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over month. This meant they had to quit giving away for free what businesses were willing to pay for. Over the years, they choked down your bar or restaurant’s free reach to almost zero. All in the name of profits. But hey, Facebook is a business. We all would probably have done the same thing if given the opportunity. We’re all capitalists at heart. This was a good thing for several reasons. Not only could Facebook keep their Board happy, but as with every successful marketing platform, the spammers quickly came in and ruined everything. Most bars put little-to-no thought into what they post on social media and since it was free, the endusers all got bombarded with crappy cell phone images and burgers that looked more like dog food than beef. This horrible branding technique became the norm. The bar was set at an all-time low in about 2015-2017. This made the overall user experience decline. Facebook employs the smartest guys in the world and they didn’t want to become the next MySpace. They adapted to this by demanding pay for increased social media reach. These days, your free reach will hit about 1% of your followers. Think about that when you assign a piece of your marketing budget to social media. Do your math. Here is an example I wrote about in an upcoming book I’m publishing on this exact subject: 28

Bar Business Magazine

Let’s take a restaurant with roughly 5000 Facebook followers and 5000 Instagram followers to keep nice, round numbers. A percentage of them are going to be the same person following this restaurant on both platforms, let’s say a conservative 20%. When you remove the double-dipping

Be “social” on social media. Interact, don’t dictate.

from one of the platforms, that leaves roughly 9000 followers. In my research, 84% of the public say they would not walk in the door based on a social media approach so that leaves 1440. If we apply the 1% rule of advertising and say that 1% of these people will take action based on this approach, this means that 14 people will potentially walk in the door. Here’s the tricky part. Do we base this on a per post average? The law of diminishing returns will kick in way before this is a reality. Do we base this off of a weekly average? Monthly or annually? Also, the quality of the posts greatly affects

this number. No one will ever really know this number. Let’s take it a step further. I worked with a social media management company that I recently had contact with who wanted $3500/month to post five times a week for a certain client. Let’s use the best possible case scenario and assume that their stellar, way above average posts will bring those 14 people in the door per day. Hell, I’ll even throw in the weekends when they aren’t posting. That’s 420 people over the course of a 30-day month. With a perperson average of $15 in the case of this client, that would bring $6300 in additional revenue through the door— not bad! But the average restaurant’s profit margin is about 3-5% topping out on the high end at 15%. So again let’s use the best-case scenario and say these guys are killing it and are bringing 15% profit to the bottom line. So they keep 15% of that $6300 that the social media company just brought in the door, which is $954. It just cost you $3500 to make $954! Unfortunately, social media isn’t really measurable like this. This is not a realistic statistic, but the truth of it is, it’s actually much worse than this. Social media also isn’t based on bringing someone through your door from every post. It’s about brand recognition and repetition. The fact that it isn’t measurable means it has somehow gotten a pass when calculating marketing budgets. Bars still dump almost 100% of their budget into this without seeing a quantifiable return. Insanity. The only way to expand your reach on Facebook is to pay for it. Again, I like this change because it forces bar owners to take a closer look at their approach and makes them quit posting nonsense. Once your wallet is on the line, you tend to pay a bit more attention. By all means, I recommend hiring an expert on paid Facebook ads. Do not try to stumble your way through this or get your server who needs more hours to knock this out. You can throw your money away quickly if it’s not done right.

August 2018

Photo: Shutterstock/ sondem.


Profile for Bar Business Magazine

Bar Business August 2018