The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has launched its own online pub guide WhatPub.com if you stock real ale then make sure your local CAMRA branch has your pub listed.
There are a number of websites that are well worth entering details on and many of them are free! For instance www.zoopla.com
More of a general factotum of post code based areas, whilst heavy on the price of houses etc, there is a Food and Dining Section, with a sub-listing for Public Houses and Bars. Over a million hits per month on the site their premium listing costs £99.50 per annum (less than £2.50 per week), with your pub always listed at the top of searches and flagged on a Google map, with all your contact details.
For all the others I have just put the web address and in italics their opening blurb … some sites are better than others … you decide.
www.thegoodpubguide.co.uk – “For 28 years The Good Pub Guide has been promoting the best in British hospitality. The size of the printed Guide limited the number of pubs that it could include. However the new website can list all pubs in the country, and all licensees can put up the key details of their establishments.”
www.bigpubguide.co.uk – “Welcome to the Pub Guide, the Best UK Pub Guide Directory where our aim is “Bringing People and Pubs Together” using the Pub Guide. Find the Pub Guide you need for real ale, wine, a beer garden, good food, bar meals, pub grub, a restaurant, menus, a pub quiz night, live music, karaoke nights, wacky warehouse, accommodation, bed and breakfast, children friendly, pets welcome or disabled facilities. In fact the ultimate PUB GUIDE.”
www.britishpubguide.com – “This site seeks to do for PUBS what WIKIPEDIA™ does for knowledge”
www.onlineukpubguide.com – “The Online UK Pub Guide has been around since the late nineties in one guise or another and over the years has grown to become a recognised source of information on pubs, bars and inns across the UK. This current incarnation of the Guide aims to take it far above and beyond anything seen on the pages before with a full array of options for our visitors to add information on the favourite pubs.”
www.beerintheevening.com –“Officially the UK‘s biggest and busiest pub, bar and club guide! Now listing 40,000 venues, growing daily with over 1.45 million unique visitors each month looking for somewhere to drink, eat and socialise!”
www.pub-explorer.com – “the best place to find bars, pubs, inns and hotels on the internet”
www.pubutopia.com – “To make this website the best community driven pubs guide in the UK – By the people … for the people.”
SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES
Have you looked at harnessing the power of Facebook and Twitter and making your pub the focal point for your customers?
Here are the stats from Nielsen Online and Ofcom
- 8.5 million UK Facebook users – www.facebook.com
- Nearly two thirds of UK web users visit social networking sites
- Britons spend 5.3 hours a month on these sites
- Networking sites aren’t just for youngsters, two in five users are over 35
Social networking sites can enhance your customer loyalty and give you a great platform to promote events and occasions in your pub. They help people organise their social life and are a great way for pubs to extend one of the most effective advertising tools, word of mouth.
Networking sites can also be great for market research. You may not know what friends say to each other when they leave your pub but you may pick up what’s said by monitoring your site and then responding to it.
If you want to target 25-34 year old then check out pinterest.com – based solely on images it’s ideal for pictures of parties/food/events at your pub.
For detailed advice on how to use the social networking site see separate here.
Top tips for effective social networking:
- Make it easy for people to find your page – try putting ‘pub’ after the name
- Find potential customers on Facebook by browsing local or regional networks
- Upload photos from your recent pub events onto your Facebook page. People like to ‘tag’ themselves (link the photo to their page) and so need to request to be a friend or member of your group
- Target niche groups by searching for sports fans, food lovers, beer drinkers, live music fans etc
- Test the water by sending a code to people signed up to your page inviting them to claim a special offer at your pub
- Manage your page carefully and keep it updated. If the information becomes out of date people will stop checking it
- Offer free wireless internet (WiFi). Display posters around your pub advertising it together with your social networking page inviting customers to join your group and post feedback
- Encourage members to include photographs with their registration. Your site will look more ‘alive’ this way
- Don’t make it too exclusive – allow people to talk about other pubs and bars in the town, just as they would in the pub. Find out where they go and use this information on your competition to offer alternative or better nights to get them in your pub more often
- Make sure your Facebook or other networking site is linked to your pub website
And now a warning: Networking sites can be a double-edged sword. Useful to advertise but dangerous for negative postings! The secret is to get in there first and create your own groups with positive comments.
There are no legal barriers to getting involved with online social networking – but there are risks. If you are hosting a site it is vital to bear these in mind, and take steps to reduce them.