Many people get off to a fast start and have lots of ideas for making fresh updates to their page. But then they hit a brick wall. They run out of inspiration.
There’s only so many times you can say: “Check out our amazingly tasty 2 for 1 burgers“, or “Happy Hour today 4 till 6.”
For that reason, we’re going to share with you an incredibly useful resource.
It comes in two parts:
Part 1: the 6 golden rules for posting content.
By following these rules you’ll be able to create content easily, more quickly and more effectively.
Part 2: your indispensable resource for creating fresh Facebook content.
This resource ensures you have infinite ideas for publishing content on your pub Facebook page.
We’ll demonstrate that you don’t need to be a social media marketing whizz to make your pub’s Facebook page a successful customer-winning tool.
The 6 golden rules for posting content
That’s 250 characters maximum.
Facebook users are accustomed to reading short content or viewing brief videos. It’s a social medium which is geared towards conversational interactions, not long essays and lectures.
If you want to write something longer, you’re better off having it on your pub’s website or blog. Then you can provide a brief summary and a link to it from your Facebook page.
We all know publicans are a time constrained people. So, you’ll be glad to hear that posting updates once or twice a day is considered best practice.
If you have the time, it may be worth experimenting with three posts a day on your pub Facebook page.
Either way, keep active and demonstrate that your pub is a ‘happening’ place. (Which I’m sure it is!)
You can have a whole bunch of updates written and lined up all in one sitting.
And that’s a far more efficient way of keeping on top of your Facebook marketing.
First you need to sign up to Hootsuite, a free tool for scheduling your social media posts (it can be used for Twitter and Facebook at the same time).
But what time should you schedule these updates for? I’d advise setting one for mid-to-late morning and the other for anywhere between three and four.
In other words, before lunchtime and before the masses finish work.
However, it’s also worth testing out different times to see when you get the most likes and shares on your page. When do they like or comment on posts the most?
When you create updates on your page, makes sure you regularly create a link to your website or other social media.
This will help boost your presence on search engines, making your pub easier to find for future customers.
Facebook is no good for those hell-bent on the hard-sell. It’s the world’s biggest social network! And it works because people like to express themselves and converse with others.
People like to hear what other people are doing. Then they reciprocate that by sharing their own experiences.
It’s all about conversations and interactions.
So, be conversational and interactive (we’ll show you how in Part 2) and vary what you say.
Marketing a pub on Facebook has to be done subtly and as part of a wider social interaction.
6. Be visual wherever possible:
Facebook is increasingly a visual tool. So, adding images to your Facebook page is a must.
The image is what makes content stand out.
Think about it: When a Facebook user opens up their newsfeed, the majority of updates coming through will be picture-based or video-led.
So, let’s say you have a short piece of plain text promoting ‘Happy Hour’ and it comes through on someone’s newsfeed.
That page is full of other people’s updates which mostly utilise colourful images and flashing films.
Can you be sure they’ll even see it?
You must make your content stand out from the crowd. Images are a vital tool for doing that.
Your indispensable resource for creating fresh Facebook content
So, what should you post on your pub Facebook page? Here’s a list of ideas…
1. Promote your events
We’ll start with the most obvious type of update…
If you have an event going on at your pub, publicise it on your Facebook page earlier in the day. So, whether you’re running a pub quiz, open mic night, or screening live sporting events; let people know about it and invite them along.
This is the bread and butter of your Facebook content and you should have enough for fresh updates most days: particularly if you run a busy city centre pub.
2. Feature special offers and discounts
Entice people to your pub with special offers and discounts. These might be regular deals such as your pub’s Happy Hour [I think this is the third time I’ve mentioned happy hour in this article and I’m already feeling thirsty!] or it might be a special discount day on particular food or drink lines.
Getting these updates on Facebook are a sure way of attracting more Likes and getting people into your pub.
However, be wary of bombarding your Facebook page with offers and discounts. Soften the sell, by making it feel like an ‘Oh by the way…’ type mention.
It’s a casual suggestion, not a desperate appeal. Facebook is a social tool first and a sales tool second.
The Brewhouse and Kitchen in Portsmouth are running a pub food offer:
3. Publicise the special features of your pub
Special features? We’re talking about real log fires, big screen televisions, garden patios, pool tables, dart boards and any interesting history relating to your pub.
Look around your establishment and create a list of all the features that could entice potential customers. Then, arrange to post items on your Facebook page about it.
4. Display your food and drink
Of course, when it comes to food and drink, it’s not just about offering special deals. Facebook also offers an opportunity to showcase just how good your offering is.
Are you proud of your selection of ales and craft beers? Photograph them. Or photograph people drinking them (with their permission of course!)
You can also write about your drinks range on your website and create a short link to the article from your Facebook page.
Alternatively, you can create full size articles within Facebook by using the ‘Notes’ function. (‘Notes’ is essentially Facebook’s own blogging tool.) Again, you can shorten your link to the full article, so that people can choose to click on and read in full.
The same is true of your food menu. But of course, food offers a better photo opportunity. Perhaps you cook a jaw-dropping Sunday roast or a beer-battered fish and chips. Go-ahead, photograph it in all it’s glory.
With Facebook you can also add your menu to your ‘About’ page.
Pictures of your pub’s food and drink is a key component for your ongoing Facebook content.
Here’s the Pulteney Arms in Bath announcing their new rum:
5. Celebrate the festivities
There always seems to be some kind of festival going on. So, make it your job to keep a calendar of the various festivals and plan special events or promotions around them. You can also include major sporting events in this.
Still, even if you don’t have a special evening planned, you can always invite customers in for a drink to mark the day or event.
Of course, Facebook is about being sociable so just coming up with an interesting fact/observation/unique spin on an event is a good way of engaging your followers.
6. Post polls, ask questions and create competitions
If you already have a respectable number of Facebook followers – let’s say 40 – it could be a good idea to engage with them through polls, questions and competitions.
Let’s say you’ve got a wide range of ales and craft beers. You could run a poll asking customers for their favourite. This poll could be run online and in your pub. One lucky person can then win a free pint for offering their views.
You can do something similar with your food menu. So, you could ask: what’s the best part of a sunday roast?
These are very simple ideas. You can use your own creativity and come up with something more unique (and entertaining?) for your own pub.
Please note: competitions and polls should be used sparingly. They can seem demanding (and salesy) when used regularly.
Plus you’ll no doubt have margins to think about!
Anyway, you can pose questions purely for fun. Here’s a good example from a magic pub in Bristol:
7. Feature local news, community news and the weather
Pubs are community hubs. You should take a real interest in what’s going on around you.
Read the websites of your local newspaper. In particular, keep your eye out for something funny, outrageous, relevant or intriguing.
Then simply write a short summary of the story (in a social and conversational manner) and then provide a link to the original news article.
And what about the weather? The weather is a favourite subject for us Brits. We seem to get more weather than any other country. Is it cold outside? Comment on the fact and then invite people in for a mulled wine or cider by your pub’s log fire.
There’s an update for all the seasons.
8. Join the conversation
Facebook is an informal and chatty place. It’s a two-way conversation, not a one-way lecture.
- Be warm, be inclusive and be positive.
- A few pointers towards achieving this:
- Thank people for following in a private message.
- Ask for comments or pose a question at the end of a new status update.
- Respond to people’s comments on these updates.
- Take photos of special music nights and other events and feature them on your Facebook page the next day.
If anyone poses a question on your Facebook page, respond quickly and in a friendly manner.
9. Engage customers with video content
Over the last year, the use of video content on Facebook has seen a massive increase. Just looking at my own personal Facebook feed, at least every other update seems to be a video.
Now, you don’t need to obsess about creating videos or linking to video content. In fact, I’d advise focusing on occasional, well-targeted video content instead.
Facebook makes it very easy to add video. But what kind of video footage is going to attract people into your pub? There are a whole raft of potential ideas.
Three ideas to get you inspired:
- Are you about to open a new pub? How about creating a film of its renovation or re-decoration? Feature an interview where you talk about the exciting plans that you have for the place. Then maybe create a montage of the work taking place. That will get people talking.
- Do you already have a pub you’re proud of? How about creating a video which is taken from the customer point-of-view as they walk through your doors, order a drink and take in your pub’s beautiful interior.
- Have you got a live gig at your pub? How about recording a few highlights?
Here’s the Hobgoblin in Brighton humorously promoting their beer garden (visit their Facebook to view the video!):
Useful tools for further content inspiration
Post Planner have an automated ‘Status Ideas’ tool which you can use if you run out ideas for content.
There are limitations on what you can access for free but it’s still useful for stimulating fresh ideas.
For example, if you click on a season and press ‘Shuffle’ it creates updates relating to that season which you can personalise for your page. It’s hit and miss.
Now you’ve got plenty of subjects and ideas for creating brilliant ongoing content for running a pub Facebook page.
Why not create a diary of the subjects you will feature on your Facebook page for the next week. Remember, you just need one or two posts a day.
How to set up a Twitter account for pubs: a guide for newcomers
General online and offline pub marketing ideas and inspiration: