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Greene King Customer Care Team
Abbot House
Westgate Brewery
Bury St Edmunds
IP33 1QT
Email: CustomerCareTeam@greeneking.co.uk
Phone: 0845 850 4545

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Social media

Social media can pay big dividends if you’re running a pub. It delivers a richer brand experience, and enables you to reach new audiences in a cost-effective way. It can provide your existing customers with a more interactive ongoing insight into your pub and business. It is a flexible, responsive and measurable medium which, when executed correctly, can dramatically contribute to the bottom line.

When devising a social media strategy for your business, you should ask yourself the following five questions:


  1. What do I want to achieve by using social media?
  2. How will people hear what I’m saying?
  3. What am I going to say?
  4. Who’s going to manage it?
  5. How will I measure success?

Five steps to social media strategy

What do you want to achieve by using social media?

Why am I going to do it and what are my customers going to get out of it? You must consider that the sole reason can’t be because ‘We must do Twitter, everyone else is’. There needs to be a goal – is it:

  • Customer service (handling feedback, both negative and positive).
  • Customer engagement (reaching out and communicating to your local customers)
  • Increasing awareness (acquiring new customers and raising awareness of your proposition)
  • Driving sales (use it as a channel for driving footfall and communicating offers)
  • Brand building (communicating your positive attributes and personality of your brand)

How will people hear what you’re saying?

Having an objective is great: first step – ticked. Now you need to identify and engage with your audience. 

Find where your audience is and where they spend time online; listen to what they are saying; and understand what is important to them. Only then can you begin to reach out to them. 

But don’t just start shouting messages at them: spend the time to understand their discussions and only then join in with them and start your own conversations that will engage them.

What are you going to say?

You could have the best goals and have identified a key community but if you have nothing to say you won’t be able to engage in conversation. 

Your customers and prospective customers are likely to be interested in what’s happening at their local. Think about your calendar of events, for example Mother’s Day, Easter Bank Holiday, Christmas and all of those other great reasons to visit your pub. Try to engage with your community by creating a two-way conversation, not just simply pumping out offers for your own benefit.

If you’re using social media then be prepared for the inevitable. Consumers will complain and will use it as a channel to vent their frustrations or air their bad experiences. Remember, these negative experiences which others can see can be complex to manage and therefore need to be treated with tact and diplomacy. Responding promptly is key; also be empathetic with your customers to show (to them and others) that you care – mistakes are inevitable and customers will recognise that. A good policy is to respond to the customer promptly, encouraging them to call you, or to share their contact details with you which ultimately takes the remainder of the negative conversation offline. If the customer is sufficiently compensated, it’s not uncommon for them to post praise after the event. 

Who’s going to manage it?

Ask yourself: who will take responsibility and manage the content and replying to people? Remember that monitoring and managing your content takes time, so plan your resources carefully. It shouldn’t be the responsibility of your barmaid – just because “they use Facebook all the time so they must know what they’re doing – right?” (wrong!). It needs to be someone with the right experience to step in and join the conversation. 

How will you measure success?

If you don’t measure your activity, how do you know if it’s working? How do you know if you’ve achieved your goal?
There are many analytical tools available but to get started your best bet is to use the analytics provided by your social channel. 

Common social media measurements:

Likes + comments + shares 
Number of wall posts made 
Total fans 

Replies + retweets 
Number of tweets
Total followers

Google +
+1s + Comments + Shares 
Number of wall posts
Total followers

How do I get started?

You can either set up your own Facebook account or engage a provider to assist you. Some examples of providers of this type of service include: