The 3 Things That Limit the ROI of Social Media Marketing

Image: bernardbodo / iStock / Getty Images Plus

There are three things that you’re not doing on social media that are keeping you from getting any real return on that investment.

That investment might be dollars out of pocket for boosted social media ads or actual wasted time out of your busy week. It doesn’t matter if it’s you who’s doing the work, a bar manager, a social media expert, or your promoters putting in the effort—it’s sweat equity and real dollars.

Here are three things that you’re not doing that are impacting your ability to fill your event.

1. Tasking someone with filling your event who isn’t an expert.

Maybe it’s your bar manager. Perhaps it’s a promoter. It might even be you! Giving away the power to plan and promote a promotion via your social media channels to somebody who doesn’t know how to fill your venue is extremely scary for you to do.

The correct person to execute a promotion through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms is somebody who’s an expert in the way today’s algorithms and big data work on social media. Using outdated or very basic techniques to develop a social media plan is a killer. If you or the person tasked with using social media to fill your bar, nightclub or restaurant through a promotion has no understanding of how each platform works, there can be no control, meaning you’re unable to predictably fill any event.

Read this: What is Humanized Data and How Will it Transform Your Business?

Ultimately, this is going to hurt your bottom line and your ego. It’s essential to make sure that whoever’s in charge of your social media and your marketing is well trained in social media algorithms. Don’t only look at “pretty” content—this is a huge mistake that most venues make.

2. No call to action in your posts.

Most venues are great at posting their flyers, albums of the weekend (that just passed), cocktails, and menu items. However, many operators forget to add strong calls to action to their posts.

You need to control the customer journey. Collect their information whenever you can. Get their name, email and phone number. Give yourself a chance to follow up and book reservations.

Read this: The Man Behind Bar Rescue: 6 Takeaways from a Jon Taffer Keynote

On some platforms, adding your phone number (or email address) to a post is ineffective because it won’t be clickable. Instead, your follower—and potential customer—needs to remember your number, close the social media app to which you posted, then open their phone app to call your business. Not going to happen. This journey is too clunky and won’t work and it’s another major reason why your time, effort and money are being wasted.

And now for one of the biggest reasons you’re not seeing an ROI on social media.

3. Advertising.

Most businesses in this industry have no issues spending money on Facebook and Instagram. However, if an owner is unable to properly track and predict what’s going on that money has been wasted. Not being able to understand and dissect the data to make a proper decision keeps you from scaling your spend and filling your venue.

I’ve had this conversation so many times: “Well, I’ve spent money on Facebook and got nothing in return. I put $5 at a time into my boosts but who knows what it’s doing.”

The problem with that thinking is that you’ll never be able to scale, create a system to predictably sell out your events, and outspend your competition without worry. Instead, you’ll become afraid to put your money on the line to grow your business. You’ll trip over pennies to make dollars.

Read this: Seven Keys To Assembling a Great Team with Brian Bartels

When you have the power to spend a penny to receive a return of a dollar, spend ten dollars and for a hundred, and, like me, spend a hundred dollars to see a return of thousands, you have the unique power to fill your event every single weekend using social media. That’s a lot of power, and that predictability is the difference between venues that are full at the snap of the owner’s fingers or struggle to be half or even a quarter full.

Louie La Vella is a speaker, author and nightlife marketing consultant. His marketing agency uses his LAVELLAMETHOD to successfully fill hundreds of venues around the world using social media and scaling strategies to work with bars, nightclubs, concerts and festivals. Learn more at

La Vella’s informative 2019 Nightclub & Bar Show session, “Big Data & Machine Learning can 5x Your Facebook & Instagram Ads ROI,” will teach attendees valuable social media strategies. You’ll learn how Louie La Vella uses pixels and audience creation to create multiple layers of audiences on Facebook and sell out events and fill rooms all over the world. Be sure to register today!

Suggested Articles

Learn how to convert interested leads into faithful followers and, eventually, booked clients.

Research from the latest National Restaurant Association and Yelp Show the Latest Rate in Closures

Six-month sales, education and networking virtual event series offers a brand-new approach for the industry to connect with owners, operators and supp