Creative Ways Pubs Can Use Social Media

Whilst there is so much uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 at the moment, it can be easy to forget to continue to nurture your online community, especially when social distancing can leave everyone feeling a bit isolated and lonely!

In this blog, we take a look at some examples of how pubs can use social media to engage with their followers, provide regular updates and advertise business initiatives.

1. Regular Posting

Whilst it is important to engage with your online community, make sure you maintain a healthy balance and don’t bombard them with information, as this could have an adverse effect. There is no hard and fast rule as to how many times you should post on social media throughout the week, but we recommend posting at least three times a week.

You could use social media as a primary voice to advertise any activities or business ventures your pub is currently offering. For example, if you are preparing meals for collection or delivery services, make sure to advertise this on Facebook and Instagram. It is often said that ‘people buy with their eyes’, so be sure to include high-res imagery of the food you are preparing. Not only will this help to whet the appetite of those following your page, but it will also allow followers to associate tasty meals with your pub.

2. Instagram Stories

According to Hootsuite, 1 billion people use Instagram every month and 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day. So if you aren’t already using Instagram as part of your social media marketing, you will definitely want to start using it now!

Instagram Stories are great for providing informal content and instant updates. and there are a range of filters and emojis, which means that you can make your Stories a lot more engaging than regular posts.

Features such an online polling, “Ask Me Anything” and multiple choice features allow you to connect with followers in a more interactive way. In addition, as the Story only lasts 24 hours, it means you do not have to spend as much time curating your content.

3. Hashtags

The hashtag symbol has become a one of the most powerful tools in the marketing arsenal, with it predominantly being used on Twitter and Instagram.

If you are posting on Twitter, be sure to include relevant hashtags where necessary to advertise your pub, a particular service or message. This will increase your post’s reach by showing up under searches for that term or word. That said, be careful not to stuff your posts with hashtags as this can appear spammy which may reflect negatively on your brand image.

It is also important to include hashtags in your Instagram posts, as this will extend your reach to a bigger audience than just your follower network. In fact, an Instagram post with at least one-hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than a post with no hashtags (Mark Simpson, Boostly).

4. Video Posts

You have probably noticed that video has dominated your Facebook and Instagram feeds for quite some time now. According to Hubspot, four of the top six channels on which global consumers watch video are social channels. Video has become so effective in marketing that a lot of businesses are incorporating it into their overall marketing strategy.

Video content is great for bringing brands to life and engaging with the end consumer. What’s more, video production is more cost-effective than ever as you can shoot short videos or record Facebook/Instagram Lives on your smartphone.

Guided tours around your pub, or short interviews with employees and locals can be a really nice way for followers to get an idea of what the pub is like. It also allows them to put a ‘face behind the name’ and strengthens brand awareness.

5. Customer Reviews

Customer testimonials are also a powerful tool within social media. When a consumer is researching your pub they often rely on the words and experiences of others to help them make their decision. According to Search Engine Land, 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Therefore, if you are not encouraging reviews from your current customer base, you could be missing out on a valuable marketing opportunity. It is important to read and respond to customer reviews that consumers leave on your page, as it is an opportunity to engage directly with them and resolve any issues they may have raised. It is also a great way to show your followers that you care so that they become your fans and advocates.

6. Competitions

Competitions are a great way to increase followers and engagement on social media and drive traffic to your website.

While this may not be the best time to do a competition, it may be a great initiative to give away left over stock, which may otherwise have gone to waste.

7. Tagging and Re-sharing

Another useful idea to keep your online community engaged during this time is to ask followers to tag your pub in previous posts of them visiting or staying at the pub. You can then re-share your favourite posts on your page or within your Instagram Stories. This allows you to reach beyond your immediate network and be visible to your followers’ networks.

If you do decide to use any of these social media tips and tactics, let us know by tagging @stayinapub and we will spread the word on your behalf.


Written by Melanie Phipps

PR & Marketing Manager at Stay in a Pub