When social media first arrived on our computers and smartphones it was purely a form of self-promotion. Facebook pages were inundated with posts about what your friend just ate for breakfast, or how terrible that movie was. But things have changed.
While self-promotion is still popular on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, it is no longer the sole purpose of the technology. Over the years social media has transformed from a one-way form of communication to a conversation. Where in the past we may have just read posts from our friends or briefly glanced at an advertisement from a brand we ‘like’, in today’s social media landscape everyone has a voice.
Every time your pub makes a post online it is open for discussion from your customers. If they like your new Happy Hour specials they will let you know – not only by actually visiting your premises, but by replying to your post and even spreading it on their own social media.
Of course, not everything you say is guaranteed to be well received by your customers. While at first it may seem detrimental that your customers don’t agree with your new earlier closing hours or changing lunch menu, their feedback can be very useful for how your business operates.
This instant feedback is an incredibly useful tool, and can help you make changes that suit what your customers want. You can even use social media as a way of brainstorming a new idea. Are you thinking about changing your logo? Well why not throw a few designs up on your Facebook page and get feedback from your regulars. Are you looking for a new beer to have on tap next month? Give your customers a few options and see what they will drink. Get them involved.
An example of this emerged recently when Perth’s Raffles Hotel was in the media over an incident where cyclists weren’t allowed at the establishment due to a dress code that included no lycra. The management reacted to the news story, claiming the group wasn’t refused entry due to their lycra apparel, but because the hotel did not have adequate storage space for the bicycles.
After this statement was made public, Raffles Hotel customers posted on its Facebook page about how they agreed with a lycra ban, as they don’t want to see sweaty, flesh-gripping outfits it in a place where food is served. Due to the overwhelming voice of its customers, Raffles has back-flipped again and instigated a ‘no-lycra policy’ according to the wishes of its patrons.
This shows how quickly social media can help your business to give your customers what they want. While face-to-face will always be vital as well, don’t forget about how important it is to speak to your online audience.