Last Updated on May 9, 2023
Leverage the power of social media both inside and outside your establishment with these bar promotion ideas
When you’re running a bar — whether it’s a pub, tavern, wine bar, or dance club — the goal is always to bring in new customers and keep the regulars coming back for more. But when you’re a small business on a limited advertising budget, how can you stay top-of-mind? Social media is the answer!
You’ve probably come up with some decent bar promotion ideas over the course of running your business. Now it’s time to take those thoughts and figure out how to make them work on social media — a must-have for anyone looking to promote their bar without spending a fortune.
Not all of your bar promotion ideas are going to translate to every social platform, and depending on the type of bar you are, you probably don’t want to be on every single social app or site. Claim all your pages on the major social sites, but commit to doing a few really, really well. For bars, Instagram tends to hit a sweet spot demographic-wise and popularity-wise, but think about how you can leverage the other sites as well.
25 Bar Promotion Ideas You Should Try
1. Social-only specials
Everyone loves a good special — and even more so if they feel like they’re getting something a little exclusive. Choose a special of the day or week that you only offer on a specific social platform.
2. Poll customers in the bar and donate to a charity
Use your Everwall to conduct a poll everyone can participate in. Tell them you’re going to donate 10% of your profit that night to a local charity and let them choose from a few options to pick who you’ll give to.
3. Hold a special event for loyal social customers
Reward the customers who promote your bar the most on social media. Maybe you do it quarterly, or perhaps it’s a once-a-year event — either way, reward them for getting the word out.
Here’s a fun idea! Come up with hashtag games for your bar patrons, and display photos and leaderboards on your walls to increase engagement while promoting your brews. Start building your social wall today!
4. Re-gram posts on Instagram
Re-gramming is sharing someone else’s post on Instagram. Look for posts that tag your bar or contain your hashtags and re-gram the really great photos or videos — bonus points if the person has a lot of followers.
5. Know your hashtags
Hashtags — especially on Instagram and Twitter — help people find you, whether they’re avid fans or if they’ve never heard of you. Research popular national and local hashtags that would be appropriate for your business, and come up with a few of your own custom hashtags related to your bar.
6. Leverage strategic partnerships
Partnerships can be excellent for bringing in more people, but don’t forget to take advantage of the social aspect. For example, if your bar doesn’t serve food, is there a local food truck that could park outside once a week or month? There are opportunities for cross-promotional content on social — the food truck promotes you to their followers, you push the food truck to yours, and you both walk out winners.
7. Spotlight employees
Your employees are the folks behind the bar and putting their faces on your social pages adds that human touch. Tag them in the photos or videos, and you’ll get even more engagement.
8. Respond to reviews
Online reviews are the lifeblood of many bars and restaurants (and can be the source of a lot of trouble, too). Take control of your reviews and respond appropriately to both positive and negative posts. Other potential customers are watching how you handle things, and if you do it right, you may bring in more paying clientele.
9. Have bartenders make quick how-to videos
Make 1-minute videos with the bartenders teaching people how to make specific cocktails. Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined, so taking a few minutes to shoot a fun video could have big rewards.
10. Contest: create our signature cocktail
Choose top options and have people vote through your Everwall. Winner gets a gift certificate.
11. Post trivia questions
Want to increase attendance at your weekly pub trivia? Post some of the questions on your social accounts and let people answer. Or, film your host asking one question and post it as a video.
12. Buy pay-per-view events
Promote the watch party via paid ads on social to capture people who may be looking for somewhere to watch the event vs. pay for it at home. A study from the American Marketing Association found that businesses that combine paid ads with free posts are the most successful on social media.
13. Do a Facebook Live or Instagram Live video
Start with something simple, like “ask the bartender.” Put your best (or most personable) bartender on the camera and let them answer questions coming through from social viewers.
14. Share any press mentions
Sharing press mentions a) makes you look good and b) gives you more opportunities for cross-promotion, such as linking to a page or tagging the publication.
15. Create your own geofilter
When Snapchat customers are in your bar, they’ll be able to use your establishment’s custom filter for their images and videos.
16. Do an Instagram story when you have an act performing
Do you love a certain act that plays at your bar, but wish you could get better attendance? One of our favorite bar promotion ideas is to post a couple of their songs on an Instagram story when they’re performing to pique interest for next time.
17. Create Facebook events
Turn any regular theme nights or special events into Facebook events. This promotes social sharing and will even give you an idea of buzz surrounding certain nights or events.
18. Photo contest
Come up with any kind of social photo contest you want and have a corresponding hashtag so you can see all the entries. You can also have those photo entries streaming in your bar on your Everwall for in-bar engagement.
19. Schedule tweets
What are the prime times that people typically come to your bar? Have posts scheduled to go out daily on Twitter (you can set them all ahead of time) to catch people when they might be thinking about getting a drink or going out that night.
20. Have a secret menu
Instagram stories are fun because your posts are only available for 24 hours. After that — poof! — they’re gone. Come up with a secret 24-hour menu that’s only available for people who follow you on Instagram, send you a direct message, and then come into the bar that day.
21. Scavenger hunt
Create a classic scavenger hunt, but leverage social media to make it more interesting. Don’t forget the hashtags!
22. Post the best karaoke videos
On karaoke nights, tell patrons to film others or themselves and post a 1-minute video on Instagram with your hashtag. Review the next morning, choose the best video, DM the winner and announce it on your page.
23. Capitalize on trending topics
When appropriate — emphasis on appropriate — latch onto popular topics that are trending online and see how they can work with your brand.
24. Influencer marketing
Partner with some local influencers — folks who have a lot of followers and social credibility — who can promote you on their social media in an authentic way.
25. Name our new drink
Post the ingredients of your latest cocktail on social media and encourage your followers to name the new drink. Have a cool prize for the winner.
Bar promotion ideas that involve social media are perfect because you can use them both inside and outside your business. Your social pages reach folks outside of your bar that you want to come in, and they can keep customers engaged when they’re inside your establishment. The people having a great time inside your bar will also post on social media about the fun they’re having — and bring in even more customers.
Want to spread the word about your bar without lifting a finger? Use Everwall to create monthly contests that incentivize customers to snap photos of your food and drinks and share them on social media! Start building your social wall today!
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