No longer is just a good website enough, you need to be aware of ALL forms of social media.
Marketing a pub used to be so easy…
Check you are ready for opening: lights on, till ready, lines cleaned, fridges stocked, staff on time, kitchen geared up, loos spotless, garden brushed, flowers arranged, papers available, internet working, prices displayed, tables cleaned, temperature appropriate, glasses polished, ice ready, menus on display, staff knowledgeable and trained in all aspects, coffee & tea ready, smoking area cleaned, music gently playing, telly ready for those who want it, outside appearance checked, A-boards looking great with up-to-date information and messages, car park clean, clear and looking great – and about another 50 things to think of!
Then, just open the door and customers come flooding in. Ha, not any more!
You certainly have to do all of the aforementioned things; BUT nowadays you also have to actively market your pub, and let potential customers know what you have to offer, then target those to whom you can deliver the promise!! But even more than that, you very much have to be aware of your ‘reputation’ on social media. It’s all too easy for customers to say how good or bad you are. When they say you are “bad” what are you going to do about it? Answer them is the answer, get their details, correspond with them, treat poor observations as an opportunity to change what you do, isolate the vexatious comments, learn from the perceptions customers have of you. Have a Digital voice: Twitter, Facebook and all of the tons of other places customers can now damage your business. You wouldn’t let people stand outside your pub with a fog-horn telling passers by what a load of rubbish your beer and food and staff are; would you?. So letting commentators say those sort of things online or via the myriad of social websites without a repost is just the same thing!
It used to be the case that Mary would tell Edie what a good pub you have, they would tell six other people, in turn, they would each tell another three – and so on. Then it became adverts in local newspapers and leaflet drops, then it became you telling them via your website. But now potential customers care less about your website and much more about what people say about you and your business on social media.
More and more customers (probably the majority) now search for online reviews of your pub before making a decision to visit you. No longer do they just view your website for positive messages. As the good-time-gal (Mandy Rice-Davies) once said “They would say that wouldn’t they”! Prospective customers know that you’ll only ever put good news on your own website! Now that it’s so easy for customers to comment on their experience of their visit to you, malicious and unfair reviews get posted all the time – so you need to be on top of what is being said about you!!