Managing Your Pub’s Online Presence (page 3) 

USE YOUR LOCAL

Use Your Local enables your customers to have parcels delivered to your pub while they’re at work, free of charge.  It’s a great way to ensure your pub is well integrated in the local community and you can use the opportunity to attract additional custom with the ‘post-work pint’ drinkers and reaching those that wouldn’t normally dine at the pub on weekdays.

Many local residents will commute during the week so having a collection service from their local makes it much easier than having to wait in for deliveries at home or chasing them at postal depots.

For £50 per year, you can host the parcel collection service at your pub and also receive your own updatable webpage, an email facility to contact registered customers about events and special offers and free live sport advertising

This is just a small selection of the guides available to consumers online so get listed and start driving footfall into your pub. Other useful resources you can utilise are your local newspaper and magazine websites, local BBC websites, in fact anywhere you can. Remember when marketing a small business the shotgun is preferable to a sniper rifle … and with close to 300,000 unique visitors a month to the site that’s a fairly big shotgun!

Free WiFi in your Pub

By offering free WiFi internet access you can give your pub the edge over your competition and provide your customers with an added value service.

WiFi appeals to both business and leisure customers and will help attract customers to your pub, encourage them to stay longer and spend more

If you have access to business customers then WiFi is essential as many business people now have WiFi enabled laptops, PDAs (personal digital assistants) or mobile phones that can accept WiFi signals. These enable them to use their email, connect to the web and communicate whilst enjoying lunch or a few drinks in your pub.

If you haven’t yet logged on to this lucrative market take a look at Wi-Fi packages provided by land line and mobile broadband internet providers.

Their package gives you an easy, commercially viable route to provide Wi-Fi for your customers. For a set up fee and a small monthly charge, you can have access to high quality, secure broadband.

Note the use of domestic WiFi is illegal as a public service.

Of course all these guides and networking sites are very limited in the format in which your information is published online, but I think the best way to tailor your message and your create a highly visible online presence is to host your own dedicated, bespoke pub website. As with things like surveys, the law, accounting etc I believe in leaving this sort of things to the professionals and concentrate on the things I am expert in … running a pub!

Top Tip … nothing will spoil your carefully crafted website more than errors such as spelling mistakes. Many’s the time I have designed menus (and written such things as press releases or created flyers for the pub) and not spotted glaring mistakes. Poorly written “copy” on your website can actually put people off using your pub so you need to make sure its write. (Spot the deliberate mistake? Even though this has been “spell checked” no spell checker will pick up on mistakes like that!)

A picture paints a thousand words …

A relatively new service from internet search engine giant Google may be of interest to those of you wishing to enhance their online presence: Google Business Photos. For what some may consider a modest sum, around £500, you can upload a virtual 360º tour of not just your pub’s exterior (as with Google Streetview) but also the interior of your pub. Linking it to Google Maps and embedding the tour on your website will make your business stand out amongst competitors that don’t use this service. For more details click here

See my separate guide to Advertising Your Pub In The Real World.

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