Editor’s Note: A popular presenter at our Nightclub & Bar Convention in Las Vegas, Maria Miranda and her colleague, Nicole Anllo are in the process of helping Clubs/Bars of all markets/sizes “makeover” their social media messaging with the goal to convert the socially challenged to the socially gifted. In the months ahead, this column will share the real-world examples of the Bars/Clubs who competed to win a free makeover in exchange for sharing their experiences to benefit others. How can this column help you? You’re not alone in your challenges, and here you’ll find challenge related advice. And, if you’d like your Bar/Club to be featured in this column, share your challenge/needs with us:
. . . . . .
Tourists v. Locals : The Challenge of Appealing to Two Distinct Customers via Social Media
A major issue faced by many bars and clubs is having multiple different and very distinct audiences that are hard to market to as a whole. In the following case study we’ll take a look at Rendezvous in Old Town, a fun wine and craft beer bar in Cottonwood, Arizona. Located in an old renovated gas station, Rendezvous in Old Town has a relaxed eclectic atmosphere and features a menu with over 20 wines, 24 beers on tap and a few small food options. The bar is popular among tourists who flock to the area for nearby winery tours and tastings. But on weekdays, the only people rendezvousing in rural Cottonwood are the locals. Let’s look at how our friends in Cottonwood can boost social marketing to reach both tourists and locals…
Starting dashboard for Rendezvous in Old Town:
aFacebook Likes: 666a
Facebook Check Ins: 1613
aFans Talking About Page: 46a
Twitter: No account
Top five challenges:
- Creating a strong connection with locals
- Targeting messages to specific audiences
- Getting discovered by tourists
- Getting tourists to come back
- Connecting with other businesses to cross promote
1. Connecting with Locals – In the bar and nightclub business it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of marketing to tourists. Once in a while, we recommend stepping back and looking at your “regulars.” Are you doing special things during the week for the locals to enjoy? Are you giving them a reason to feel connected and welcome in your club or bar? Are you making sure regulars don’t get bored of your space? One way to boost your regular customers’ connection with your business is to involve them on social media.
For Rendezvous in Old Town, we encourage them to do this through a naming contest for their current logo. Their iconic “Rendezvous Lady” logo has no name, so why not get regulars involved in naming her via Facebook? The idea here is to let your loyal customers help create elements in your space, and as a result they’ll feel more connected to your business. Social Media is a great platform to get these interactive projects started.
2. Targeting your Social Media Messaging – It’s very common to have social personalities that are split personalities, meaning that you have to use social media in different ways to reach different people (tourists v. locals in this example). What’s great about Facebook is that it’s very easy to target your messaging to specific people. For example, if you want to run ads with different messages for tourists v. locals you can target two totally different ads by location. Those that are closest to your business see an ad about a week night performance and those that live further away could at the same time see an ad highlighting a weekend festival you’re participating in. Another great feature (that is not live on all pages yet, but is coming soon) is the post targeting feature. Eventually, all businesses on Facebook will be able to target everyday posts by location, gender, age, language etc. This is a great tool for those that don’t want to bombard tourists with posts about local items they wouldn’t be interested in. You would actually have the option to pick who sees each status update – very cool.
3. Catching the Eye of a Tourist – When it comes to locals, it’s all about reaffirming connections and comfort within your space. When it comes to tourists, it’s about getting them to find you in the first place. You can use social media to enhance your overall SEO (search engine optimization) by making sure you use rich key words in all your business descriptions, especially on Facebook. For a place like Rendezvous in Old Town, it’s important to highlight the space as a lounge, a wine taster’s hub, a beer connoisseur's haven, a lunch place, and the list goes on! It’s important to mention all the things you are, and think about the word combinations that would be popular in searches. Currently, Rendezvous in Old Town only has three subcategories listed and a short About section on Facebook (see below). By loading these with more keywords that tourists might be searching for could lead to the bar getting discovered by tons of new tourists planning their trips by searching online for fun destinations.
4. Getting Tourists to Come Back – This can be a challenging issue. Unlike locals, tourists are a lot harder to turn into repeat customers. The best approach here is to make sure they don’t forget about you – and social media is key here! It’s very important to get your tourist visitors to like your page and check in while still in your bar/club. For this we recommend two strategies:
- Make sure your social media URL and perhaps a QR code as well is highly visible in your space. You want everyone coming in your doors to know immediately that you are social and you encourage interaction.
- Reward people for checking in or liking your page with a small and fun branded item. For Rendezvous in Old Town, magnets featuring their beloved logo can be given to anyone who connects to their Facebook page on the spot. For the tourist, the magnet becomes a free souvenirer that they can use when they get home, and checking in becomes a fun way for them to share with their friends what they’re doing on vacation. For the business owner, the magnet and the new like becomes a way for them to make sure the tourist doesn’t forget them.
5. Connecting with Other Businesses - For a bar that values the local community and tourists alike, it’s important to be able to connect to other businesses through social media. For example, connecting to a local inn or attraction via social media could expose a restaurant to that businesses’ entire audience. Or, connecting to a local event on Facebook could make the locals see even more value in their nearby bar. To connect to other businesses on Facebook, we recommend having your business page like other businesses’ pages. Then, you have the ability to tag that business in a post. Just start writing a status, type the @ sign, and begin typing the name of the business you want to tag. You should see it pop up in a drop down box (see how Arizona Beer Week did below?). By tagging another business, that business’s fans see your post, thus exposing you to a whole new audience!