeted ads, some activity on parenting forums, and possibly a Facebook promotion.  If you’re going with an offer, definitely offer to double it up if they check in.  Check-ins on Facebook, while on the wane, are very useful for getting your name out there to the exact same demographic who you’re hopefully looking to target.  I’d love to suggest Pinterest to reach out to this audience, but at just 6% users in Ireland, the numbers aren’t that high. (Sighs – oh if only we had the same kinda traction as the US).
  • I’d be using Twitter to actively to hit the work people.  You can search by location, so I’d be location specific searches to find people in the area using food or hunger related keywords around 11am!  Hit them when they’re hungry, with a tantalising pic and an offer.  Reward the person who gets the group together.

So that’s where and how, but the key thing is with what?

Content marketing is about coming up with great content that your audience will love, and then shipping it out there to them wherever it is they hang out!  I’d be exploring music, pics of cocktails, food pics, pics of hot guys (you never who you might meet there). Invest in some video – I still hark back to the Hop Inn in Ballinasloe that rose to fame 7 years ago now with its home produced YouTube soaps all set around their pub.  Humorous SHARABLE short pieces that show off your bar and the characters you might meet there. Make it so desirable that people who see it feel they will be Missing Out if they don’t go!  (It also helps when your competitors aren’t doing anything much on social).

Last thing on my recipe list would be utilising some of the apps that are out there specifically designed to help bars win new customers.

But of course all the time, be aware of what you can and can’t do according to the folks at Drink Aware.

If you need help getting a social media plan together and testing it with a budget, we’re full of ideas and ready to help. Contact us online or call us on 01 4405 993 and let’s have a chat about how you can use social media to drive footfall into your bar.
Beautiful image credit: Amber n Ambrose on Flickr

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