Creating and maintaining an online presence for your business in the current digital age is a necessity. Joining social media sites enables you to promote your business to a massive audience at relatively no cost. It’s basically free advertising! You don’t need to hire a social media manager to handle this; you can manage it yourself or get your team involved, using our helpful guide to get started and develop your social media marketing strategy.
Don’t try to be everywhere.
It can be tempting to set your pub up on every new social platform but this will only increase pressure on you to maintain activity across all of them. Choose the platform which you receive the most engagement and biggest return from, and focus on that. If you are not currently set up on any social networks, I would recommend setting up a Facebook page. Take a look at some similar pages for inspiration.
It’s important to show personality in your social media communication. People want to know they’re connecting with a human when they engage with your page. Think about the type of person your audience would relate most to and from this create a persona and voice for your page. It’s important to be consistent here, so make sure all staff and administrators of your page are briefed on the tone and style to be used when posting as your business.
Timing is everything.
Sit down at the start of every month and map out your social media schedule, bearing the following in mind; are there any upcoming holidays? What menu items are you looking to promote? Have you got new products you’d like to showcase? Are you running any upcoming deals or specials? Have all of your social content prepared in advance and keep track of the dates and times you wish to post. If you need to, you can schedule your posts in advance using Facebook’s scheduling tool, HootSuite or similar.
In an age where people are constantly using their mobile devices at all times of the day, customers expect a quick response to any question, query or complaint they have. Ensure someone is regularly checking activity and is ready to respond in a timely fashion. If necessary, you can set out a schedule for staff so you know it is always being monitored.
Hashtags are basically your keywords when posting online and are important for getting your content seen, especially by those who may not already be following you. Have a look at business pages similar to yours. What hashtags are they using? Use hashtags relevant to your content, for example if posting an image of your pub’s signature Irish coffee serve, add #IrishCoffee. Do be careful not to use too many; a maximum of two or three should be used in your Tweets but you can use more on Instagram. It’s not really necessary to use hashtags in your Facebook posts unless you want to create awareness and recognition for a particular hashtag, maybe for an event or promotion which you are organising. You should also create a hashtag for your pub, displaying it where it can be seen by your customers and encouraging people to use it and tag you in their posts and pictures of your pub.
Video content is hugely popular on social media and will boost your engagement online faster than static content. Ideally, your video should only be a few minutes in length. It’s also important when creating your videos to consider that they may be played without sound, particuarly on mobile devies, so ensure you can still get your point across on silent.
Get creative with this, you have an advantage here with so many photo opportunities in your pub. An image of a perfectly crafted cocktail or a hot bowl of Irish stew can generate a lot of interest and engagement on your page. Remember to take lots of photos when hosting events and post an album for each one on your Facebook page. You can invite people who attended to tag themselves in any images they feature in.
Measure the activity.
It’s hugely important to measure the performance of all your social media activity, so you can find out what is working well and most importantly what’s not. Use tools such as Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics to measure your reach, engagements, clicks to your website etc. and display all the data in a spreadsheet. Place each month’s data side by side so you can easily compare the statistics.
Some great examples to take a look at:
Don’t forget to connect with us online and feel free to tag us in your posts and Tweets!
By Averyl Quinn, Community Manager, Irish Pubs Global.