17th April 2020

Social Media Fun – How to get Your Customers Talking

With all this down time and customers stuck at home, now is the perfect time to reach out to them via social media and generate some community spirit.

The key is: 

  • To be consistent (post regularly at set times so they start to look out for your posts)
  • To target your posts at your key customers e.g older generation, working parents etc
  • Using images – photos, cartoons, videos. Mix it up a bit and make sure you catch people’s eye as they scroll through their news feed. Below are a combination of ideas we’ve already seen and new ones we’ve thought of. They all have the same goal – which is to get your online community talking to you whilst your doors are closed. That way, when you are allowed to trade again, they’ll remember you!

Virtual drink for your birthday – Everyone knows that a birthday in isolation is hardly ideal. So cheer someone up by asking customers to let you know the day of their birthday so you can post them a virtual drink (a picture) of their choice on your page. Maybe each week do a draw for all those birthdays you’ve posted that week to choose one of them to get the real thing when the pub reopens?

Involve the kids! Many children are at home and stuck for things to do, so why not ask them via your social media to paint a picture for your pub windows whilst you’re closed? They can post them through your door on their daily exercise walk, and you can stick them in your window for everyone to see and enjoy when they walk past. You can also post them in a specific gallery on your page or ask them to post a picture of themselves in front of the window (as long as they’re not near anyone else!) and share it on your page! A great way for kids and the parents of those children to remember your pub and given them a focus.

New skills post – given all the downtime people have, what new skills have you learnt or are you about to do? Maybe it’s knitting? Maybe it’s simply the toilet roll challenge (look it up!). Get your customers to load a video onto your page and ask others to score them out of 10. You could get some humorous here ie I’ve learnt how to get a beer from the fridge without leaving my seat etc!! But they should maybe get extra points?!

Behind the scenes – show your customers what you’re doing whilst the pub is closed. Maybe you’re redecorating the ladies loos or tidying up the beer garden? Video’s are a great way to do this and people will realise that you’re just as excited to have them back as they are to come back and visit!

Book your table now for when we reopen – Ask customers to bid for the best table in the house with charity bids for a charity of your choice? Upload a virtual plan of your seating area and a price for each table based on proximity to the bar/TV/window etc

Cocktail master class/blog – Show your customers how to make one of your renowned cocktaisl so that they can try them at home. Have a poll on which one they prefer or get them to send in ideas of ones you can try when you reopen.

Isolation mania – what’s the funniest thing your customers have done out of boredom? Maybe share your own Tik Tok videos of you dancing with the kids or miming to a well known film and make them smile at the craziness of it all.

On line bingo – Customers would have to register with you so that you can send them a virtual card to complete so that they can join in. The prize could either just be bragging rights or a free drink when the pub reopens

Guess the song from the lyrics – complete a daily quiz for people to look forward to each morning. First one to guess correctly has to choose the next day’s lyrics and post them on your page. You’ll get people trying to find really, really obscure ones to keep other people guessing.

Vote, vote, vote! Intersperse some of the items above with the odd poll, but limit the choices the customer has. So for example if you’re a wet lead pub ask “what’s your favourite tipple?” and suggest a few of the products from your bar – Carling, Peroni or Strongbow? If you’re a food lead outlet then ask them what their favourite dessert or starter is from your menu. It’ll remind them of why they like you!

Games to play with the kids. Many of your customers are parents with young children at home to entertain. Why not discuss old forgotten kid’s games – hopscotch, skipping, conkers, Jaks, marbles, cat’s cradle and the post the rules and equipment you’ll need. Get people to share their favourites!

Pose questions. What was your first pint or drink in a pub and which pub was it? Or what will be the first thing they hope to do when this is all over #milliondollarquestion!

Go down memory lane. Everyone loves to reminisce! Some forgotten pub brands of yesteryear include Springfield Bitter, Whitbread Original Best, Harp, Pony, Cherry B, Babycham, and Thunderbird wine. Ask customers to tell you what their favourite tipple was that has now gone for good?

Best beer advert of all time – This is a great discussion topic! You can even find the old advert on Youtube in many cases and share it for the laugh. Some ideas include Guinness adverts (Horses/Waves), Harp ads, Carlsberg – probably the best, Castlemaine XXXX etc They’ll evoke fond memories, so encourage people to share and repost.

Crazy hair/beards – we’re not going out and seeing anyone so people are either shaving their heads, dying their hair blue or growing wild bushy beards!! There’s also a wicked rumour that 80% of blondes will disappear in Britain in the next few weeks (as people can’t get to the hairdresser!). Ask customers to share their crazy hair styles or beard growth with you.

Bike out of storage. Lots of people are going cycling as part of their once a day exercise. Ask them to post pictures of themselves in their lycra out and about. Maybe give an imaginary reward to the best looking MAMIL or MAWIL (middle aged man or woman in lycra)

Good reads/Online book club. People have more time on their hands so have started to pick up books and read (in the back garden as the weather has been quite lovely). Ask them to make recommendations or give a review so that others can enjoy it too.

Film review – Ask your customers what their top 3 films are in each category eg Romantic Comedy, Thriller, Science Fictions, Kids etc to give people ideas of what to watch on TV whilst in isolation.

All these are just a few ideas to get the conversation started.

If you have any more then share them with us on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/trustinns)

Remember, when all this is over, people will remember those that offered a helping hand or smile and conversation in lonely times. That’s the major advantage that community pubs have over the high street. Using social media to shout about all you’re doing for your community and offering help and support when people need it will ensure that your customer base stays loyal to you when you can reopen your doors.

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