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If you own a bar or restaurant, you’re probably looking for every (affordable) advantage to get your name out there. Chances are you are using Facebook and getting frustrated at the lack of reach, Twitter and frustrated at the lack of return on investment, and Instagram – loving it…but worried that it will turn into a pay-to-play network like Facebook did. You’re probably not thinking about using Pinterest to market your restaurant…you’re thinking that Pinterest is just for moms and brides. If this is your thinking, you’re wrong. Every bar & restaurant needs Pinterest. Why? We’re not getting into all the stats for Pinterest (we covered all that in our beginner’s guide to Pinterest post). Think of all the people who are planning trips to your city. They’re probably looking for places to eat and drink, right? They’re looking for things to do. Don’t let travel bloggers tell them where to go and what to do! Create amazing travel boards to promote not just your business but other businesses, landmarks, and services in your area, that way you can control where they go, what they do…and where they eat and drink…at your restaurant or bar. Let’s get down and dirty with some other ideas for you to convert Pinterest users into your customers.

Why Every Bar & Restaurant Needs Pinterest

While you’ve probably heard of Pinterest by now, it’s possible you’re not familiar with how it can help your business. Before you write it off as just another social media platform with no value to your bottom line. Pinterest drives a ton of web traffic, and these pins act as long-term links that will drive traffic to your website for years. It makes sense to use Pinterest as a link-building tool. Let us look more in depth as to why your restaurant needs Pinterest.

Why Should My Restaurant Care About Pinterest?

Consistent Growth.

Pinterest has been consistently growing. Here is a quick look at Pinterest’s growth when it comes to active users over the years:

  • 2010 – 10,000 users
  • 2013 –  70 million users
  • 2016 – 150 million users
  • 2018 – 250 million users


Pinterest is Actually Influential

People love to plan trips on Pinterest, particularly because they can invite friends and family members who are traveling with them to collaborate on their travel planning boards. In fact, 3/4 of Pinterest users look for brand content when planning for their travels and almost 50% of US travelers who are higher spenders ($1,000 or more on travel) use Pinterest. Just because you are not a travel agency or an airline carrier, does not mean you can’t influence their decisions. You absolutely can create content that appeals to that audience in order to have them come to you. As mentioned in the introduction to this article, you as a bar or restaurant can create boards targeted to both tourists and locals. You can create boards that act as a guide to those who are interested in your geographic location in order to pull them into your physical location. Here are a few ideas:

  • Best Restaurant Board – Pin restaurants that don’t directly compete with you (example – if you’re a Latin American restaurant you can include yourself in the pins as well as a sushi place, an Italian place, and a few other cuisine types that don’t directly compete with you).
  • Spots to Check Out – make this board all about interesting landmarks and places in your area. The idea is to get people closer to you.
  • Local Discount Board – Chat with other businesses in the area. Work out a deal so that if one of your Pinterest followers brings you a receipt from their place (for that same day), they get a small discount or token from you (and vice versa). You can also post your happy hour specials, special deals, and more here.
  • Exclusive Discount Board – Create a secret board that is only available to those who follow you on Pinterest…offer them special deals on this board.

The whole idea here is to get creative, have fun, and get butts in those empty seats at your bar & restaurant.

What Other Businesses Use Pinterest?

Plenty of big-name companies like Red LobsterWendy’s, and The Olive Garden. These major companies have over 20 million followers between them. Most importantly, they’re not just pinning the items they sell, they’re finding fun ways to interact with fans and add a bit of personality to their marketing. Pinterest has become one of the best ways to engage customers. Don’t you worry, Pinterest is not just for the big boys. As a small business, you can dominate the local market and gain the loyal following of customers your direct competitors are not yet reaching out to.

Pinterest as a search engine for local restaurants

Pinterest Tips for Marketing Your Bar or Restaurant

Re-purpose Content 

First, don’t get too excited to reinvent the wheel. There is plenty that you can do with Pinterest to broaden your customer base that won’t have anything to do with fancy marketing techniques. To begin with, you will need content. While this is a great time to start showing off what your company does best, don’t feel pressured to start producing new material. It’s fine to re-purpose photos, videos, and articles you’ve featured elsewhere.

Pin Useful Information

Not all content needs to be about your establishment either. You read that right. While followers will certainly enjoy news about deals coming up or new menu items, you’ll gain a lot more admiration for free information they can use by themselves.

Pin Recipes

Recipes enjoy a click-through rate that is 42% higher than any other kind of pin. So share recipes for food or drinks you serve. Your followers will appreciate it in ways that will ultimately support your bottom line. The best practice for this is to post the recipes to your website. This way when you pin the recipe, it leads traffic back to your website.

Keep it Short & Sweet

Studies show that shorter descriptions get more click through. So keep your descriptions short, like tweets.


Video is the future today. Post videos on your neighborhood to attract locals, videos from your suppliers (for example, if you use D’Artagnan or a particular brand of wine), or videos that you take at your bar or restaurant. This is the ultimate type of video. It will allow your followers to get to know your staff, food, and location.

