Editors 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: click here.
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Taking off like a “Rocket” — the socially challenged process begins.
Following a flurry of initial entries, we decided to launch this project with a rocket — specifically, The Rocket Shop Café in Bakersfield, California. Rocket Shop is a fun racecar-themed restaurant and bar located steps from a regional airport. Like many businesses, Rocket Shop is facing common social media challenges — not enough followers; uncertainty of what followers will find engaging; lack of time to manage/maintain post frequency; use of multiple applications that are difficult to maintain and not even viewed by most visitors.
Starting dashboard for the Rocket Shop Cafe:
Facebook Likes: 938
Facebook Check Ins: 4,993
Fans Talking About Page: 32
Facebook Tab views in past 30 days: 1-3 views per tab
Twitter Followers: 31
Top five challenges:
- Engaging current Facebook fans
- Gaining new likes on Facebook
- Creating a lively Twitter community
- Lack of time to manage posts frequently
- Using third-party applications to their fullest potential
KEEPING FANS ENGAGED: Many businesses see a burst of activity when initially launching social media, but when the novelty fades, so does fan growth. What to do? Take back the excitement:
• Update of your graphics to freshen your Page’s appearance;
• Offer a special promotion only available to Facebook fans;
• In the case of Rocket Shop where check-ins were 5x the current fan count, we suggested using Facebook’s check-in deals that rewards behavior to drive social “likes.” To avoid confusion among the wait staff, the reward can be something simple, low cost and logo-branded.
• Use the affordable Promote Posts tool — for a one-time fee between $5 – $20, Facebook ensures that your post will appear in your fans’ newsfeeds. Although your page may have many fans, if they don’t interact with your page often they may not get all your updates delivered to their newsfeeds.
(Current appearance of Rocket Shop Café’s Facebook page)
GAINING NEW LIKES/FOLLOWERS — One of the best strategies to gain followers is to make sure your website has a clear call to action when it comes to social media. Placing a Facebook icon with a link to your Page at the top of your homepage (not the bottom) is a great start, but requires visitors to leave your site and open Facebook to complete the action of liking your Page. A better and more effective option is to install a Facebook “like box” on the home page of your website. This widget (https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like-box/.) is easy to install and highlights friends that already like the page as well as providing a one-click like button.
As we shared with Rocket Shop, another great option is to refresh in-house signage/menus with specific URLs (web addresses) of your social media (ie, Facebook.com/mirandacreative or twitter.com/mirandacreative) Once you have an address for each social media, you can then create QR codes (http://qrcode.kaywa.com/) in your club/bar that can be scanned with smartphones connecting people directly to social media feeds.
DON’T OVERLOOK TWITTER…A POPULAR SOCIAL MEDIA WITH MALES AGES 18 – 25
(Current Rocket Shop Café Twitter appearance)
• Follow Other Pages – The more pages you follow, the more will follow you in return.
• Tweet more than your own promotions – retweet local news stories, funny tweets and images appropriate to your market profile.
• Use Twitter Shorthand — By including a “#” (hashtag) in front of any word, your tweet will automatically get tagged into conversations about the term. Pay attention to what’s trending (#mayancalendar) to join in.
• Take Advantage of Graphics – New Twitter graphic options are fun/engaging.
YES, YOU HAVE THE TIME TO DO THIS, WITH THE RIGHT TOOLS — Social Media can be a full time job, but few bars/nightclubs can justify the labor expense. For Rocket Shop, and for many clients, we recommend audience management platforms (AMP) that allow scheduled posts across MANY social medias at once. There are many options but our favorites are Sprout Social (www.sproutsocial.com) and Hootsuite (www.hootsuite.com).
USE THIRD-PARTY APPLICATIONS TO ENHANCE, WITH A PURPOSE — On Facebook, business page owners can create custom tabs using third party applications. Tabs can be found in rectangular boxes under a page’s cover photo.
Third party tab applications are incredibly flexible – including the ability to embed maps, video, images and webpages, depending on the application used.
Our new friends at Rocket Shop were using three-four different tab tools for everything from contests to micro websites, when one application would have met all needs, and allow the sharing of a MENU — an important marketing message.
Like audience management tools, there are many custom tab tools, but one of our favorite and most affordable is tabsite (http://www.tabsite.com).
(Example of one Rocket Shop Café Tab)
Watch the Rocket Shop makeover take off in the coming weeks and stay tuned for further updates as we share revised dashboards and introduce new “Socially Challenged” entrepreneurs in the weeks/months ahead.