Bar and Restaurant Ads Advertising

The Biggest Mistake Local Restaurants Make with Facebook and…

If you’re new to running Facebook / Instagram ads it can be tempting to save time and energy and just hit “BOOST POST” and let the Facebook Algorithm to the rest. But, if you’re not careful you can be spending tons of extra money getting in front of people who will never spend a dime at your business.

As a marketer I always love to see what other businesses are doing, especially restaurants and bars. That industry is so highly competitive any advantage you can have over your competition helps. I’m always looking at ads that pop up on my Facebook and Instagram feed. When I see a particularly interesting or appetizing post from a restaurant or bar I’ll click it. You’d be surprised how many ads I see each week from restaurants 300 miles away or more!

If these restaurants were chains or expanding into Alabama or Tennessee I could understand, but most of these are small restaurants with one location in a state that’s hours away from me. So why am I getting these ads when I live hundreds of miles away from these establishments? Because whoever set up the ads overlooked one small detail that is probably costing them thousands of dollars each year.

The solution for this issue is easy, just make sure your location settings for your ads line up with your desired area. If you have a restaurant or bar in Los Angeles you don’t need someone from New York City clicking on your ad and wasting your dollars knowing they will probably never come to your business.

This is the reason we always suggest to use Facebook Ads Manager instead of just boosting posts. With the Ads Manager you have much more control over your ads and can increase the likelihood you’ll reach your target customer.

Craft Beer and Hat Social Media

Social Media for Breweries

Craft beer fans are extremely passionate, but tend to have a short attention span, always looking for the next great beer. Social media for breweries can be a challenge, but with just a few tricks you can capture the attention of your followers.

This post outlines what many people in the craft beer industry see as a problem. There are too many craft beer fans are always searching for the next great beer and brewers are having to release new limited beers faster than ever. This is definitely a problem for brewers who have having to try and come up with as many as 25 new beers each year, but with the right marketing and social media strategy, you can take full advantage of each release and make each one extremely profitable.

Recognizability and Branding

Whatever your branding is for your brand keeping a consistent theme across all your beers is key. Ideally you want a customer to pick up any of your beers in a can or bottle and be able to easily identify it as yours instead of your competitor. It’s more than just a logo, it’s a consistency in label art, naming, etc.

Building the Buzz

Once you have the idea for what your new beer will be and the branding down pat, start teasing the concept online. An easy way to do this is just with a simple instagram post featuring the main ingredient and a release date. For example if you’re releasing an imperial stout made with local doughnuts just grab a couple of doughnuts and shoot a picture and have the release date as a caption. Give your fans just enough info to get their attention but not enough to completely spell out everything.

High Proof Media took the same approach when unveiling the new spring line of apparel for our long time client State Traditions. We teased new never before seen designs for spring 2019 with posts and stories with subtle clues to the new logos.

Teaser post for State Traditions Spring 2019 line.

Now take the next step. Another photo with your label designed staged with key ingredients describing the beer with the release date. Continue to post variations of this over the coming days to maximize the number of people that will eventually see these posts.

Story Highlights

This section is specific to Instagram, utilizing stories has become a great way to get in front of your followers throughout the day. This is a great spot to really play up the ingredients of your beer and continually hammer your fans with your impending release in a fun and playful way. Every time you add to your story it gets pushed to the front of the story feed so make sure you space them out throughout the day and this will give you even more opportunities to get in front of your followers.

The Power of Friends – Facebook Event
Facebook Events

Facebook events are typically an underutilized tool. By creating an event you get to tap into something special, that annoying red notification on the Facebook app. When that red badge appears people want to immediately see what it is.

When someone marks that they are interested in attending an event their friends get a notification soon after. (Facebook understands FOMO, keep reading on that)

So not only are you using another tool to catch your Facebook fans attention you’re now getting in front of their friends, which you usually have to pay for via Facebook ads.

