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Cheerful old friends having fun watching a football game on TV and drinking draft beer at bar counter in pub.

A well-planned restaurant social media strategy isn’t just a good idea – it’s a necessity. Social media is a great way to engage with your current customers and keep up your game against competitors.

Here are six fresh ideas for promoting and sharing your bar in the digital age.

Promote your bar on social media

1- Go Behind the Scenes

With Instagram-friendly pasta dishes and drool-worthy brunch photos, you might think that restaurants have the advantage when it comes to social media photography. However, bars have a great opportunity to take behind6 Bar Promotion Ideas For Social Media the scenes photography to showcase what their drinks are all about. Whether it’s bartenders mixing drinks or kegs being tapped, showing behind the scenes shots drives intrigue while humanizing your restaurant brand.

Download Our Restaurant Social Media Checklist

2- Borrow User-Generated Content

The best restaurant social media profiles do a great job of finding and repurposing user-generated content. Your customers have a different perspective of your restaurant, and they might capture a new angle that you haven’t considered before. Once you start searching hashtags involving your restaurant’s name, you’re likely to uncover a few good posts. Be sure to ask for permission before you use the picture, but chances are the customer will be happy (as long as you tag them back).


Your customers have a different perspective of your restaurant, and they might capture a new angle that you haven’t considered before.


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3- Takeover a Tap

You might have heard of a tap takeover, where different breweries or bars partner by sharing one another’s product. Why not try this strategy for your social media accounts? Social takeovers are popular on Instagram and Snapchat, as they allow a more direct and visual immersion into your bar operations. You might choose to work with a beer or spirits representative, or perhaps a local influencer. This strategy will also grow an audience, as they can cross-promote the takeover and direct followers to your account.

4- Throw a Special Event

Social media for restaurants can get old after awhile. When your menu stays the same and there’s nothing special about the space, you might get stuck not knowing what to post. Fortunately, this is the perfect time to start a community activity or event. Restaurant social media marketing is all about keeping things fresh and exciting, and a special tap release or cocktail hour might be just what you need. Consider city-specific events, holidays, and pop culture references that you can capitalize on to draw interest.

5- Host a Contest

A restaurant social media marketing plan isn’t complete without a fun contest. Hosting a contest is a lighthearted way to energize your followers. One example might be to host a photo contest of people tagging themselves at your bar. Or, you might have people take photos out in the world with other specified content, as long as they use the hashtag you specify. Offering a decent prize, like a $50 bar tab, can entice people to participate. The contest will help you engage your current customers and attract new customers (not to mention the new stash of user-generated content it’ll create).

6- Start a Series

Social media users love consistency. Just think about the popularity of daily hashtags, like #tbt (Throwback Thursday) and #wcw (Woman Crush Wednesday). What if you created a series of hashtags themed around your bar?

For example, you could take a creative approach to these existing tags and transform #wcw into Wine Crush Wednesday and feature a wine that your customers are currently loving. Or, you might stray from this entirely and choose to feature a certain cocktail on fridays to promote during happy hour. Whatever you decide, make sure that your series is fun and exciting – that way your customers will feel enticed to come in and try whatever you’re selling.

Check out Upserve’s Restaurant Social Media Checklist!

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As a professional copywriter, Dan typically spends his days buried in a booth at a local coffee shop. Ideas flow best with a cup of coffee in one hand and a bagel in the other. Dan has written for Entrepreneur Magazine, Military.com, and other media publications.
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