• Jason at Three Nations

4 surprising social media tips for pubs and restaurants

So you’ve opened your pub or restaurant – it’s time to socialise. Here are four surprising tips to use social media to promote your business effectively.

First of all, welcome to the brand-new website for Three Nations Dispense. You’ll notice plenty has changed, making it clearer to see everything we provide and giving you more ways to interact with Three Nations, such as this blog.

We will use this section to give you unique insight into starting out as a pub or restaurant, from deciphering the technical jargon you get in the day-to-day, to the more finnicky questions that nobody really wants to try to answer, as it may give away too much of their business’ secret sauce.

And so, to kick things off, we thought it’d be best to start with a topic that we know a fair thing or two about – social media. As a unique added extra to the technical services we provide, we can help with your digital marketing needs too. Our crack team of experts is ready to help with any situation, and we asked them a simple question… “what advice could you give to a pub or restaurant that they haven’t heard before?”

Search on Google, and you’ll see plenty of simple guides for hospitality social media, but we can guarantee one thing. None of them feature the below four tips. Grab a cuppa and take some notes.

1. It’s better to be in one place and do it well, rather than try to be everywhere.

There seems to be a common behaviour across businesses big and small, a want to be on as many social platforms as possible. But here’s the thing – spreading yourself too thin as that will lead to one thing. Disaster.

Your content will be rushed and half-baked, leading to less engagement across platforms, and (ultimately) fewer people finding out about you and visiting your establishment. We recommend a core two platforms – Facebook and Instagram – and add a third on Twitter if you’re really enjoying it.

2. Hashtags? Keep them off Facebook

Since Facebook’s announcement that hashtags can be used on their service, more and more pubs and restaurants have started using them.

It’s easy to do, but we wouldn’t recommend it. Facebook hashtags have been proven to not affect the reach of your posts in any way, and they may reduce engagement by making your content look pretty ugly.

3. Create an Instagrammable experience…or don’t

The common lesson taught here by most is to master your own photography style. Take a look through some restaurant feeds and you’ll notice they have their own defined style, whether it’s bright, colourful and full of food, or more subdued and more premium in nature.

Every brand’s voice is different, and there is always a photography style to fit. In turn, you can also run competitions to get your customers to take pictures of their own experiences. But that’s where the twist comes in, as sometimes the power of the internet can really get to some users’ heads. Several so-called “influencers” attempted to gather free ice cream from Joe Nicchi and his van, and instead of going down the standard route of agreeing on a post or gently letting them down, he went in hard – generating headlines and huge levels of interaction.

It’s the kind of response that you may feel is a nightmare interaction for business in hospitality, but if used effectively, it gets you plenty of goodwill points with your average consumer.

4. Reach and engagements aren’t necessarily the most important stats

Congratulations, you’re reading a lot of people with your posts and plenty of them are liking, commenting and sharing them…but they’re not paying the bills. Customers are. Now, how many of those people who like your posts are coming into your establishment? It’s that fabled “return on investment” that seems a little tricky to figure out.

Lucky for you, through conversion tracking, we can help with that! Drop us a message and let’s chat about what you’re looking for. Once you have a fuller picture like that, you may realise that those memes that were getting tonnes of likes may not be as effective as you think.

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