This New Marketing Strategy Will Pack Your Bar with Little Effort or Money

Typey-type-type. Image: BrianAJackson / iStock / Getty Images Plus

There's a secret that most bar and restaurant owners don't know about Facebook marketing that can make their lives much easier, less stressful, and a hell of a lot more profitable when it comes to attracting new customers!

I'm going to share how you can make Facebook work for you. What do I mean by that? Getting Facebook to place your ads in front of new customers who are the most likely to do business with you. Why is that important? Because this means you'll pay a lot less to Facebook, you’ll start getting more new customers through your doors, and you’ll break free from the frustration of seeing your marketing not work as well as you need it to.

I'm also going to tell you how you can track what it costs you to get someone through your doors, and how to measure the results of your marketing campaign. That way you’ll know if your new customer marketing campaign brought you a profit, a loss, or broke even.

The Big Problem Most Operators Face with Facebook Marketing

When I start working with new clients what I see and hear is that they’re just “boosting” their specials and promotions. Or, they may run what’s called a “reach” campaign that’s designed to reach as many people as possible.

That, right there, is a waste of money. It’s like flying a helicopter over your town or city and dumping flyers out the window hoping they get into the hands of the right people.

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The truth is, that’s the “easy” way to use Facebook marketing. When you take the easy or cheap route, what happens? You don’t get what you expect. Wouldn’t you agree?

The Most Profitable Way to Use Facebook Ads

If you want to be able to track your results and get the highest ROI possible when getting new or past customers through your doors, you need to use “conversion” ads.

Before we dive too deep, I’m going to tell you what conversion ads are. I’ll then give you an example of how you’d apply them to your business.

First, conversion ads track “conversions,” meaning people who convert to taking action on one of your offers. The way Facebook tracks these conversions is with a “pixel,” a piece of code that goes on your website and tracks who hits your webpages.

How to Use Conversion Ads & Make Facebook do the Hard Work for You

I use conversion ads when it comes to getting new customers through my doors. What I’ll do is run ads on Facebook that tell potential guests about an offer. If they want to get the offer they need to click the link within the post to receive it. They are then taken to what’s called a “landing” page, a page on your website that tells them to enter their information to receive your offer.

After they’ve entered their information, they’re taken to a “thank you” page telling them to check their email for the offer. Finally, when they hit that thank you page, that equals the conversion. Facebook tracks the conversion and can tell you what it cost you per lead per signup.

The Secret Most Bar & Restaurant Owners Don’t Know About Facebook

Here’s the best part that most operators don’t understand: When you run conversion ads, Facebook goes through what’s called “Learning Mode” but it goes out of that mode after the first 50 conversions.

What Facebook does is learn who is converting on your ad. Their algorithm then starts putting your ads in front of others who have also “converted” on other offers, which now makes your job 10 times easier because you don’t have to create all these crazy targeted audiences like you had to do before.

With Facebook changing its algorithm to put your ads in front of the people who are most likely to achieve the goal you’re after—a conversion—you want to target as broad a market as possible with your offers.

I do a 5- to 10-mile radius around my business targeting males and females aged 21 to 65. That’s how broadly I set my ad parameters! I then let Facebook go to work, strategically placing my ads in front of those who are likely to convert on them.

Prior that strategy, I would target people based on their interests, such as bars or restaurants. But when I did that, I left out thousands of people who actually visit bars and restaurants—they just may not like a page related to bars and restaurants.

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After learning about Facebook’s newest changes to their algorithm, I tripled the number of signups for my offers and spent less per lead.

How to Track Your Results

Because you’re setting up conversion ads, Facebook will show you what it costs per lead or per signup. To make things easier for you to track on your end, create a button in your POS system for the offer you’re advertising. When the campaign is over, look to see how many of those offers were redeemed and what the total sales were from the promotion. Compare that to what you spent on ads.

Here’s one of our best case studies:

Nick Fosberg Burger Bach Facebook ad campaign case study slide 1

This shows you that the client paid $0.31 per lead per signup for their offer. You can also see they spent a total of $99.44 over two weeks’ time (top right corner of image).

Here you’ll see the backend of the marketing system we built for this client that shows the redemptions. They saw 592 redemptions in the same time frame:

Nick Fosberg Burger Bach Facebook ad campaign case study slide 2

This offer brought them $12,147.45 in net sales from $99.44 in ad-spend and built them an email list of almost 1,500 leads in just a few weeks’ time.

3 More Ways Conversion Ads Help You Make More Money

1. Every time someone clicks on your ad, that’s an engagement. You can build an audience inside of Facebook of everyone who engaged with your page in the last year. This also includes anyone who likes, shares, or comments.

Why is this important? Because when you go to promote your next special or promotion, you can target only these people, which keeps ad costs down. This also means you’re targeting a very tight group of people who have or had interest in doing business with you.

2. You’re building a list of emails this way. You can use these emails for future promotions that draw them to your bar or restaurant.

3. You’re able to invest money today in conversion ads and profit from the leads you get for months, even years, on end. If Burger Bach, the client from the case study I just showed you, sent out one email and got a two-percent response rate, that’s 30 people walking through the doors spending money again.


With that said, Facebook conversion ads are the smartest and most profitable way to grow any bar or restaurant business, or any business in general. You can spend $500 this month on conversion ads and see a return for months or years by building your database and building your audiences within Facebook.

Read thisBar Marketing and Promotions Ideas Essential to Your Business

The days of having to target all those specific interests are dead when it comes to targeting new customers. Facebook wants to make things easier on its advertisers and make sure they’re only putting content and ads in front of those who actually want to see it.

Want more amazing marketing advice like this? Register now for the 2019 Nightclub & Bar Show to take advantage of educational opportunities focused on marketing such as:

Nick Fosberg is a bar owner outside the Chicago area and CEO of Download his free report, "The 100/80/20 Marketing Formula," by clicking here to discover his strategies for attracting new customers at a profit.

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