Social media is here to stay. And no matter who you ask—marketing consultants, bar and nightclub owners, hospitality experts, etc.—they’ll tell you that Facebook is the most important social network to belong to. Even as new sites enter the social space, Facebook has retained its dominance, but even then, are users experiencing Facebook fatigue? And if they are, what can you do, as a bar or nightclub owner, to enhance the user experience?
Maria Miranda, creative director of Miranda Creative, says there are ways to make the social network work for you, ensuring that users are engaged and checking Facebook more frequently than ever. Even as Facebook enhances its capabilities in advertising, it struggled more than ever to engage with customers, she says. “Between the clutter of social media, mobile devices and other distractions, your posting efforts are only being seen about 18% of the time,” she says. “Therefore, you need to spend more time and resources to reach the audience you created—and that’s very disappointing.”
Miranda offered five tips on how to reach and engage that audience:
1. Be more engaging. Miranda explains that more than 50% of all Facebook users are now on mobile devices, which should influence what and how you post. “This means that long posts, photos with too much details and light postings (e.g. less than three times per week) will not work for the device or for the user experience.”
2. Give the audience what they want—and have time for. Posting images is a more evocative way of connecting with customers. But it’s not just any images that will work. Post photos of things happening in the community or at the bar. Miranda advises to “keep the text brief/tight,” she says. “Practice Twitter standards (140 characters or less) even on Facebook.” Once you have that down, Miranda says you should promote your posts, which is “a great way to assure repeated postings of content for the busy mobile viewer.”
3. Reward your fans. When people “like” your page, then that means they like you. Miranda says that 60% of brand followers choose to be connected for advanced offers/promotions. “If you’re asking a market to stay tuned to your channel, you should reward them,” she says. “This reward will be more readily recalled, and the audience will stay engaged.”
4. Invest in building your followers. Miranda says you need to be aggressive. “Give people choices, and push it hard. Every receipt, sign, website line, digital newsletter should offer one-click ability to follow,” she explains. “The magic is building a qualified listing of followers… much in the same way an email address or approval of text messaging are valuable databases. Once you have an audience, engaging them is easier to measure and achieve.”
Miranda says that to achieve this, you should become familiar with the term community management, which is what Facebook marketing is all about—“managing and engaging the community of people who have chosen to follow you,” she says. This could entail asking your Facebook community to pick the name of drinks, the paint color on the walls or new staff uniforms. “Treat them like the trusted networks and advocates they are, but don’t beg them to share your event, like your page or help you achieve 1,000 followers,” she explains. “Nothing fails more on social media than to be shouting out ‘Won’t somebody please like me?’”
5. Answer the questions. Social media is a platform where consumers can constantly engage you, but some bar and nightclub owners shy away from that engagement. Don’t be that person, Miranda says, and instead answer the questions. “If a consumer asks your brand a question on social media, and the question is answered with 24 hours that consumer is 80% likely to make a purchase/close the relationship,” she says.