As we all know one way to liven up an event is to utilize social media as a platform; and that is exactly what Side Bar did for its Five/Ten promotion that it hosts every Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“The last few years we’ve brought in a hot tub, and that’s been one of the little niches that no other Sunday party had,” explains Side Bar’s social media director, Annie Abrahamson. But this year, the hot tub no longer held the cachet it once had, but “we wanted to keep it.” Therefore, the bar decided to fill it with colorful balls you find at a kids party place. “But that alone wasn’t enough; we needed something else.”
Abrahamson immediately saw an opportunity that would potentially draw in larger crowds and increase likes and followers on Facebook and Instagram to “build integration between us and our guests,” she explains. And that’s how the Facebook and Instagram photo/hashtag contest was born.
During the Five/Ten Sunday event, guests can take a photo of themselves and their friends in the ball tub, tag themselves and hashtag #fivetenhasballs, posting it on Facebook and Instagram. Once enough photos are posted, the Side Bar team chooses the best photo that represents Side Bar, and they win VIP bottle service.
To get guests interested, Side Bar has a sign by the ball tub and also encourages employees and in-house photographers to take pictures of guests. “Everyone on the team is involved and is excited about it,” Abrahamson said. “When we push our staff to help us out, the numbers go up. We see higher numbers when all the wheels are working together.”
Launched three weeks ago, the promotion has been building week to week, creating a loyal following at the nightclub and online. Although the return on investment is not monetary, Abrahamson says that the numbers are going up on Facebook and Instagram. “It’s not only about getting new users to our page, but it’s about engaging them,” she says. Hosting a promotion like this on Facebook and Instagram also ensures that Side Bar keeps popping up on peoples’ pages and news feeds, she adds. “That’s what these contests are about,” she says. “When people are tagging us or commenting on a photo, we can keep that back-and-forth engagement going.”
Plus, she says, “It creates loyalty.”
Because of its integration on multiple social media networks, the promotion is connecting on all levels, but Abrahamson warns that nightclubs and bars should be strategic about what promotions they put online.
Abrahamson says that she only puts something together when the team has a quality idea that is creative enough to pull people in. “If you do it too much, it becomes stale,” she says.
For Abrahamson, she has seen an uptick of more fans on Side Bar’s social media pages, but beyond the metrics, the nightclub is offering a personalized experience for the guest who can continue be engaged with the nightclub even after last call.