Make Friends

As mentioned above, make friends. Pin your suppliers’ pins as well as your customers. This will let them know you care AND you’ll be able to work off their social circle. Collaborate with Local Bloggers by reaching out to them. Invite them to pin to your travel boards. This will make it so you are always in their mind. While you’re at it…invite them into your place so they know what you’re all about.

If your bar or restaurant hasn’t embraced Pinterest yet, you’re doing so at your own risk. While you may not end up with as many followers as Applebees or Chili’s, there is plenty of potentials if you follow the above advice.

Use a Pinterest Scheduling Tool

As a rule, the restaurant industry is hectic and changes at all times. People call out, fridges break…that means that while you’re putting out fires, you will forget to publish to those amazing Pinterest boards. However, if you set aside 15 minutes per week to pre-schedule your pins, you can set things and forget them. Socialdraft is an easy to use Pinterest Scheduling tool.

Socialdraft allows you to add team members to your account. This way your team can all schedule pins all from one place and you can control all the content before it gets out there.

Socialdraft also allows you to schedule recurring pins. This is an awesome feature if you have reviews to share, recurring specials, and anything that you don’t want your audience to forget.

Socialdraft does tons more, so why don’t you take us for a risk-free trial today.

If you run a small business like a restaurant, flower shop, or dentist office you’re probably well aware of the benefits that can come from social media advertising. Everyone is on social media these days, after all. So it makes sense that your business should have a presence there as well. However, if you’re like many small-to-medium sized businesses, you may be frustrated by the process. Facebook has one of the most robust advertising platforms out of all social media websites. The cost per action and cost per acquisition on Facebook is (at the moment) significantly lower than Twitter, and it offers some incredible reporting. If you’re a newbie to social advertising, this may be a great place to start.

Facebook Advertising for Small Business

If you’ve had issues with Facebook ads before, it might be time to revisit the idea. Facebook has made massive strides in creating a better version of their advertising function. In fact, Facebook is now exuser-friendlyfriendly and will walk you through the process. You can choose between what you want to optimize:

* Website conversions – This is when you want for someone to click to your website and take an action. Requires a “conversion tracking pixel”.

* Gaining Likes on your page – Get more people to like your page so you can market to them.

* Website clicks – Get people to convert to your website.

* App installation – Gets people to install your app.

* Post engagement – Boosts your posts and increases likes, comments, shares, video plays and photo views.

* App engagement – Creates more activity on your app.

* RSVP’s to an event – promotes your event.

* Or claiming offers – Creates ads to promote an offer on Facebook. You’ll need to create the offer first.

Once you select the goal you have in mind, Facebook will identify the type of ad most likely to help you reach your goals. It’s still up to you to choose, of course, and you can even decide where the ad will go, either in the News Feed or to the side of it. Everything else is fully customizable as well, including the headline, text you use and the picture shown.

audienceWith your ad created, Facebook will allow you to decide who it will be targeted at. Options for choosing include gender, age, relationship status, language, interest, workplace and education. All these options make it extremely easy to focus your ad at the customers you want. If you are a restaurant on the Lower East Side of NYC, you may want to choose an audience of people from 21-50, both male and female, who live in New York City and in Brooklyn. If you’re a wedding florist in Hoboken, NJ, you may want to advertise to women between 23-45 in cities in Northern NJ. You will need to do some research into the demographics for your particular audience in order to properly target.

select images facebook ads

The best advice we can give you is to do “A-B Split Tests”. If you’ve never done an “A-B” before, start small, perhaps with  two versions (A and B) of the same ad. Run them for a week and see which performs better. Once you’re comfortable with a simple split test, craft some more complicated ones.AB Splits will help you get the best price for the desired action. Need some ideas for AB splits?

* Age – use the same ad on different age groups

* Gender – use the same ad on different genders

* Image – use a different  image with the same text

These are pretty simple, but once you play with these, you will get the gist of it.

Facebook ad budget

Set your Budget

The whole idea is to gain fans and convert them into paying customers. Think about the cost of acquisition. If you are a restaurant, and it costs you $1.00 to acquire that fan, but that fan comes in once and spends $60-$100, then the cost was totally worth it. It is even better if the customer becomes a regular.

Facebook allows you to set a daily or lifetime budget. If you choose daily, that is the max that you will pay per day. If you choose lifetime, the ad will end when you reach that spend.

How much will you pay? It really depends on your competition, demographic, and time of year. Ads in New York city tend to be more expensive than ads in smaller New Jersey towns.  Ads for doctors tend to be more expensive than ads for say a restaurant, and ads get more expensive during certain holidays such as Christmas and Valentine’s day.

Track Performance

You’ve created your ads, spent money, and now it is time to check the performance. Facebook has a pretty robust reporting engine that shows you conversion value, click through rate, and clicks. Check the performance of the ads and delete, edit, or ramp up those that are performing well.

Ready to get started? Go to Facebook’s Advertising Center