Video – Google’s not so secret weapon

Most small businesses right now are spending an overwhelming majority of their time on Facebook and Instagram. Rightfully so, it’s where a majority of the social media attention is. But, a lot of businesses are missing out on the opportunity that is staring them right in the face, YouTube. Google’s video platform is the second most popular search engine in the world right behind Google itself. The average number of hours of videos watched on YouTube is increasing every year and not slowing down any time soon.

By creating descriptive videos about your latest small batch release you’re doing two things. First, you’re using another platform to get in front of potential customers. Second, you’re helping your SEO. Google loves video right now and anything that goes on YouTube helps with search engine optimization. So taking the time to shoot a quick 2-3 minute video (which can also be used on Facebook and Instagram) only helps your business.

Scarcity is Key

FOMO, scarcity, whatever you want to call it, people want to be part of the in crowd, especially craft beer drinkers. They don’t want to be the one person who missed their chance to try the new hazy double IPA, fruit sour, or Barrel Aged Chocolate Cake Imperial Stout. So make sure to emphasize that this is a limited release and even go so far as to mention how many bottles, cans or kegs you have to let people know once it’s gone it’s gone.

Think about how liquor stores announce ahead of time about shipments of Pappy Van Winkle. They’ll say that they’re only getting 12 bottles and will still have 40 people line up for the chance. Fear is a powerful motivator.

Release Day & Follow Up

The day of your release is just as crucial as all the buildup before hand. You want to make sure you show people enjoying your latest beer. So make sure you have post ready to go with people lining up (even if it’s only 5-10 people, it’s better than nothing). But, what’s even more important is reposting your followers with the beer. Even in today’s social media driven world, word of mouth is king. By reposting someone with your beer you’re giving validity to it and having their seal of approval is big.

This means every time someone posts a story with your beer repost it. Every time your tagged in a picture repost it, even if it’s days later. Using fans for social media content is always a hit.

Now that you have a step by step guide, use some of this techniques on your next small batch release and watch the fans line up for your next beer.

Working with Social Media Influencers Instagram

Working with Social Media Influencers

If you own a relatively well known business more than likely over the past 24-36 months you’ve been approached by a “Social Media Influencer” promising to grow your social media following for a free meal, hotel room or products.

How do you know this person can legitimately provide the services they’re promising? Do you need to pay them? Do you need an agreement in place to work with them? We’ll lay out a few key points that can help make it easier to try and work with real influencers to help grow your business.

  1. Ask Questions
    • Treat them just like you would anyone trying to sell you anything. A healthy degree of skepticism is ok in this situation. Especially if they are asking for free products, services, or money.
    • Ask what the demographics of their following.
      • Do they line up with your ideal customer or customers you’re looking to attract?
    • Ask about any past work they have done with other businesses.
      • Can they give specific examples of growing followers, or increasing sales
  2. Set Expectations
    • Set very clear guidelines of what you would like this person to achieve.
      • An example of this could be we would like to see a 5% increase in social media followers.
      • Another example could be giving them a discount code or coupon to try and track sales that originated from this person or persons.
    • Explain exactly what support or services you will provide them with.
  3. Put Together an Agreement
    • This part is crucial if there is a transfer or money.
      • It doesn’t have to be written by a lawyer, but having something in writing can be very handy if this person fails to live up to expectations.
      • The basic outline should be (insert influencer or their company name) will provide (insert expectations) for (insert goods, services, or $ amount) by (insert DATE)
  4. Measure Results
    • This last step can often get overlooked but it is just as important as the other steps
    • Can you tangibly look back and see positive results from this experiment?
      • If yes, then it might be worth developing an ongoing relationship with this person or persons.
      • If you didn’t get tangible results, take it in stride and learn from the experience.

Influencers can be a valuable tool to your social media strategy, and when utilized properly can provide a huge value to your business. Summer is a great time to dip a toe into the influencer ecosystem, with so many people traveling it is a great opportunity to gain new followers and customers that you might never have the opportunity to reach otherwise.


