5 Tips for Marketing Your Bar or Restaurant With Twitter

Are you using Twitter to market your bar or restaurant? Here’s the skinny: Twitter lets you send short messages (up to 140 characters) called “tweets” to your “followers” and forward other people’s tweets (“retweeting”). While Twitter is still used by just a small percentage of the online population, those users are valuable customers because they tend to be trendsetters who influence others.

5 Tips for Marketing Your Bar or Restaurant With TwitterThe famous Kogi Taco Truck in Los Angeles pioneered using Twitter for restaurant marketing; they would tweet to let customers know where the truck would be stopping next. Since then, the microblogging service has rapidly become one of the best marketing tools a bar or restaurant can use. Here are 5 tips for marketing with Twitter.

1. Tweet regularly. Commit to tweet several times a day. You may want to follow a schedule related to popular dayparts—for instance, tweet a lunch special around 11 a.m. when people are thinking about where to eat. On Friday afternoon, tweet about the new cocktail your bartender just created and is ready to mix up tonight.

2. Make it special. Reward your Twitter followers with special deals just for them, like a code they can use to get a free appetizer or a special word they tell the bartender to get a free drink. Track how many customers use these codes or code words, and you’ll get insight into how well your Twitter efforts are paying off.

3. Take advantage of Twitter’s timeliness. More than any other social media tool, Twitter is all about “real-time.” Use that factor to your advantage. Got too much ahi tuna on hand? Tweet an ahi special for that night. Slow night at your bar? Quick, tweet a “buy-one-get-one-free” drink deal for customers who come in in the next 2 hours. Speaking of hours, limited-time offers work great on Twitter. Try tweeting specials that are good only for the next hour or two and see what results you get.

4. Get personal. Formal, businesslike tweets won’t get you very far. Twitter followers want to see your personality—and the vibe of your bar or restaurant--come through. Lighthearted or humorous tweets about what’s going on in your day can often get just as much attention as deals or offers.

5. Cross-promote. Link your Twitter page to your business website and your business’s Facebook page. Promote your Twitter account by including its URL in your email signature, on your business cards and on your marketing materials. Visit the Twitter website to get a “Follow us on Twitter” decal for your restaurant or bar window.

Talk to a SCORE mentor for more help developing your bar or restaurant’s marketing plan.

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Reiva Lesonsky HeadshotRieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Follow Rieva at Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her blog atSmallBizDaily.com. Visit her website SmallBizTrendCast to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.