How social are you? If you’re not reaching out to your guests through social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, you’re seriously missing out on a great way to connect with them. Here’s a look at how two nightclubs in top-tier cities connect with guests. Hint: You don’t have to do it all yourself!
Outsourcing Online Efforts
Sometimes, to ensure a job is done well, it’s best to outsource it to people who can meet — or exceed — your goals. That’s Mike Tracy’s social media philosophy for his 350-person-capacity club Katwalk in Manhattan. An outside group handles the work on social networking sites to make sure each operates at its full potential for New York’s party-goers — a group that is extremely devoted to technology and cyber networking. “I look at our pages every day, but the day-to-day maintenance is sourced out,” Tracy says.
Previously, Tracy used Buzztxt.com to run his social media and SMS texting only, but he switched to My Nightclub Manager, which runs on revenue sharing rather than the typical monthly fee, for all of his marketing efforts. “I brought on a team comprised of revenue partners. It’s purely based on revenue increases, and they get a percentage of increased revenue each week. Thus, they are motivated to do the best they can.”
Their most lucrative social media attempt so far has been in the club’s “Sexiest Kitten” photo contest on Facebook. When a woman is tagged in a photo taken by the club photographer, the woman in the photo is then in the running to be named the Sexiest Kitten; the most-viewed photo wins. If the winning woman responds to the management at Katwalk, she receives a complimentary bottle of house Champagne on her next visit.
For mid-sized venues, sometimes the day-to-day operations are more than enough to handle in themselves, and the extra task of social media — though easy and rewarding — is just another thing to add to a long to-do list. As long as management supervises the process and ensures the correct actions are being taken online, there’s no reason a venue can’t outsource its social media efforts. Just be sure the message and vibe mimic what one of your own staff members would convey.
It Takes Dedication
For massive, multi-venue nightlife companies like the Las Vegas Nightlife Group, social media is a serious business. Though the group’s Blush Boutique Nightclub may see 1,000 guests a night and the brand-new Encore Beach Club/Surrender Nightclub properties can host upward of 5,000 people, social media helps create a more intimate relationship with its mass audience.
“Social media for us is one of the most important aspects of the business,” says Jonathan Shecter, director of marketing for the Las Vegas Nightlife Group.
How important? There are three full-time employees in the company that do nothing but dedicate their days to networking online, and each of the several hundred employees of the group is required to have a Facebook page and a Twitter account. They are required to post on the sites multiple times a day, and grades are given out from A to F based on their online performance.
“This is all about making sure both those sites have as many people talking about our club as possible,” he says.
The office has a giant flatscreen with a free program called Tweetdeck featured. It’s software that monitors Twitter and Facebook, allowing for customization.
“We watch everyone, not only our staff but also everyone who mentions our venue on those sites,” he continues. “We can see who in the world is talking about us and if our staff is doing their job.”
Schecter realizes one of the biggest values of social media is the networking aspect — people are going online to make plans, meet up and find things to do. “There’s the age-old question of ‘What are you doing tonight?” Shecter offers. “Nightclub and bar owners need to realize that today guests search for that answer on social media sites.”