I though that it would be useful to start a series of “how-to” guides for publicans and the vari0us social media options that are now available.
Facebook as it currently stands is the most used social networking site in the work with over 500 million active users of which 50% of those users log in every day (for more crazy statistics take a look at their Stats page!) – as such it feels like it would be the perfect place to start.
Facebook is a brilliant social networking site and can be used by pubs very effectively as a means of free promotion. As the owner of the page you are able to send updates to each fans page which they are able to comment on, as well as send direct “private” messages to their inbox for a more direct approach. At the Castle Inn we use it heavily to update our “fans” on new beers coming on sale, our latest dog photos, menu changes and everything in between – thanks to the two-way nature of the service we get valuable feedback from our customers.
Over the several parts of this series I will discuss the initial creation of the page (in this part), creating events, custom pages, effective promotion and integration with websites.
Creating the Page
Visit the Facebook “Create a Page” section which helpfully leads you through a lot of the process. URL: http://www.facebook.com/pages/browser.php#!/pages/create.php
On this page click on the “Local Business or Place” button (Figure 1).
The button will then switch with a form for you to fill out. From the “Choose a Category” drop down select either the Bar or Restaurant option – do not worry about the titles as it simply changes the sort of information that is shown by default on your page. I would recommend choosing the Restaurant option if your food offering is a large percentage of your trade.
Fill out the rest of the form with your business details. After reading through the “Facebook Pages terms” and ticking the box acknowledging that you have done so, click the “Get Started” button.
Once you have done this your browser should then refresh and show you your brand new (and blank!) Facebook page (Figure 2.)
As you can see the “Get started” tab helpfully provides you with a list of things to work through in order to get your page going.
It is very important to upload a good photograph of the pub as your profile image as it is used both on your page as well as any search results. If you have the ability, or know someone who does, it is useful to make a custom image with the name of the pub in it, similarly as we have done on our page.
Rather than inviting fans straight away as it recommends, you should click on the “Info” tab at the top and then click the “edit information”. From this Edit page you can write in all the relevant information about your business including opening times – any empty boxes will simply not be displayed to any fans. In each section remember to click the “Save Changes” button and then the “Finished Editing” button when you are finished on the page.
The other tabs at the top of the page are fairly self explanatory – clicking the “+” tab offers you the option to add additional tabs. The Events add-on is very helpful if you hold any events like Pub Quizzes, Beer Festivals or similar – they mean you can advertise them on top of your fan Page and allows people to say they attending and post comments, photos and videos about the event. By clicking the “Edit Page” link the left hand menu you are able to edit even more settings on your page and add additional “Apps” or plug-ins to further increase the functionality of your page.
That’s all for this part, the next part will include a guide to the Events section and adding a Facebook page “badge” to your own website.