Twitter. Instagram. Facebook. Texts. It’s hard to keep up with them all, right? When you’re faced with so many ways to connect with customers online, it can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why a lot of bar and nightclub managers limit their marketing efforts to just a few social networks. What you may not realize, however, is that you can maximize your online presence on many networks without piling on a ton of extra work.
You do it through integrated marketing campaigns. When done right, they save you time in three ways. First, you no longer have to learn the nuances of and monitor multiple social networks. Second, there’s less original content you need to write. And third, engaged customers become an extension of your marketing team.
To get you started, here’s a five-step plan that’s easy to follow.
1. First, find out where your customers are most active online. Not sure? Present an offer such as a free appetizer or backstage pass to customers that become a fan, follower or subscriber on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc. Once you have a good sense of how the majority of your patrons stay connected to your business and each other, focus your marketing efforts on the top two or three channels.
2. Next, engage them. Initiate conversations, not sales pitches, so you can learn more about their likes and interests. Based on their feedback, you can create more tailored marketing campaigns, which yield stronger results and boost followers.
3. Plan big campaigns as opposed to one-off promotions. Let’s say you’ve lined up the hottest DJ for New Year’s Eve. Your online marketing campaign, which starts weeks in advance, may include online trivia contests, a chance to meet the DJ, specials deals on advanced ticket sales, drawings to win limo service and a hotel suite, etc. This wave of activity will consistently generate buzz and attract new customers leading up to the big event.
4. Recycle your content. You don’t have to come up with new content every time you want to engage your audience, though it should be fresh -- especially since there’s likely to be an overlap of customers on your social media channels. You can freshen up existing content by varying the language and staggering the timing of your posts. What you want to avoid at all costs are cut and paste messages; or worse, syndicated posts that show up simultaneously on all of your social networks.
5. Inspire customers to spread the word. If you’re actively engaging customers, their friends will see their connection to your bar or nightclub. To take this even further, use a dedicated hashtag and insert a social sharing bar on your website and in your emails. This makes it easier for customers to spread your word to their friends.
If you follow those five steps, you’ll be on your way to running an integrated online marketing campaign. Now if you want it to be off the charts successful, you need to track your results. And not just at the end, but at every step along the way. So be sure to keep an eye on things such as an uptick in followers, what content is getting shared, and how closely tied your marketing activities are to driving customers to your door.