“Craze” is woefully inadequate when it comes to describing what’s going on with social media, mobile devices and our seemingly endless appetite for constant connectivity. What more proof do you possibly need than the fact that there are more smartphones on Earth than toothbrushes. While that may be horrifying, it’s also incredibly telling. Ron Cates of Constant Contact broke down our hunger for social media and mobile devices in great detail at this year’s Nightclub & Bar Show.
Social media is a must for your business survive. You have to implement a social media strategy that works if you’re going to succeed. Part of that strategy needs to be positive interaction with your guests in order to create fans and advocates of your venue. The power of suggestion is immense: in 2014, more than 50% of us made a purchase based upon recommendations we read online. A successful strategy doesn’t mean you have to be perfect (Ron made a point of explaining that social media is “the bane of perfection”), it means you need to know when to reach out to social media users and what tools to utilize. For instance, did you know that you’re five times more likely to have your posts read and reposted on Thursday and Friday between the hours of 4PM and 6PM? Or that one of the most effective social media tools is Hootsuite?
Also, while Twitter and Facebook are the first sites we think of when discussing social media, be aware that more and more specialty and niche websites are popping up and experiencing huge growth. Monitor your fans to learn what sites they’re visiting in order to target them more effectively. Email lists are another fantastic way to reach guests via mobile devices but you need to avoid annoying them. Create two email lists, one consisting of guests with whom you have strong relationships and one for both potential and weak relationships. Obviously, hit the first list more often as they’re happy to be contacted by you.
Many marketing, PR and social media experts are afraid to tell an audience precisely how often they should post. Ron Cates is the opposite, willing to put himself out there to give us hard numbers. According to him, you should be posting a minimum of three times per week and a maximum of ten via Facebook. When it comes to Twitter, post at least five times every day to get good traction, with one of five of your tweets being about your business and the rest provoking your followers to engage you. Half of the time, strive to get likes, shares and incite reaction. Thirty percent of the time, make useful and informative posts and 20 percent of the time, post about your business. Do share posts that highlight your expertise in the industry but don’t flat out ask your followers to buy something from you. Also, fully embrace Yelp. Own your business’ profile, fill out every bit of information, include your logo and interact with people who post about your venue in a positive light.