Social Media Etiquette

bar social media marketing

When it comes to posting to your social media accounts I get the same questions all the time. Questions such as how often should I post? When is the best time of the day to post? Should I link them all together? The answer to all of these questions is the same, it depends. I know how everyone loves to hear that answer so the following is a brief discussion on how to post to your social media feeds, whether it be Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any of the other social media websites you may be involved in.

To start off, I would make sure you are involved with those four at a minimum. These are the bare minimum for today’s current state of affairs. If you wish to do more, feel free based on how much time you have to dedicate to your social media campaign, however these are the only four that I feel have a broad enough reach to justify the time commitment required to do it right. Speaking of linking accounts I do not recommend linking your accounts. There is nothing worse than seeing someone’s twenty tweets a day clogging up my LinkedIn home page. I have to scroll through pages and pages of “tweets” to see what I am really trying to see when I am on LinkedIn which is the career updates of my colleagues. However, if you choose to use one of the social media platforms not a part of the ‘Big 4” (SnapChat/Pinterest), then feel free to link them to one of the big three so that your posts show up there too. It’s an easy way to add reach to your campaign, without having to do any additional work other than the initial set up.

The most important thing to remember about social media is that in essence it represents “permission based marketing.” These people have given you permission to “market” to them (and here’s the important part) “within the confines of the accepted practices” of the medium. With Twitter, it’s ok to post 10, 20 or 30 times a day. This is a huge no-no with LinkedIn. In Facebook, it’s ok to tell everyone you love Joe’s Coffee shop on 3rd Street but not so much with LinkedIn. You do not want to ruin the trust that your followers/friends/colleagues have given you when they granted you their permission to market to them with social media. Even if they don’t “unfriend” you they will still block your messages so that your messages do not appear in their feed anymore. That is the worst thing because you might think you have 300 Facebook friends but in reality only 20 or 30 are actually seeing your posts and that just ruins everything.

So here are the 3 No-No’s when it comes to social media posting. As long as you avoid these three common pitfalls your posts should be safe from being blocked by your followers.


Do not be an over poster. Nobody wants to hear every single thing you do all day unless it’s interesting. “Just ate lunch, it was tasty,” is not a good Facebook post. It’s fine every once in awhile but some people give an every hour on the hour update of what they are doing and it just annoys everyone so you end up getting blocked. There is only so much room on someone’s screen, and if it is all getting taken up by your meaningless, or repetitive boring marketing messages, you will get blocked. “Please like my new fan page” ten times a day is also a no-no.

When it comes to Twitter you can post much more often but the same rules apply. If you post the same tweet over and over with just one word changed, people will block you. It’s ok to promote and send meaningless tweets because they don’t last long, but if you exceed the generally accepted communication practices you will get blocked. Also if you post twenty tweets in a row all at the same time so someone’s entire feed only shows your tweets, you’re going to get blocked. Just make sure you are posting regularly and following the PITH method for content. (See article here)


People are followers, friends and contact’s because they want to interact with you, not so you can be a one way street when it comes to updates and messages. If you never comment on someone else’s posts, don’t expect them to comment on yours. You should spend more time focusing on other peoples messages than you do on your own. I estimate a split of 70/30. For every 3 posts you make on Facebook, you should make 7 comments on other people’s posts, Your Twitter ratio can probably be flipped 30/70 and LinkedIn would be more acceptable at around 50/50 but either way, you need to be commenting on other peoples updates and being involved in the conversation that is going on in the social media world.

You can’t be that guy at the party that interrupts a group of people talking about a movie they all just saw and ask someone what kind of dog they have. Nobody likes that guy. Don’t be that guy. You have to enter the conversation already going on, if you want to be involved. Remember it is called “Social” media. The same social etiquette rules apply in real life as in social media.

I recommend 2 practices when it comes to posting on other peoples comments. If you see a post that nobody has commented on, either like it or reply to it. You will make the recipient feel better if nothing else. It’s almost embarrassing to post a joke or interesting tidbit in your feed and then have everyone ignore it. So be the nice guy and respond to it. It will go a long way. The other extreme is to reply to posts that are getting a lot of action. This way your reply is seen by a greater number of people. If it is a PITH post, you may just get some more followers and friends as a result of posting to active posts.


If you are going to run a social media campaign, either do it or don’t. It’s not something you can kind of do every once in awhile. If you haven’t posted in months and then all of a sudden you add a post, asking something of your followers, not only will you not get any response, you will get a negative result. Can you imagine if you showed up to a long lost friends house after several years and asked to borrow their lawn mower? What, no hey, hello, how’s it going? I haven’t heard from you in years and the first thing you have to say to me is can you borrow my lawnmower?

That’s just not how it works, you have to be involved. You have to be a part of the community. You need to make consistent, relevant posts to the conversation that is going on already before you are allowed to start your own conversation. Lurking in the shadows waiting for a slow minute to ambush your followers just isn’t the way to go. If you are trying to get back into the swing of things, start with liking a few posts, or “retweeting” some other tweets, to raise your level of involvement. You could also start by “friending” a few new people and then starting a “Hey, long time no see” conversation with them. Then start to work your way into the conversation and being a part of the community. When you are a regular contributor to the community, your marketing messages are welcome and expected from your followers as long as they are relevant. People enjoy helping you succeed, and will go out of their way to help promote your services. But remember the golden rule when it comes to your social media campaign. (Yes, the rule Golden Rule, no clever variations here)

So there you have it, the 3 Social Media No-No’s. As long as you avoid these common pitfalls, you should get great success from your social media campaign. Now that I’ve told you “How” to post, if you feel like you need some guidance on “What” to post, take a look at “The PITH Method. The simple guide to making great posts.”


Bar Instagram Ideas

bar instagram idea

If you could put a meter on a TV show and show which part of a TV show people watch most closely that would be extremely valuable. If you watch shows like “Diner’s Drive In’s and Dives” or “Man vs. Food” you will see the hosts trying several different types of food. During those shows, what portion do you watch the most closely?

In these shows, I like to call this portion of the show the “Money Shot.”

Specifically, this is the part where the host takes a big huge bite of the food. Viewers literally make the mouth actions themselves as the host takes a bite of the massive juicy sandwich. You can use this to your benefit and makes for a great Bar Instagram idea.

Bar Instagram Ideas – Big Bite

If you have a menu item, that is hard to fit in your mouth as it comes from the kitchen; offer customers a free drink or side item if you let them video their first bite. If your social media feeds have several people taking a huge bite of your food, and it’s funny because they can’t get the entire item in their mouth and parts of the sandwich are falling all over the place, this makes for great bar instagram ideas and posting to social media.

It’s not a blatant sales pitch that people hate. It’s just a funny anecdote, “check out this guy trying to fit our triple decker burger in his mouth.” Or even better “Local lumberjack makes a mess with our Tallest Reuben in the city.”

At first you may get some reluctance from your customers and that’s fine, don’t pressure anybody and don’t take it personal if they don’t, some people just don’t like the spotlight. But some people love it. What I recommend doing is making your sales reps be the first ones. If one is pressuring you into making a purchase or changing suppliers for an item, tell him you’ll do it if you let your staff make a video of him taking a bite of the biggest item on your menu. You can also bring in friends or even your staff for the first few videos.

If you don’t have anything on your menu that works for this, either change a menu item slightly or add a new one. Also, tell your chef to make it extra tall, because you are making a video. Add height with a thick piece of lettuce and a thicker tomato slice, etc.

You can make a 5 second video and post it to Instagram, and also have it post directly to Twitter using  – The really good ones you can later post to Facebook and even boost the posts to get more exposure, especially if something funny happens and you think people will share it. Always ask your customer if you can tag them in the Facebook post for extra reach.

You can post the video to your Instagram stories and your Snapchat. The key is to make one video and use it everywhere. Then when you have several videos in your library, you can make a greatest hits compilation, stringing the best videos together into one branded video and share it to your Facebook page and place it front and center on your website.

Going Further with your Bar Instagram Idea

As you can see, one little bar Instagram idea can become a huge content source for your bar or tavern and can end up being the face of your brand in the marketplace. People begin to follow your account because they like seeing the funny videos of people trying to take a bite of this huge menu item. As the videos get more popular you can write, “Tag a friend who could demolish this bite.”

I can go on and on with different ideas you can do with this one little bar Instagram idea. I hear bar owners complain that they don’t have enough ideas to do social media, that you constantly have to come up with new things and they just aren’t that creative.

In reality, you can have just one idea, (that you stole from a website/blog) but really run with that one idea and you will have plenty of success with your social media campaigns. Keep checking back for more bar Instagram ideas.


Using Social Media Can Put You Out of Business

using social media

In today’s social media environment where every person with a smart phone has a voice, good marketing can put you out of business faster than bad marketing. If the customer experience isn’t positive, good marketing will work against you, including using social media. People will find out how bad you suck much faster than if you have bad marketing especially when you are using social media. People will find out faster than ever before.

In years past, for the most part, unless someone was speaking to their neighbor over the fence or standing around the water cooler at work, if a customer of yours had a bad experience, you might be lucky to where no one may ever hear of that event.

However, today, one bad experience can go viral, and seriously affect the longevity of your business faster than ever before. Therefore, if you invest in marketing and build a great, effective marketing system, but do not perfect the customer experience before doing so, you may put yourself out of business faster than if you had no marketing program at all.

That’s why I tell my clients to make sure they have a great product first, then work on the marketing program and begin using social media. Or, even better, I tell them, “You work on the customer experience/product/meal/service and let me work on the marketing.

