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Online marketing for publicans

Few establishments these days can afford not to be online whether with an enticing website, a Facebook page that details events, a Twitter account to keep customers up to date with what’s on tap or an image gallery that shows off your marvellous premises, beer garden and restaurant.

Getting an online presence needn’t be costly, indeed much of what you can do is absolutely free. If you’ve made a start but struggle to find the time, here are some quick tips to help you get on top of your marketing. If you’re still shy about using a computer to generate footfall, there are some tips to get you started too.

Website
The only thing that may possibly incur a cost in our list is having your own dedicated website, however there are cost effective options available.
www.wordpress.com offers you the chance to create an attractive website or blog from a range of templates for free. Follow these few steps to help you:

1) Select a template

template

2) Select a domain name. Here are the options for “The Kings Head”, you’re advised to get as close to your actual name as possible. With all of the Kings Head pubs in Britain its unlikely you’ll get exactly what you want so its a good idea to add your location too, for example: www.thekingsheadtownname.wordpress.com

 

template

3) Select the plan that works for you. It may be worth your while to pay to get additional information such as analytics about the amount or visitors you receive or avoid adverts across your site that will happen on the free version. The choice is yours.

template

After this you’re pretty much ready to go.

Now you just need to make sure you post regular updates and make sure your customers know to look out for you online. Advertise your site around the bar, print it on t-shirts if necessary. The more interest you get the better. A tip for those writing content: get others to read what you plan to post to remove typos and spelling mistakes.

Facebook
Since it started at Harvard University back in 2004, the social media site has become a phenomenon. Boasting more than a billion and a half users worldwide, it is difficult to ignore. Setting up an account for your business is simplicity itself and allows your customers to “like” or comment on your establishment. Its a great way to advertise your beer festival or beer tasting event, summer barbecue or karaoke night. As with all of our tips, the more information you can provide your customers, the more popular you will be.

Importantly, you will need a personal Facebook account in order to do the administration for a business page. Go to create a page https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/ and select “Local Business or Place.” On the top drop down menu, select “bar” along with your other relevant details and you’re ready to start posting. It’s a good idea to have some good images of your establishment already taken so that you can upload them straight away; you might want to do this on a sunny day to show the premises in its best light.

Twitter

Nothing could be quicker than sending a “tweet” to your loyal customers. A twitter account takes seconds to create; simply enter the name of the account, select a password and you’re away. Use “hashtags” to raise your visibility. “Following” lots of people will often attract them to follow you, although don’t be upset if Justin Beiber doesn’t follow you back right away, he is a busy guy after all!

What do I do now?

The most important thing to do now is spend a little time on building interest online. Write interesting and unique things about your bar and restaurant. Its useful to put yourself in the shoes of your most desirable customers and write as if it is them alone that you want to welcome to your stylish saloon bar.
Those that make a feature of their real ales can talk about their latest products, if you have a great menu then no one is going to blame you for shouting about how wonderful it is. Photographs are always good, people respond far more readily to images – and video if you’re feeling creative – and they are easy to upload from any smart phone.

Email

A personalised email can work wonders in gaining loyal customers if used correctly. Here are some things that you should and should not do when it comes to emailing your customers.

Do:
• Keep it personal, friendly and engaging – “dear customer” will not earn you a friend
• Make your message stand out right away from the subject line and don’t waffle
• Respect wishes of people to be removed from your mailing list. Give them the opportunity to opt out of further messages if they want to
• Keep it relevant

Don’t:
• spam. If someone willingly gives you an email address respect the trust they have put in you not to bother them with inconsequential nonsense
• pass anyone’s details onto a third party. Ever.

Ask your customers if they’d like to receive news from you and often you’ll be given their email address without a problem. The important thing to remember is that it will require some time to build your following and you should be thinking about a regular post online, even if it’s just a tweet or two per day, a Facebook or web site update. Commit a little time daily and you’ll start to see results. Promote your beer festival, gush about the latest additions to your menu, set up games nights, quizzes…wow! Who knew there was so much social life to be had?

Of course with the day to day running of a bar, there are a thousand other jobs you could (or should) be doing…

Thankfully, we have the solution to at least one of those pressing tasks –the weekly line cleaning. Those hours that you are busily pulling cleaning fluid through your lines, wasting precious beer and tipping all that money down the drain.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could simplify the process? Not only that, you’ll have more beer to sell because barely a drop gets wasted. See how productive and better off you’ll be in just a few weeks by taking a free, no obligation trial.

We guarantee you’ll have time to deal with your new found online stardom. You can’t automate a good sales pitch but you can programme effective beer line cleaning.

We’ve given you the tools, now let’s get social- and don’t forget to follow Beer Piper too!

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