Social Secret Weapon
Your secret social weapon for increasing bookings

Keeping a bar and restaurant filled to full capacity 24/7 is tough, and if you don't have an unlimited marketing budget to promote your business, then it can be difficult to stand out against the competition.

Many of the best restaurants and bistros understand the power of social media when it comes to increasing visibility and getting bums on seats. Not only can it be highly targeted to potential new visitors in your area, but social media offers a visual way of expressing your brand, showcasing your drinks and dishes and building a real buzz around your business with a very limited budget.

Social Engagement

Interest and engage

Social media channels revolve around imagery, so good quality pictures are a must. You’ll need photographs of your menu, drinks offerings and, of course, the venue itself. Stock imagery just won’t cut it here.

People want to see the place that they’ll be spending the evening or afternoon; perhaps you have a quirky décor, unusual seating, a statement mural, rooftop terrace or open kitchen? Whatever sets your space apart is ripe for social media sharing. If you aren’t confident with a camera, consider bringing in an expert photographer to show your venue in its best possible light. You can mix these professional images with a medley of images reshared from your patrons and less formal behind the scenes shots.

This Must Be The Place

Promote social only deals

If you want to drive traffic to your social media channels so you can use it to engage with a more extensive potential customer base, then you need to offer something extra as an incentive for them to follow you.

Launching social media only deals can be very effective here. Not only are you giving your audience a reason to keep an eye on your business, you are also directly driving foot traffic to your bar or restaurant. What’s more, social only deals can be easily measured, allowing you to assess the impact of each promotion and learn what works and doesn’t work for next time.

An easy way to get started is to offer a free cocktail or half-price dessert when quoting an offer code that you've posted on your channels. This doesn’t require anything more than a standard post and standout graphic to set up so it won’t eat into your marketing budget if you’re just getting started on social media.

Because social media offers instant access to the news feeds of your target market, this is also a useful tactic to deploy when business is quiet as it doesn’t require any pre-planning.

Social Tagging

Encourage tagging

If you want to extend the reach of your social media efforts, encourage your customers to tag themselves in images they share. You can take this a step further by offering a quirky picture wall, neon wings or other weird and wonderful focal point that make for an excellent selfie spot.

Many high-end bars have done this with great success, and their social engagement has gone through the roof, but it doesn't need to cost the earth to implement. Cool mirrors, inspirational slogans painted on to walls in waiting areas or lounges are just a few ideas, so get creative with any extra space you have available and don't forget to include your social hashtag somewhere nearby.

Keep your followers and fans updated

If you’ve got something new and exciting happening at your place, then social media is the perfect place to shout it from the rooftops. Perhaps you’ve recently undergone a refurb and are excited to unveil your new look with a re-opening party? Maybe you’ve revamped your current menu with seasonal new dishes? Do you have a limited cocktail on the menu to mark a quirky ‘social media holiday’ such as National Donut Day?

Whatever your news, make sure that you push these announcements through your social media channels using photos wherever possible to boost engagement.

Social Updates

Keep your followers and fans updated

If you’ve got something new and exciting happening at your place, then social media is the perfect place to shout it from the rooftops. Perhaps you’ve recently undergone a refurb and are excited to unveil your new look with a re-opening party? Maybe you’ve revamped your current menu with seasonal new dishes? Do you have a limited cocktail on the menu to mark a quirky ‘social media holiday’ such as National Donut Day?

Whatever your news, make sure that you push these announcements through your social media channels using photos wherever possible to boost engagement.

Social Reach

Reach out

Social media works both ways, so if you want to open up a new channel for customer feedback, then this is your chance.

If you've been considering a new colour scheme or look for your bar or are currently developing a few unique cocktails, asking your social fans or followers for their feedback is an excellent way to gauge reactions at no cost. Platforms like Instagram allow users to post polls in their stories – meaning you can ask for a quick yes or no opinion when you need it most.

Social media users enjoy being asked for and sharing their opinions, so this approach can help bring them closer to your business and give you some excellent insight at the same time.


Share this article


STAY IN TOUCH - sign up for our newsletter