Weighing in On the Art of Online ConversationJune 16, 2014 By: Ron Cates
You know the scene. Music is playing, the crowds are pouring in and the conversations are getting, shall we say, interesting. As a work hazard, you’ve overheard more than a few cheesy pick-up lines and sometimes compare notes with your staff after hours. It’s easy to spot who has game and who doesn’t when you have nothing to lose. Ironically, the same clumsy behavior that makes us laugh behind the bar is not too different from how some bars present themselves on social media.
Since the worst offenders are usually the last to recognize it, “Social Media Wingman” (SMW) is here with the three worst one-liners as they relate to social media and to share tips on improving your marketing game.
“How are you ladies doing this evening?”
Nothing says personalized greeting like a quasi rhetorical question thrown out to the masses in the hope that somebody, anybody, will bite. They don’t. Online, broad questions that don’t take the conversation anywhere are also met with lackluster responses.
1. Have a strategy before for your social media efforts. This includes defining your ideal audience and making sure your posts are focused on their interests while also reflecting the atmosphere of your establishment.
2. Initiate conversations by asking specific questions such as who is your favorite jazz musician or MLB pitcher, depending on the type of bar you manage.
3. Be selective about the invitations you accept. It’s easy to be seduced by the idea of having lots of fans and followers. However, you’ll build a stronger business by regularly engaging with your target audience.
“Here I am! What were your other two wishes?”
If you use social media to only talk about you and how fabulous your business is, you’ll get the same eye-roll response Mr. Suave does when he uses that line.
1. For every eight posts, only one should be promotional. The others should be focused on sharing insight and little known fun facts about your industry or business. The more valuable your content is, the more likely your followers will spread the word on your behalf, essentially becoming your wingmen.
2. Just because you can like your own comments, doesn’t mean you should nor does it mean you should tell your followers to like them. Let your audience decide what they want to share with their network.
3. Share great content from your followers and give them credit. This eliminates any whiff of an ego and builds stronger ties with your customers.
“Come here often?”
There’s no excuse for not knowing your regular patrons and what they like. You can learn more about them by inspiring them to follow you on social media. This enables you to create more personalized experiences for them when they come in and increases the likelihood that they’ll return.
Also, as you learn more about your customers, they should be learning more about you since transparency is crucial to your business and social media success.
1. Complete your profile on every social network where your business has a presence and include a clear and professional photo of your brand.
2. Respond genuinely and immediately to every comment and avoid tools that send automated responses.
3. Consider taking a poll on Facebook asking fans to vote on best bartender or favorite local band, for example. In exchange, select fans win valuable prizes. Along with giving you insight into what your customers like, this will attract more fans and patrons.
Follow SMW’s tips and soon you’ll be so money you won’t even know it.