Time for Bars to Get Social

It was recently determined from a study conducted by Eyes and Feet that less than a third of drinking establishments in major cities across the United States have their own Facebook fan page.

Call me a biased Facebook enthusiast, but I find this low level of involvement by bars and clubs to be egregious. I suppose one can blame it on hesitant bar owners who refuse to change with the times, but I still find this statistic to be mind-blowing given the recent media blitz of Facebook. Not only have its recent activities been heavily documented in national and even global news, but the site was also the subject matter of a recent major motion picture, “The Social Network”.

Regardless of how incomprehensible this missed opportunity may be for bar and club owners, there are several reasons why they should begin building their Facebook likes today. First and foremost is the aspect included in the utility’s name “social network” itself- SOCIAL. The social aspect of promoting something as conversational as a bar or club is crucial to the page’s overall benefit. To me, this missed opportunity was most profound when considering this: if a library can collect more than 30,000 fans on Facebook, how can a place where people go interact (bars/clubs) fail to set up this platform for people to talk about and interact with them? Providing a Facebook page simply allows loyal customers to chat you up, which increase appearances in newsfeeds, and consequently enables your establishment’s awareness to spread like wildfire.

The second reason is that unlike Yelp (which the majority of drinking establishments are registered on), Facebook offers continual dialogue with your everyday customers. Yelp serves as an effective tool to recruit people who are visiting or new to an area by providing reviews. However, Facebook provides an evolving outlet to relay nightly drink specials, live music events, and promotions on an ongoing basis. This continual feed to your customers will help your establishment gain priority in the consumer’s mind.

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One thing that should be noted is this study’s failure to acknowledge bars and clubs that have set up groups or personal profiles. This strategy should be warned against as it is in violation of Facebook’s terms of service. More importantly, Facebook’s merger of “Places and “Fan Pages” will inevitably make pages the most trusted and preferred source for local businesses.

Reasoning aside, one thing’s for sure: the time for these social arenas to stake their official space on the social network is now.

Author: George Irish

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