What to do when Instagram hides your likes…

I’m sure you’ve read the dozens of articles the past few weeks about Instagram testing out hiding the number of likes on posts. Now this is only a test and there’s no reason to think that Instagram is going to roll this update out world-wide, but it doesn’t hurt to go ahead and start planning just in case they do.

So the question is, if others can’t see how many likes are on a post, how will this affect Instagram’s algorithm, my discoverability, and the ability to get in front of my followers?

First things first, likes do not equal dollars. Just because a post gets a lot of likes doesn’t mean that it translates to actual business.

At this point obviously there’s no real way to tell if this will have an effect on fan interaction and discoverability, but in my opinion it does show that Facebook and Instagram are pushing more and more towards conversation and what they call “real connections”. So in my opinion that’s the biggest thing your Instagram strategy should focus on. Here’s a few ideas to keep in mind if this update comes to the rest of the world.

Encourage Conversations

As of this moment, Instagram seems to prefer posts that have lots of comments, specifically conversations. If Instagram does go the route of removing likes it seems like even more emphasis will be put on comments and conversations. Your content should try to encourage people to tag a friend or share their experience.

Instagram post with lots of comments performs well
Stories. Stories. Stories.

When Instagram introduced a stories function many thought that would be the end of snapchat. Stories have become a valuable tool for brands to continue to get in front of their followers even when their main posts might not be easily seen.

Example of popular stories
The stories that are pushed to the left are a combo of updated recently and ones that you interact with the most

I’m sure you’ve noticed that the stories that tend to show up on the top left of your screen are the brands / people you tend to watch the most. This absolutely falls in line with Facebook always saying that they want to show the content they think people want to see first (not necessarily chronologically). So with that being the case your brand should have a solid stories strategy to get as many views as possible and be able to stay in front of your fans even if your main posts don’t.

Increase the Number of Posts

This is an easy strategy. Most brands don’t post enough as is, due to the sheer number of brands people typically follow your post might just get lost in the shuffle. By increasing the number of posts in a day, you’re increasing the likelihood that your posts will be seen by fans.


3 Tips to Improve Your Instagram Page

Social media is hard. For every business you follow that has 50,000+ followers there are businesses that are struggling to get their content in front of their followers. Here’s 3 tips you can use to fix your Instagram.

If you look at how much time people spend on Instagram it makes sense why it’s one of the most popular social media tools. It’s a beautifully constructed platform designed to keep your attention as long as possible. If your business has struggled to reach your followers lately it might be time to retool your IG strategy.

  1. Generate More Content
  2. Encourage a Conversation
    • Right now Facebook as a company wants to encourage authentic connections with people. They view this as conversations.
    • Comments are one of the biggest boosters of your content in a Facebook or Instagram feed.
  3. Location for Local Exposure
    • Instagram’s explore page is one of it’s best features to keep the user’s attention.
    • Adding your business’s location to your posts helps local users near you find you from the explore page.
    • Adding your location to your stories also groups you on the “Local Story” in your and can let other users who don’t follow you find you.


Three Questions to Improve ANY Marketing Campaign

Whether you watched the Super Bowl for the football, halftime show or just the commercials a huge amount of people had their attention turned to the last game of the NFL season. As with every year the commercials are a big talking point, and some brands did better than others.

We’ll give you three questions you can ask during the planning phase of your marketing activities to give you the best results.

Millions of Dollars wasted because they didn’t understand their goals and audience.

In 2018 there were over 80 commercials during the Super Bowl, not every one is a homerun, but every single one is expensiveThe average cost of a 30 second ad in 2019 was around $5 million. That’s more than a majority of small businesses will make this year all spent on a single ad. Now for most of these brands it’s a drop in the bucket and not a huge deal. The problem comes when you spend all that money on the spot, and even more on the creative and actually shooting and editing the commercial only for it to go over like a lead balloon.

