5 Social Media & Digital Marketing Best Practices

Social

Marketing and advertising in this industry used to be all about flyers, posters, and even radio or TV broadcast ads. While these channels still hold some merit, there’s no doubting the effectiveness of digital and social media marketing to attract your customers. In fact, the internet remains the fastest growing medium for advertising globally and is expected to surpass traditional television by 2020, according to a new report.

The best part about digital marketing is you can be laser targeted to capture the exact audience you want. Speaker, author, and nightlife marketing consultant Louie La Vella recently spoke about this exact situation at last year’s Nightclub & Bar Show. He also reiterated it in a recent Nightclub & Bar article. He states:

“Outlets like Facebook allow you to boost posts to a specific targeted demographic. As an example, you can create birthday package special and design a fantastic image. Then boost that post to females, aged 21-25, that like a specific brand of liquor, in your geographic area, that like a specific style of music and have a birthday this week. When their birthday passes, they stop seeing the ad. Unbelievably targeted and speaks directly to that person using social media. The best part, we can see how many people saw that post, clicked on our link, and actually converted into a reservation.”

Here’s how you can take control of your marketing to get the biggest bang for your buck in the digital space.

1.  Know Your Audience

Before you start any type of marketing, you first need to know who your audience is. Customers are the number one component of a successful venue and a successful marketing campaign. Discover who your customers are, the experience the expect, the music they like to hear, the alcohol they like to drink, and the channels they spend the most time on (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc). This information dictates your entire marketing strategy and allows you to reach the right audience at the right time.

2.  Define Your Image

People connect with venues that have a focused style. This style is you r brand image. It’s what aligns customer expectation with customer experience. Your brand needs to represent your club’s reputation through your attributes, allures, purpose, strengths and passions. It should clearly differentiate you from the club down the street or even across the country. Define your vision, create the essence you want your customers to experience, and craft your messaging around these items. This is what drives consistency for your public perception and what gets people to connect with you on an emotional level. The more focus you have, the easier it will be to be authentic — something your audience craves on social channels.

3.  Use Your Tools

Remember the above scenario that Louie pointed out? That laser targeting was done through Facebook’s PowerEditor. Want to drive people directly to purchasing a ticket on your website? Try Twitter’s ad cards with an embedded CTA button. You can also reach people organically through blogs with the right SEO in place as well as social posts designed to reach followers. It all starts by first identifying the right channels for your audience, and using the myriad of tools at your disposal to reach your audience on their desired channels.

4.  Listen & Engage

The part of social media that many businesses fail at is the social part. Too often, companies simply post their content and then forget about it. I’ll admit I’m guilty of this as well. After all, it’s way easier to log on, blast a corporate message on your own pages, and then log off. But that doesn’t create engagement, and it certainly doesn’t create results. The sad reality is people don’t care about you as a company, they care about themselves. They’re not going directly to your pages every day to see what you have to say; they’re scrolling thought their own personal pages and going to their relevant discussion bards to get the information they need. So if you’re not where they are and you’re not offering any value, then you’re irrelevant. Listen to what your audience is saying, and engage with them in an authentic way that’s true to your brand. If they post a comment or question to you, answer it immediately. Nurturing your community and having conversations within your posts is just as important as getting your post out there in the first place.

5.  Measure

You’ll never know how successful your digital marketing efforts are if you don’t track and measure results. But before you can measure, you need to first identify your goals — what you want to get out of your efforts. At the end, you benchmark your results against your goals to determine the success rate and ROI. Remember, the “R” in ROI doesn’t have to be sales and it doesn’t have to be a monetary return. If your desired result were to get 1,000 landing page hits from social media activity, the “R” would be the outcome of the time and money invested in reaching that goal. Perhaps you want to measure clicks, or you do in fact want to measure purchases, such as ticket-purchases or pre-sale entry. Just be sure to first define your goal, calculate the result, and benchmark the two together to know if your channel is worth reinvesting in or if you need to make some changes.

Whitney Johnson's articles are provided by BookBottles and she will be speaking at the 2016 Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show. Make sure to check out her session.