I thought I would use this week’s BlueSky blog as an opportunity to talk about some social media issues experienced by my local pub, which I won’t name as I would still like to be welcome there in the future.
Having previously been reluctant to enter the digital arena, the pub was finally persuaded by one of its eager gap-year bar staff to set up a Facebook page in order to promote a “battle of the bands” competition that was happening earlier this year. The staff then religiously posted adverts on the page for the next month almost demanding that everyone in the area attend this celebration of local talent.
Unfortunately, one of the things they forgot to do was interact with any of their customers. None of the Facebook posts asked any questions or even really said anything interesting – they were simply mass-produced adverts and, as a result, turn-out was predictably low for the event.
Much to everyone’s surprise the company decided to repeat the event a couple of months later, but this time a different approach was taken. Customers at the pub were asked to log on to the Facebook page and vote for which bands should play and even which drinks should be on offer. The engaging content meant that the pub’s Facebook likes went through the roof and when battle of the bands two came round attendance was much higher.
So two PR lessons here: firstly, whether you are an international brand or a local village pub, you can harness the power of social media. And secondly, in order to do so, it is vital that your content is engaging and interactive rather than boring and sales-y.