Social media – so what’s your policy?

By Paul Pavli

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Social media

Paul Pavli: "There are so many ways to get customers engaging with you online"
Paul Pavli: "There are so many ways to get customers engaging with you online"
Firstly, I am not a marketer, but I do know a thing or two about what works in pubs, and what doesn’t work.

I often hear licensees say they are scared of social media and don’t want to engage with it because it’s out of their comfort zone. In today’s world, every successful retail business has a website and social media platform. It’s cost effective in promoting your business and building customer loyalty.

As part of your business plan, you should have a social media policy — even if it is to not have one. However, if you opt out then you need to know how you are going to attract and engage with customers. 

I recommend our partners at Punch to have a website and Facebook account, and ideally Twitter and Google+, for rankings. There are 101 different social media tools, but these are the most popular and effective.

You should also be aware of Trip Advisor and manage comments — good and bad — effectively, but always take difficult discussions offline.


Having a conversation plan in place, identifying what you are going to post for the week/month and who is responsible for the updates, will make the process much easier. There are also free, simple to use tools such as Hoot Suite that allow you to pre-programme your conversations.  

One good way to get your customers to follow you online is to publicise your website and Facebook/Twitter handles in your pub. This enables them to keep up to date with events and special offers by simply checking online.

Try thinking about social media as a virtual pub, a place to go and catch up with your mates, engage in conversation and banter. So it’s not just telling customers about your pub and events, but an opportunity to spark up conversations and have some fun. 


Try asking questions, so you do the things that they like and keep them coming back to your pub.  And remember, a picture paints a thousand words, so use imagery and videos to sell your pub. For example, post a picture of a pump clip of a new beer, capture events and people having fun as they happen, so enticing people to join in. or offer a prize to the customer who posts the best selfie.

There are so many ways to get customers engaging with you online.

Whatever form of social media you choose, make sure the messages you post are clear and concise and fit in with the tone of how you run the pub.

And once you get the hang of it, experiment a little and see what works best for you — and simply do more of it. But be careful, customers want to hear from you, just not every five minutes!

Paul Pavli is operations director at Punch Taverns

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