We are excited to bring you a new blog series that we are calling Flashback Friday, in which we will take an old blog post and revamp it with more information and new ideas.
This week we will be taking a look at a blog that was posted in May 2014: Competitive Bar Promotion Ideas for Each Night of the Week. In this blog, we gave you some ideas on how you could use automation to market your bar to draw in more patrons. However, in the blog we didn't go into much detail about how to implement these ideas using marketing automation, so we will use this week's blog to expand on some of the ideas which were previously suggested.
Automated Ideas for Bar Promotion Night by Night
In the previous blog, we mentioned that Monday is typically a slow night for bars, as many people aren't focused on going out after heading back to work that day. We mentioned that creating food and drink specials that appeal to smaller groups is a great way to draw customers into your bar and that you can promote these specials via social media.
To do this, you can create an automated social media campaign on Twitter and/or Facebook, with posts that include catchy hashtags such as #MartiniMonday or #MondayMadness to generate interest and engagement. With a marketing automation platform, you have the ability to write out all of your social media posts in advance and schedule them to be sent out automatically whenever you want. This creates very little need for maintenance and effort on your part and yet it is an extremely effective way to bring in customers on an otherwise slow night.
Tuesday is one of the most productive days for people, according to our previous blog. We said you could take advantage of this by focusing on business on this night, offering special pricing for business dinners or drinks, or by allowing companies to rent out your establishment for the evening. It was suggested that, before the event, you send emails, voice messages, or text messages reminders to contacts.
Before you send out these reminders, however, you must have your patrons and interested parties opt in to receive communications from you. Otherwise, you are violating CASL and CAN-SPAM regulations. We mentioned that you could have people sign up using a signup form to receive updates from your bar and to find out whether it has been rented out already, for example. A signup form works best if it placed on a landing page on your website, somewhere easily noticed. On the signup form, be sure to ask for the person's name and also their preferred method of communication so that you can be sure to send them updates where they will be most likely to read them.
Once the person has submitted the signup form, their information is automatically entered into the CRM, where it will be stored in a unique personal profile for future use.
On Wednesday, we suggested that this is a good day to promote food specials and that a good way to do this is with a social media contest.
You can easily write and automate trivia questions on the marketing automation platform to post to social media on Wednesdays and ask that all responses be accompanied by a certain hashtag, such as #WackyWednesdayTrivia, for example. Then, from all of the correct answers you receive with that hashtag attached, you can go through them and randomly select a winner to win a free dinner for two or half priced drinks. Contests like this will likely be shared across the social media platform, meaning they have the potential to have an extensive reach.
Thursdays are when people are first starting to get excited for the weekend, and our previous post suggested appealing to the younger, college crowd by sending out automated emails and text messages to remind them of the goings on at your bar that night.
Emails and SMS messages are often read very quickly, which is good if you have a group of people trying to decide where to go for the evening. Make your emails and texts even more personal by adding merge tags to your messages through the help of your automation platform and CRM. You can use the contact information that is stored in the CRM and merge certain fields, such as the contact's name, into the message. People like being catered to and feeling valued. Personalizing your communications using automation is an easy way to do just that without needing to manually send each message.
Themed nights were suggested in our previous post as a way to distinguish your bar from all the others on a Friday night. Posting content about previous theme nights on your social media pages and website is a great way to entice newcomers to these events and remind regulars just how much fun they had last time.
To further increase anticipation of the night, start off your social media campaign with a vague post about a special event coming up. Then, you can follow up this post with a series of hints that will be sure to have your patrons guessing and getting ramped up for the night. Finally, you can schedule the big reveal for a day or two before the event, to give people enough time to put costumes together, if need be.
Again, you can schedule social media updates to post automatically to your platforms to reduce the amount of effort it takes to maintain a strong social media presence.
Saturdays are one of the busiest nights of the week for bars, and it's important that yours does what it can to divert customers from heading elsewhere. Live music was suggested as a great way to bring people into your bar and holding contests as a way to increase their engagement.
As you can probably tell by now, social media is paramount while marketing your establishment and it can be utilized in so many different ways. We have already discussed how you can use it as a way to hold a contest to win free drinks or merchandise, alert people when special events are occurring and using hashtags to increase engagement. All of these methods can be reused throughout the week in an effort to boost customer interaction and attendance.
It was also mentioned in the previous blog that you can send out email and text messages to remind patrons who's playing music on any given night. An email newsletter is an efficient way to keep everyone in the know. Email newsletters, like almost every other means of communicating with your patrons, can be scheduled to be sent automatically every week or month, however often you would like. Newsletters can also be tailored to each recipient using a process called conditional formatting to personalize your communications with them.
Conditional formatting allows you to use the information in your CRM to only send information relevant to each specific person and automatically omit anything that doesn't apply to them. If your contact's profile says he is a male, for example, he may not want to receive a message promoting a Ladies' Night at your bar. This is a great way to show customers they are appreciated and valued, which will go a long way to gaining new customers and repeat visitors to your bar.
To make the most of the remaining hours of the weekend, the previous blog suggested hosting a special event such as an amateur night, speed dating, etc. Another idea here is karaoke. You can easily turn karaoke into a fun contest – a kind of hybrid with an amateur night – where you could use SMS messaging and surveys to have your audience vote for their favorite performer.
Here's how it could be done.
Have your voters opt into messages by texting a word to a shortcode, such as KARAOKEVOTE to 555555. Then, once they have opted in, they would automatically receive a short survey with the numbers of the contestants. They would complete the survey and the results would automatically be tabulated, allowing you to determine your winner without hardly any effort! This is a quick and easy way to engage your patrons and help them make the most of their Sunday evening.