In years past there’s usually a 5-8 commercials that really stand out as funny or emotional that really connect with viewers and more importantly potential customers. This year a lot of brand mailed it in with their big game commercials. There was trend of a lot of brands leaning on nostalgia. Even worse than having uninspired ideas are ideas that don’t accomplish anything or don’t resonate with your target customer.

Let’s look at one of Bud Light’s commercials for example. Bud Light for the past year has gone all in on it’s medieval themed commercials ever since the success of “Dilly Dilly”. This year they tried to keep the momentum going with another medieval commercial this time with Corn Syrup as a main focus. Here’s a link if you haven’t seen it yet.

I can’t speak for the minds behind the commercial I’m sure they meant well, but it was poorly executed. Knowing your audience is key and Bud Light and their creative team doesn’t seem to understand that their customers drinking Bud Light probably aren’t as health focused as other consumers and this not worried about corn syrup being included in their beer. While the commercial generated a laugh it failed to actually resonate with customers. And worse it probably cost them a few as seen with many corn farmers pouring out their supplies of Bud Light.

A failure to understand your customer and a failure to establish a concise goal for their commercial has now lead to controversy and will surely end up costing them extra money in PR damage control. And I doubt they’ve actually convinced anyone that was on the fence about Bud Light to buy their beer because it happens to not have corn syrup.

At the end of the day there are 3 questions you can ask to make sure any marketing activity is going to be effective.

  1. Does this help us accomplish a relevant goal?
  2. Will this resonate with our intended audience?
  3. Does it help us make money?

The One Thing EVERY Business Needs in Their Advertising…

Your company is leaving business on the table. With a smart retargeting strategy and execution you can help recover lost sales and increase your social media followers.

Don’t like reading? Click here to watch our video on retargeting for the hotel industry.

No matter what industry you’re in there are customers who leave your site without making a purchase, booking a room, or putting in their information. Every business would love to capture more leads or get more potential customers in their funnel. An easy way to do this is to implement a retargeting advertising campaign.

What is retargeting?

Retargeting is just a phrase for those ads you see after visiting a website or social media page without buying anything.

Why should we implement retargeting?

Studies show that it usually takes someone seeing something SEVEN times before they can actually recall it. If you’re running an ad or someone finds your site via google and you can’t convert them right then you probably won’t. UNLESS you can keep hitting these potential customers with ads and offers to keep their attention.

Is it Hard? How do we do it?

Back in 2010 retargeting was a lot more difficult than it is today. Thankfully like most things Facebook has made it pretty simple to implement a retargeting strategy. As long as you’re familiar with Facebook’s ad platform (not just boosting posts) you can set up retargeting ads in a matter of a few minutes.

Having a good strategy behind your ads is the hard part. Many companies just throw up pictures and a discount to try and lure people back. That can work but more often than not, it wasn’t simply price that kept someone from taking action. Your business needs to think through objections and try to find patterns of people leaving your website in your analytics to come up with a winning strategy to help you get these customers back.

Social Media

You’re Not Posting Enough. Fix Your Social Media Content.

“I don’t want to overwhelm people.” One of the most common quotes I hear when I sit down with businesses owners.

The fact of the matter is that almost every business is fighting a battle with one arm behind it’s back. For the most people people are spending more time on their phone than ever, but thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and Google they’re also seeing less of your content than ever before. 

I relate social media and blog posts to swinging at pitches in baseball. You can’t hit the ball if you’re not swinging. You’re also not going to have a great batting average if you’re only swinging once a game. 

Let’s look at it from a simple math perspective. Most companies post between 5-7 times a week on social media. Let’s take 6 x 52 weeks per year. 

That’s 312 social media posts per year.

312 times you’re hopefully getting in front of your fans (I say hopefully because let’s be honest the algorithms will come into effect.)

If you just added 4 more posts per week…..

That’s 520 social media posts per year.