This is the reason why I am so picky about who I work with. If I don’t believe a client is providing a great product or service, they are just going to go out of business after I start helping them. The last thing I need is word getting out that once a company hires me to do effective marketing for them, they go out of business. How would that look for my portfolio.

The first thing you should do before marketing is take a look at your product and make sure it is world class. A potential client was telling me that he offers incentives to customers to post to social media but he can’t get anyone to share anything. I told him, “You don’t have anything here worth sharing!” Do you think someone wants to share a picture of your soggy chicken wings served on a plate they used in the 70’s?

You need to provide an experience that is worthy of sharing, then people will share it, without incentives. That’s the point. Before you try to do anything to get a new customer, make sure when they walk through the door, they are going to get a great experience every time they walk through the door, then start working on getting more new customers.


Instagram for Bars

instagram for bars

Instagram for bars

I love it when I have an answer to a question that my clients ask me. Unfortunately, whenever I get a question from a client, my answer is, “it depends.”

The main questions I get are. . .

  • How often should I post to social media?
  • What should I post to social media?
  • What is the best way to grow my followers on social media?
  • How do I go Viral with my social media?
  • Is social media even worth it?

The list of questions go on and on and unfortunately, the answer 99 percent of the time is, “It Depends.”

Well today I got a question from a client that I could answer.

His question was, “If I could only do one thing for my bar, related to social media, without spending and money, what should I do?”

That answer was simple, you should make, contribute to and emphasize an Instagram account for your bar.

Instagram for bars and taverns is the best (free) way to engage your customers via social media. Now if you had some money to spend, it might be a different answer, in fact, I would immediately go into, it depends (again) but luckily, in this case, I could answer.

Unfortunately, this could change at any minute! Therefore, if you are reading this blog post and it’s been a few months, you may want to call me and make sure it’s still the case. I recently read an article that said “17 Major changes that happened in Social Media in the Last 2 Weeks.” Seventeen!!

So anyway, stay up to date, but for now, check out my Categories and click the one that says Instagram for Bars, there are a lot of ideas there on things you can do for your Instagram account to help grow your customer base, and luckily they are all free.

Better Social Media Posts

twitter for bars

A lot of what I know about social media marketing I learn from watching the main experts in the field currently such as Gary Vee and Tai Lopez. One of the things Tai Lopez teaches is his VRIN method for better social media posts. On my own personal Instagram account I post things from my daily life and I am going to use one of them to explain Tai Lopez’s VRIN method. If you want more info about Tai Lopez, you can just Google him, or open YouTube most likely you will see his video as an ad as soon as you try to watch a video. The idea is to score your social media post before posting it on a scale of 1 to 10.

If your post isn’t at least a 30, you probably shouldn’t post it to your followers if you are trying to build your following and increase customer engagement.

My last post on Instagram was a picture taken at the half way point of a difficult long hike I had just completed. It was a view of a long winding trail down a mountain with a huge lake at the bottom.

The V in his formula stands for Value – I scored this a 2, since it doesn’t provide much value to anyone except maybe some motivation to get out in the outdoors and get some exercise, and it wasn’t very valuable to me, because it gave me a little pride that I had completed the hike, but other than that not much value.

The R in his formula stands for Rare – I give the post a very low rare score because even though it is very rare that anyone has taken a picture here, EVERYBODY takes pictures at the most picturesque spot on their hike. So, while this location and picture was rare, the idea of posting a hiking view pic isn’t very rare so the combination of the two factors compels me to give it a 3 score on the Rare scale.

The I in the VRIN formula stands Inimitable (meaning hard to imitate) – I gave it a little bit higher because not everyone can make or finish this hike. Also very few people know where this hike is, and those that do, may hike a hundred other hikes in the area instead of doing this one. But still, it’s still possibly only a 5 on the inimitable score.

The N in his formula stands for Non-Substitute-able – I give it a 4 on this scale because anyone can go somewhere and take a picture of somewhere they hiked and post it to SM. The only reason I gave it a 4 instead of a 1 is because not everyone can say they hiked this far in extreme conditions. No trail, intense weather etc.

So my total score would be a 14. Not very good. But for a personal account this isn’t life threatening. However, if you are building a business you will want to make sure your posts rate higher on this scale.

A few things I could’ve done to increase the VRIN score and therefore make a better social media post would have been to post myself in the picture, and possibly add some of the gear I was using such as the running/hiking shoes I was wearing or the GPS system I used to find the place. I also could’ve posted my bleeding elbow and empty water bottle from when I took a spill and busted my only bottle of water that I brought for the hike. Had I done the latter, I probably would’ve had a much higher VRIN score and definitely would have had more comments, likes, shares etc. I also could’ve made a short video or flipagram to the music Clumsy by Fergie. That would have really garnered a lot more engagement and would’ve been a much better social media post.

When you are about to make a social media post, score it real quick on this VRIN scale, then try to improve each individual area until you are around a 30 or higher. Then you are good to go with your post.