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Five low-cost Facebook strategies that help restaurants and bars reach more local customers

The competition for customers in the bar and restaurant trade is fierce. Business owners have to contend with bringing new customers through the door while also stopping their loyal clientele trying that ‘trendy new place’ that just opened.

But getting people through the door isn’t your only problem. You also have to deal with the day-to-day business needs like staffing, stock orders, paperwork, cleaning and 101 other things. How do you find the time to run the business and build a positive reputation?

More specifically, with the average person spending four hours a day on their mobile, how do you use digital marketing to catch their attention? And how do you use it to bring them to your venue?

Going Digital

The problem is, digital marketing means lots of different things. While some bars and restaurants will have a website, and others may have the luxury of time to send emails, the majority will focus on social media – typically Facebook.

But being on Facebook isn’t enough. You need to be posting content that gets likes, comments and shares, which attract people to your venue. Great content gets great results and – the best part is – it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Here are five low-cost Facebook strategies to help you reach more potential customers:

  1. Cool Content: From photos to animated gifs, funny videos to memes, bars and restaurants can get away with being more creative than before. People don’t want walls of text on social media, they want fun, visual updates that appeal to them. With a wide-range of apps available, businesses have no excuse for boring social media.
  2. (Live) Video: If you’re confident enough to go live/record a video, you can say more in 30 seconds video than you ever could writing something down. It might be talking about this week’s deals or changing the seasonal menu. And you get the added bonus of having that human connection: being a real person, not a social media post.
  3. Outrageous Offers: Having a quiet day? Why not post up an offer that can only be used in the next two or three hours? Instead of ‘Buy One Get One Free’ why not do ‘Buy One Get Three Free’ and focus on getting higher footfall to your venue. Remember, look at it as part of your marketing contributing to long-term success.
  4. Ridiculous Competitions: Competitions where people have to like your page and tag their friends are a great way to build awareness. E.G. Win a meal for ten – Simply like our page, tag nine friends (who also have to like our page) and win a meal – with drinks – for 10 people this Friday. Putting a sense of urgency on it boosts the appeal.
  5. Sponsored Adverts: If done well, sponsored ads are a great way of promoting your business, but they do come with a warning: poorly planned adverts can cost you money without seeing a return. If you go down this route, set a budget and results you expect to see. Consider using an agency and hold them to clear deliverables.

When looking at some of these ideas it’s important to remember cost versus value. You need to be willing to invest in your marketing. This might be paid advertising, using your time to create content, or writing-off the cost of the deals or offers you promote.

E.G. Some restaurants might laugh at giving away 10 meals but the average person has nearly 350 friends on Facebook. If 10 people are tagged in a post, this could be seen by 3’500 people. If 100 people are tagged that grows to potentially 35’000 views for your venue.

The problem

Setting up deals and competitions means that you have to find time to run and manage these. If you’re trying to do something last minute you could find yourself wasting time to set up an offer, only for the opportunity to pass.

As well as this, your reach is only as good as your social media following and their motivation to engage with what you post. If you’re looking to get your message, and your offer, out to a bigger audience, you may be limited by the results you have on Facebook.

How Snizl complements Facebook strategies

At Snizl we give bars and restaurants a single point of organisation for their competitions, deals and promotions. All you have to do is register your business, set up your offer and send it out to your followers.

We know that venues don’t see the high levels of engagement that they want to. Just because you have 10’000 likes, doesn’t mean each post will engage your followers. Depressingly, you may only see 1% – or a fraction of that – engage with your posts.

Because your deals go directly to people following you on Snizl, they receive a push notification on their phone. Unlike social media – where people might miss your updates – this means you have an audience actively looking for promotions and deals from you.

Snizl motivates people to enter your competition by giving them an additional two chances to win if they share it to their social media. 75% of followers re-share offers, turning them into ambassadors of your business and offering better results than paid ads on Facebook.

By using Snizl, your Facebook for Business Page, and the followers you have on both platforms, you can massively increase the reach of your competitions, deals and offers. This increases the visibility of your bar/restaurant, and chance of securing new customers.

One of our customers saw the benefits of using Snizl to complement their Facebook strategy. An offer on Facebook only received 21 direct likes from their followers, but using Snizl saw this engagement grow to 16,000, all for their £20 monthly fee.

Conclusion

For bars and restaurants, a strong social media presence is a necessary evil. But finding time to do this can be difficult, with many choosing to post generic, boring content, that fails to inspire or motivate their audience.

Venues that use a wide-range of strategies will be the ones that build a loyal fan base while constantly attracting new customers. Their success in responding to the changing digital landscape will be the difference between ‘opening hours’ and ‘shutting up shop’.

Click here to learn more about Snizl for business.

By Dave Hughes

Dave is a front end web developer and graphic designer, with experience in e-commerce and digital marketing.

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