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5 Ways to Convert Social Media Fans into Paying Customers

July 16, 2013 By: Ron Cates


Social Media How is it that you can amass loads of fans and followers on social media yet still have open seats at the bar?

This situation is actually quite common when you think about how easy it is to get someone to “Like” you online. Yet converting those likes into paying customers and transforming those customers into steady patrons and, ideally, your word-of-mouth marketers aren’t the easiest feats to accomplish.

To help you do this, here are five ways to inspire your online fans to get out from behind their computer screens and into your establishment.

1. Run a poll

Run a poll on Facebook asking fans to vote on a popular topic such as “Which team will win the World Series?” For those fans that participated in the poll, send them an email inviting them to a special World Series themed event.

Segmenting your audience like this allows you to:

  • Send more personalized messages, which results in higher response rates.
  • Create a compelling reason to come to your business.
  • Present an opportunity for fans to meet in person.
  • Engage your fans in person.

You can apply this idea to almost any trend as long as it reflects the interests of your target audience and the theme of your bar or nightclub.  

2. Create a great offer.

Who could blame you if you shudder at the thought of participating in a group deal? Perhaps you’ve heard they cut too deeply into profits, don’t attract your ideal clientele or aren’t suited to bars and nightclubs. However, before you nix the idea, you should know that offers can be mutually beneficial if you follow these three non-negotiable rules:

  • Only send the offer to a select group of fans.
  • Maintain complete control over the terms of the deal and the maximum amount of people that will be able to redeem it.
  • Never surrender your email contacts to a third party.

3. Host a private event for your VIP fans.

Identify those fans that have gone out of their way to spread the word about your business and invite them to a special wine tasting or perhaps offer them access to a private party during a high profile event.

This is a great way to thank them for their support and it also creates another opportunity for you to connect with them one-on-one. Just be sure to leave enough room at the event so they can bring along a friend that you can potentially add to your growing list of social media followers.

4. Present exclusive specials only through social media.

You can build up your following and fill seats at the bar by running special promotions exclusively on one social media site. For example, you could give away tickets to a sold out event to followers who correctly and directly message you the answers to trivia questions that are only posted on Twitter.

5. Give them a compelling reason to return.

Once you’ve enticed your online fans to come in, you need to inspire them to return. You can do this by engaging them on a one-on-one basis, asking for feedback, and learning more about their interests. From there, send a personalized email with a special offer that would appeal to certain fans.

For example, you may discover that five of your guests participate in extreme sports. Consider tailoring an offer that makes your bar the meet-up spot after a local triathlon.

These five recommendations are the lowest costing yet most effective ways to motivate your online fans to choose your place over the competition.


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