It’s currently a very difficult time for pubs, especially for isolated and village pubs – “the pub” is seen as the heart of a community (alongside the church) and your customers will tell you how to best run it – as if you don’t know how to do so?!

With two pubs closing every week within the UK, it’s becoming more and more important to keep on top of communication with your customers/patrons and to engage with them, not just over the bar, but online too.

People notice the little details (yes, they will spend time looking at that themed wallpaper in the lavatories!) and they may even share those finer details with their friends & followers on social media without you realising.

Your customers/patrons are sharing more on social media than you might realise and it’s very important, if you want to survive, to keep on top of what’s being shared and said – and to engage with this!

It could be worth considering social media conversations as an extension of the general chit chat had over the bar with a pint in hand – and your potential customers are out there waiting to be tempted in too…

If you haven’t heard of it, you may well do so very soon, the Untappd app is an exciting new app many beer drinkers are currently using. A virtual beer-sharing platform – if you are a beer drinker, brewery or a pub, you need to get yourself on this and connect with your fellow drinkers/fans (and if you want to connect with me there, you’ll have to ask me privately, as I couldn’t possibly share here what and how much I may or may not drink socially).

I was recently asked to speak to a group of local landlords and pub owners at an event hosted by South Cambridgeshire District Council, where I hosted a presentation on social media advice to raise the profile of your pub.

As well as this, I also hosted a series of workshops during the afternoon to help the delegates with more specific social media advice, all hosted at The Plough in Shepreth near Royston – a superb venue for such an inspiring day.

This was a full day, including talks from Bernard Lee from , Terry Stork from Pub is the Hub, Nicole Hamilton from the Plunkett Foundation and Nicole Kritzinger on behalf of Destination Digital (a fantastic source of Government funding for up to £3000 for super fast broadband for local small/medium businesses).

The purpose of this event was to help local pub owners and landlords to grow their pub’s business with the help of the advice on offer throughout this informative day. The feedback I received on the social media elements was fantastic and the focussed workshops got some really interesting conversations going on how local pubs use social media and what their “plan of attack” is whilst using them – I loved every minute.

A HUGE thank you to SCDC for inviting me to speak at this event, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I can’t wait to work alongside some of the local venues that wish to chat through their plans with me in the near future, it’s very exciting to be involved as a beer drinker and food lover myself.

With this in mind, why should pubs embrace social media? Here are just a few reasons as to why:

▽ It’s the extension of a conversation over the bar – a great way for your customers to get to know you

 You can see what people are doing & saying about your venue

 Allows you to tempt people into your venue visually & verbally – helping them to decide where to go

Simply it’s great marketing = when executed in the right way

 You can search & connect with local brands/businesses/venues/potential customers

▽ Lets you host interactive competitions that people will want to share with their friends

▽ A perfect medium to promote upcoming events/fundraisers/deals

 You can engage in banter/conversation with your customers – making them feel valued

▽ It’s the new form of customer service – fast responding to feedback/queries

And when you decide to engage with your customers through social media, here are a few tips to consider:

 Google your own business to keep up to date with comments/posts being made about your premises  – Google alerts are great to gain easy access to news related to your chosen keywords

 Use your own unique images where possible, but if you have to share check out these ideas

 Talk to your customers to find out what social media platforms they use – then connect with them there, as there’s no point using platforms your customer base aren’t interested in following you on!

 Allow your team to share their experiences/views/recipes/ideas – chefs on social media are my favourite way to see what’s going on in a restaurant, they have a flair I personally want to see

 Share your knowledge & expertise – be notorious for something specific, your followers will remember you for this and tell people about you as a result

 Hosting an epic event or festival? Live-Tweet the event and get people engaging

 Follow your local licensing team & the police through social media to keep updated on local news

 Ensure that all promotions are seen as socially responsible through social media

 A winning social media strategy is not built overnight – plan in special occasions & events, don’t rush out content for the sake of it

▽ Time is tight – pick one or two social media platforms and stick to them, don’t stress yourself out by trying to be on everything!

 If using Twitter, try to create lists to keep your followers in some sort of order – it’s a time saver!

▽ Watch and learn – what do you like about other brands on social media? Use them as inspiration and take the best points into your own social media strategy

Are you ready to create a blog or social media account? I can help you. 

Do you perhaps feel like you need some training to get to grips with it yourself?

Look no further – here at I am now offering affordable coaching & workshops to do just that (virtually and in person, so it doesn’t matter where you are located), simply get in touch for more info.

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This content was originally published here.