208 MORE opportunities to be in front of potential customers.

Now to keep the baseball analogy going, you can’t swing at bad pitches and think you’ll make the hall of fame. That means you can’t put out terrible or uninteresting content. Because the answer isn’t just post more often and get more customers. The answer is to figure out what your customers want to see and create posts and blogs about that. Come up with a plan and strategy ahead of time and create images and videos that can be used for multiple posts. 

If you feel like your social media has gone stale. Get in touch with us, we’d be happy to offer so help. 


Hospitality Website Tips for More Revenue

Your website is your hub for your online presence. As a hotel or restaurant it’s crucial that your website not only look beautiful, but also function properly.

Iphone On Table with Website

Mobile Friendly for More Conversions

Earlier this year Google announced they would separately index and rank mobile sites. What does this mean for you? If you’re website isn’t mobile friendly or responsive you’re more than likely getting buried in Google rankings. If you don’t know if you’re website is responsive or mobile friendly you need to call us and we can immediately start working to get it fixed and your business back on the first page of google. If your website is already on WordPress or a similar platform making your website responsive could potentially take as little as a few minutes. If you’re on an outdated system or haven’t updated your website in three or more years it is worth it to evaluate converting your website to a new system.

Another reason Mobile Friendly sites are so key is that more and more web traffic is originating from mobile devices. If more of your customers are finding you on their phone it only makes sense you’d want your site easy for them to operate.

Person using Google Maps

SEO To Help Customers Find You

If you’re not sure what SEO stands for it is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. Basically it means making sure your website is designed and the content is properly put together so Google can rank you compared to your competitors. An overwhelming majority of web traffic starts with a search engine, and Google is obviously the most popular. The more appropriate content and keywords you can put into your website the higher it will rank on Google, making it easier for potential customers to find you.

Your website should be working for you. It shouldn’t just be a placeholder that checks the box of “yeah we have a website” it should help drive revenue to your bottom line daily. Making a few tweaks and keeping your website up-to-date can have a huge impact on your business.

Foolproof Way to Get more Online Reviews Email Marketing

The Foolproof Way to Increase Your Rating on Google,…

How Do I Get More Reviews Online?

An overwhelming majority of patrons make decisions on where they will eat, stay and spend their money based on ratings on various websites. Your star rating on a site like Google, TripAdvisor, or Yelp is the number one factor that drives customer behavior. Thankfully because of this websites like this have leveled the playing field between smaller restaurants and hotels and larger national chains.

These tools make it easy to build a great reputation online from real customers who have spent money at your establishment. At the same time, a few bad reviews can hurt your business traffic by deterring customers from coming to your business. For some businesses it’s hard to recover from three or four 1 Star reviews dragging your average down. A 2016 study said that every decrease in star rating on review sites lead to 10% of lost revenue. Luckily there’s an easy way you can get more positive reviews.

Based on a 2017 study, almost 90% of customers are willing to share a positive experience with their friends or family. That same study found that 30% of people on their own typically share good experiences on their social media channels. What if you could get that more of your customers who had a great experience to rate their service or share about it? You can it’s as easy as asking them to.

An Email Is Worth 100 Reviews.

Email Marketing has been put on the back burner for most businesses since the rise of social media. But, it’s still on of the most effective ways to drive action. A simple email to customers asking customers to review their experience can lead to the desired outcome of more positive reviews. Ecommerce stores have been doing this for years by incentivising their customers with discounts for reviews (both good and bad) and there is no reason why this strategy couldn’t work for the hospitality industry. Look at the example below from a coffee shop I recently visited. It’s incredibly simple, no frills, just a prompt and image below with a link to their Yelp page. While I love this coffee shop and go there regularly I would have never thought to give them a review on Yelp without being prompted.


Email Marketing isn’t the only way to achieve the desired results of more online reviews. This same tactic of asking for reviews can be used via Instagram Stories or a Facebook post. The main takeaway from this post is to start asking for reviews. The more you ask, the more likely you are to receive more reviews.