1. Be social
Social media thrives on FRESH content. Don’t worry too much about making everything look perfect - authenticity is what drives social engagement, and this is one area where quantity actually matters more than quality. Share new cocktails, promotions, dog pictures, events - tell the world what’s going on in your pub or bar with gusto and enthusiasm.
Remember that persistence is required. Don’t over-analyse each post to see how many “likes” it got - just keep putting the good stuff out there. Over time, you’ll build up more followers and get more engagement - provided you keep sharing! You’re keeping your business front-of-mind for your customers - rather than just being a physical space they pass from time to time, it becomes something they see regularly when they are scrolling through Facebook or Instagram.
Next, you need to make sure you take full advantage of letting your customers share their experience with their friends on social media - while they are in your premises. To encourage this, provide fast, free WiFi for them.
2. Be irresistible
Few of us can resist a real bargain, and food and drink is no exception. Creating an attention-grabbing special offer might seem laborious or old-fashioned, but it’s well worth the effort in terms of getting people to take action and visit.
Always remember: once they’re inside they’re almost guaranteed to spend more - and you can be creative with the timing of the offer to protect your profit margins. For example - half-price cocktails before 7PM - get them through the doors and they’ll be more likely to stay and order more!
Don’t just put the special offers on the posters and boards outside to attract passing trade - share on your social feeds too. Free tools like Canva make it super-easy for anyone to create lovely graphics that show off your offer - no design skills needed!
3. Be rewarding
From the traditional reward card that gets stamped each time a customer visits, to offering a discount each time someone leaves you a review online – rewards give customers a powerful incentive to return.
A reward scheme needn’t be complicated - you can experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you. For example, patrons could receive a free drink on their 6th visit… or a half-price meal if they return twice in one week! You can tailor the deals to make them work for your place and your priorities.
Another great way to encourage and reward repeat visits is to embrace themed nights and seasonal trends, so that alongside the regular favourites on your menu, there are new tastes to try and new experiences to savor every time they visit.