by Paula on November 20, 2010

Today, as promised, I continue my feature on Steve Wilson of The Kings Head pub in Wells by looking at which networks Steve feels are going to be most important for his business specifically and the ways in which he can make use of them
 I asked him, which networks are best suited to him as a publican and why?
Steve recognises that his pub has a young customer age profile and where these people ‘hang out’ is Facebook. In Steve’s words, “I couldn’t imagine not having a Facebook presence, it would be lunacy nowadays!” He also points out that as well as the obvious business advantages for a pub of being on Facebook, there are some less obvious side benefits. In Steve’s words:

• It’s great for getting contact details of customers, should you want to send them something or add them to a separate database?

• It’s great for remembering names, or putting a face to a name (One of the problems for a licensee, as we need so many regular customers to make the pub viable these days)!

• It’s great for customer birthdays!

• It’s great for getting photos of banned people, etc. or just for seeing where your customers are? Because pubs have such a close relationship with their customers (compared to other businesses) Facebook could have been made just for us!

We also talked about Twitter and Steve was able to give some direct examples of some specific business successes that he can directly attribute to his activity on Twitter.

  • Steve’s had a booking for his function room from a local Tweeter who didn’t realise that he had the space in his pub to host it, before seeing him refer to it on Twitter. The booking was for a forum for 50 peope. As Steve says, “It’s unlikely I would have got this without Twitter
  • Various individuals have come in to The Kings Head as customers since seeing some of Steve’s announcements about the pub on Twitter
  • Steve’s increased his profile with relevant Tweeters that might lead to better things in the future For example, “‘The Publican’ magazine follow me now and have asked for advice occasionally and some local brewers have offered discounts – these types of things can only increase as I get more followers” Steve said.

Finally I asked Steve what advice he would give to other pubs / restaurants that might be out there and considering their own first steps into Social Media?

Steve pointed that while everyone thinks it’s different for their business, for pubs and restaurants it really is! “Pubs are intrinsically different with a social media presence because our customers, by definition, have to come to us; we can’t set up internet selling, etc.” he said.

Although Steve absolutely considers Social Media to be a must for his business he does recognise that it takes a lot of time and energy. Steve said “Publicans must be the busiest business people per £1 of earnings (by a long margin) but I’m the sort of person who likes to get involved at a deep level“, which is why Steve currently has taken part in some training and manages his own Social Media activity. But he went on to say, “Even I am astounded by the sheer amount of work & time required just to get all the elements into place, even before you start building them up, and I’m only using two of the sites (plus building a website) at the moment and I have a fairly good grip on technology!”

I hope this feature on a real business out there venturing into the world of Social Media, and already seeing some great benefits and results, inspires you and helps you think through how this could work for your business. If you need further information on how it could work for your business, or you’re sold but need help with managing it all, then do get in touch. I’d be happy to talk things through with you.

And in the meantime, many thanks Steve for this fab insight into how things are working for your business, and I’ll be in for a pint or two very soon!



Previous post:

Next post: