The social media landscape has shifted. Again. Not wildly, but enough to have an impact on the way you market your bar or nightclub. Three of the biggest changes are:
1. Visual content is getting even more popular on email and social media.
2. Social networks based on visual content, like Tumblr and Instagram, are on the rise.
3. Your customers are spending more time on their smartphones. By 2019, there will be 10 times the amount of mobile data traffic than there is today.
What does this mean for your business? On a tactical level, it suggests that you may need to up your marketing game to include more visual and mobile campaigns. But there’s a larger marketing strategy to consider – customer engagement.
When you focus on genuinely getting to know your customers and skip the overt marketing tactics, they’re more likely to respond to your posts, come back to your bar, and tell their friends about your place.
As 2015 rolls in, here are ways to engage customers while capitalizing on those three shifts.
Visual storytelling. You know anecdotally that images and videos are more likely to be remembered and shared, but did you know that online content with relevant images gets 94 percent more views?
To stand out from the crowd, here are five ideas to make sure your images are remembered as they make the rounds online.
1. Show the people behind your business including popular wait staff and bartenders.
2. Run a social media campaign that rewards customers for the most creative images or videos showing their love for Valentine’s Day, their shenanigans around St. Patrick’s Day or their March Madness.
3. Create a meme that riffs on a popular trend.
4. Tell a story using a series of images instead of a single shot.
5. Share infographics featuring fun facts such as the number of calories burned dancing or the amount of olives sacrificed to martinis each year.
Visual social networks: Tumblr and Instagram are getting more popular every day. In fact, Tumblr now has more than 214 million blogs filled with videos, photos, and GIFs. Meanwhile, Instagram boasts 200 million active users per month.
To get customers to engage with you on these networks, start by building a portfolio of images that accurately conveys the atmosphere of your place. Next, engage with your audience by commenting and liking their photos. You’ll also want to link to your other social media profiles so you can share images across the networks for maximum reach.
Additionally, if you have a popular performer or DJ due to make an appearance, ask them to give a shout out to your business. Ideally, ask them to post photos and captions that direct their followers to your online profile and your bar.
Mobile campaigns: Just like you need to get approval to tag customers before you post their photos online, you also need to get their okay before you send them a text. You’re more likely to get a green light if you let them know you won’t abuse their privacy and if you highlight the benefits of signing up to receive texts. Those benefits can include happy hour specials and VIP access to events. And if you’re combining text with images, be sure the pictures are easy to download.
As you get more immersed in visual and mobile marketing in 2015, don’t be afraid to explore and experiment. You’ll learn as you go and continue to refine your efforts. Most importantly, have fun engaging your customers.