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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.

Videos

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’re the owner of a small neighborhood bar or restaurant and eager to increase sales and foot traffic, you must begin to spin your web by making strategic contacts, and become directly involved with the community. Hosting a community or charity event is a good way to get started, or even sponsoring a local little league. And as another community gesture, you should buy from a local brewery or distillery, and local butcher or farmer’s market. An additional way to extend community exposure is to attend community and neighborhood festivals. A booth staffed by one or two people with a banner on the front of your booth and a sample from your bar or restaurant’s menu should give you enough exposure to entice neighbors to come to your bar or eatery. The idea is to gain exposure and positive community recognition so that more customers will be drawn to your bar or restaurant.

6 Ways To Transform Your Restaurant Into a Local Hotspot

Special Themed events will draw in more customers 1) Special Themed Events Besides community involvement, you can involve customers in various contests and drawings, or create a collection of themed evenings, like a karaoke night, ladies night, Super Bowl party, World Series get-together, costume party, two for one drinks night, or even a family night where kids eat for free. You could also host a wine tasting event and invite representatives of several vineyards to promote their wines. Celebrating birthdays is another great opportunity for a small bar or restaurant to make a lasting impression on customers. Offering a free dinner or dessert on a guest’s birthday will inspire customers to drink and dine at your restaurant or bar along with family and friends. Once you obtain email addresses to send a free dinner or dessert coupon, later you can also send other promotions or newsletters. Let the people be informed with your latest offers with a sidewalk sign 2) Sidewalk Signs Buzztime suggests sidewalk signs as an inexpensive way to increase foot traffic. Signs are portable so that if you encounter inclement weather, or want to move it to another location, a sign is easily transported. Signs can also be easily changed. You can change signs on an hourly, daily or weekly basis. You could highlight a daily special in the morning and advertise a happy hour special in the afternoon. In addition, distributing flyers in office buildings, construction sites and hotels and resorts can promote the bar’s specials. Servers knows your guests better than anyone else in your business 3) Personally Connect With Customers Make sure customers feel a personal connection with your bar or restaurant. Encourage your staff to warmly greet each customer, and to remember customer names, and drink orders. And acknowledge customers when they are leaving by thanking them and asking them to come back. I read an account about how servers at a steak house sent postcards to regular customers whom they had not seen in a while as a way to create a dedicated following. “No one knows your customers better than your waiters and bartenders, so initiate a bonus system to enlist their enthusiasm and help in keeping track of regulars and gleaning contact information from new customers. You can generate lots of business for the cost of postage and stationary or internet service.” Use social media platforms to inform customers of newest offers 4) Social Media Campaign is a Must You should integrate your website with Facebook, and set up a social media profile on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and others to inform patrons of upcoming specials and promotions. Drive traffic to your bar or restaurant with special offers, such as the first 50 people to like this page will receive 50% off an appetizer. As Jeff Darter, a journalist and freelance business writer, points out, when Einstein Bros. Bagel’s and Noah’s Bagels, both part of the Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc., began giving away a free bagel to all Facebook users who became fans of their pages, in just three days, the company had 15,000 new fans. Part of the promotion prompts new fans to send invitations to join to their network of friends, which gives the company a seemingly endless supply of new prospects. You or someone you assign should spend time every day updating your social media pages with specials and upcoming events. And when customers ask questions it’s important to respond to their questions and concerns daily. In order to increase your business you really have to reach out to followers by replying to positive comments — “like them on Facebook or “retweet” them on Twitter. Check out www.insidefacebook.com for specific tips, directions, and articles that describe how to effectively market your business on Facebook. Develop good working relationship with hotel and motel concierges 5) Court Hotels and Motels Another great suggestion by Jeff Darter is to court the concierges, desk clerks, and reservation staff of the nearby hotels, motels, and inns. “Invite them to dinner! Ply them with gift certificates, free desserts, and the queen’s treatment. Splurge on an afternoon reception for all the concierges in your area. Get to know them personally, and keep them informed of special events and menu features. Supply them with copies of your menu and business cards to have on hand for their guests.” Use your guest register to get information from your patrons 6) Prospect List Darter also comments that a restaurant’s prospect list is the guest register, and explains how grocery stores have learned that prospect lists and mailing lists are one of their most valuable marketing tools. “Whether you collect names, street addresses, and web addresses via a computerized reservation system; or on a comment card presented with the check; or in an old-fashioned but reliable guest book system, it’s a valuable start for numerous kinds of promotions. Certainly, weekly electronic mail to patrons highlighting specials and menu changes would generate business at the cost of nothing more than internet service.”



How to Manage & Grow Your Social Media Accounts

With this post, you should have a strong basis to build a sky hashtag strategy for your brand. If you couple this with a strong Instagram tool, you can really save time and see an ROI from your Instagram efforts.  Socialdraft is your all-in-one tool for Instagram management. Socialdraft allows you to:

  • Schedule posts to multiple Social media accounts
  • Have multiple people create and post content
  • Pull Reports
  • Engage
  • and much more

If you’re curious about how Socialdraft works, take us for a risk-free trial. Have questions?