So Your Bar is on Twitter…

I’ve been running bars for eight years now and I’ve only very recently discovered how good Twitter is for business. It took me a while to get on board because I didn’t really understand it.

I thought it was basically another Facebook. An alternative platform to show off and post pictures of your pets.

I was wrong.

Twitter is a connection tool. Connecting is crucial for any business as to thrive, we need to network. We need to not only network with our customers, with our suppliers and others in the same field too. Twitter allows us to do that.

Whereas Facebook is generally connecting on customer level only and then Linked In is generally connecting as a business only, Twitter does both, in a friendly way.

I have discovered the benefits of Twitter through being a blogger. I’ve been on Twitter for two months as a blogger and have almost 900 followers and increased traffic. I have decided to apply this knowledge to my bar’s Twitter account. I am still learning and currently have 229 followers but that is from a virtually inactive account a couple of months ago.

I am not claiming to be an expert but I thought I’d share what I have found to be some of the no-no’s for using Twitter. I am writing this as a bar manager but I think it is applicable to blogs and any other business too.

I would like to state, I am talking about using Twitter for business. Personal tweeting is not something I do so I am not commenting on personal activity.

5 Things to avoid on Twitter

1. Complaining.

If you have an issue with a supplier, tweeting to them to complain just comes across as childish and arrogant.

“Very disappointed with delivery service form @{insert name} I will NOT be using them again.” It is beyond unprofessional.

If you have a problem with them, speak to somebody and give them chance to resolve it. If somebody tweeted complaints to you, you would hate it. Personally, I don’t think it tarnishes their reputation because professional people that read that will see through your childish rant and in fact are more likely to not want to work with you. So effectively, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.

2. FML whinging.

Your customers and suppliers are definitely not interested in the fact that you’ve had no sleep because it is a bank holiday.

If you want to comment on long weekends turn it into a hashtag so it is light hearted such as #bartenderproblems working extra for bank hol, who is coming to say hi and have a drink with us? :)” Or post a picture of your beer stained uniform #bartenderlife then you’re releasing the whinge without being miserable. It is so much more friendly then “FML gotta spend all week serving drinks instead of drinking them!”

3. Shameless Image Crafting.

Basically showing off… Trying to present yourself or bar as a particular type of place or person by using your personal life is so cringeworthy.

If it is relevant, then it’s fine. For example, my baby has some pyjamas that make him look like a retro film character so I posted a picture. It is engaging and cute. If I posted the picture along with, “Please book your party with us so I can make enough money to buy his birthday presents.” That is shameless.

Makes me shudder because I’ve actually seen businesses do this sort of thing. You don’t not want people using your business out of pity! You want them engaging with the services you offer.

I also see it as a massive security risk to post pictures of your family. If you name them and show them off to strangers and then bar somebody or provide a poor service, you really don’t want them using your family as bait. I have had threats made to me in the past mostly before the days of social media.

If you’re too open, anybody with a vendetta is one click away from putting a brick through your window while your kids are playing on the floor. Ok, that is worst case scenario but I’ve heard stories like this!

Please oh please, don’t update your Twitter business account to tell the world you’re on holiday.

  1. It is entirely irrelevant and basically showing off.
  2. It’s a security risk. You’re telling everybody the boss is away, or staff are limited, or my house is free all weekend, great time to break in and steal the computer you showed off about in last week’s tweet!

4. Ignoring followers.

Again, it is so unprofessional to just ignore people. Even if you don’t like them, reply!

It might be that smelly trampy customer that clicks at all the staff but if he wants to bring his birthday party of 20 people to you, that is business. Reply!

It is ok to just favourite or retweet something that doesn’t require a specific answer, it is an acknowledgement that you have seen it and appreciate their interaction. If it is a direct question, answer it! I often reply to messages with, “I’m not back in the office until Tuesday but I will check for you then.” We are not robots, nobody expects you to be at their service 24/7 but communication is key to running a business well

If you are on holiday, ideally let somebody take over the social media accounts for you, but remember you can schedule marketing broadcast tweets ahead of time to get the conversation started for them and take off some of the pressure using something like Buffer.

5. Insulting anyone.

Probably the worst possible way to be unprofessional is to insult people. Insulting on social media is just amateur to say the least. I actually saw a tweet from a small business along the lines of, “Some people send the most ridiculous emails.” So now, any customer that sees this and has ever sent you an email is thinking, “Is that about me? Is that why they never replied?”

Don’t post pictures of customers that might be deemed embarrassing because that is just a back handed insult. Especially with a nasty caption i.e. “Look at this drunken idiot!”, unless you get their permission of course! (Make sure you have a disclaimer if you are posting photography on social media or get their permission when the picture is taken.)

Summary

If you tie all of these rules together, the simple message is don’t mix business and pleasure. Occasionally there will be times where it is relevant, for example, if you run a family bar then yes it can make sense to share a picture of them enjoying the play area in the beer garden. For most businesses, keep your home life at home and keep your personal opinions to yourself.

Flick Eden is a nightclub manager and mommy blogger at MommaBoss.co.uk

%d bloggers like this: