The 5 mistakes everyone makes on Twitter… and how to avoid them!
Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Blog sites, Social Media is everywhere, and more and more licensees are taking the plunge when it comes to promoting their pub in this way. There’s no hard and fast rulebook, but here are my top 5 tips for how to avoid the mistakes that everyone else makes (and some good Tweeting manners too!)
Not standing out from the crowd
If you search ‘Pubs in London’ on Twitter, how many do you think come up? Hundreds! Scrolling down the search results it’s amazing how many identical ‘Pub Exterior’ profile pictures and bios saying ‘Great food, real ale, best pub in London’ there are… same old, same old - yawn! Then one catches my eye; ‘Legendary All Black Buzz Cousins brings a Kiwi twist to this iconic Thameside Pub.’ I’m intrigued, especially as there’s a pic of the team smiling at me too. Being brave and not just the same as everyone else will pay dividends when it comes to getting new followers.
It’s easy enough to do; ‘Come to our BBQ tonight’, ‘Book now for your table at next week’s Tapas night’, ‘Happy hour 5-7pm this evening’ – but is completely void of any imagination or tact whatsoever! You wouldn’t stand behind the bar bleating the next three months’ events calendar when your customers are having all sorts of interesting conversations, and it shouldn’t be any different on Twitter. Instead of broadcasting about this week’s quiz, why not congratulate last week’s winners? Instead of writing what’s on the Monday £5 Menu, Tweet a photo of whatever’s being prepared in the kitchen.
Not being a stalker!
I don’t mean trench-coat, eye-holes in the newspaper style, but there are some great ways of keeping an eye on your followers, without having to trawl through hundreds and hundreds of tweets. Creating ‘Lists’ in Twitter means that you can sort your followers into types (eg. ‘Sunday Lunch Regulars’, ‘Darts Team’) that make it easier for you to jump in at the right moment and start a conversation.
Missing out on Re-Tweets
The re-tweet (sharing someone else’s tweet with your followers) is the highest compliment that can be paid in the Twittersphere. Has a customer tweeted something nice about your beer/atmosphere/food/staff? Share their compliment with your followers! Extra hint – Search your pub’s name as a keyword using the ‘Discover’ tab, to pick up extra tweets to share that don’t include your @mention name.
And what about you? Have you been re-tweeted today? If not, it’s worth thinking deeply about what kind of things your followers would find interesting enough to shout about.
Being on Twitter ALL the time
It’s addictive. But that doesn’t mean you can let tweeting sap all your spare time – you’re far too busy for that! Getting set up on a Social Media Dashboard such as Hootsuite is a really smart move. You can schedule tweets to be sent throughout the day, so you can have an ‘online presence’ even when you’re nowhere near your computer/smart phone. Spending 15 minutes every morning scheduling Tweets, re-Tweets and responses is a great daily discipline, as it means you don’t need to be logging on every 5 minutes and can get on with the most important job – running your business!
This is just the tip of the iceberg - Twitter is still very much in it’s ‘early adoption’ stage within the pub and restaurant industry, and it’s those who are embracing the opportunity now, who will be reaping the rewards of enhanced customer loyalty over the next few years.
If you haven’t Tweeted yet, just have a go! The only golden rule is to be interesting and interested… which tends to be what publicans do best!