For years my colleague Charlie ran his own cocktail bars in Spain, the drinks flowed and his waist over flowed! Our first bar was hidden away, down a small passageway so in the beginning it was difficult to get people to come in but then once they were in we had to find ways of keeping them there.
Eventually people found us and because we had low overheads we had time to adapt to each and every customers wants, likes and needs thus keep them coming back. Over the years we learned that music was integral to whether people would stay and drink more. We reacted quickly to the different demographics that walked in and tried to play music that kept everyone happy and of course drinking! We had playlists ready for all occasions - mixed bar (old and young), mainly young and mainly old and many more.
These music changes occurred because we were in constant communication with our customers and over the years we found types of music that didn't alienate anyone and kept almost everyone happy. Common questions over the years were “ what do you think of the music on now?”, “do you prefer funk or soul?”
Constant communication between us (the owners) and the customers is a good example of how listening to people and adapting to what they want, not what you think they want can benefit you as a business owner.
Facebook is exactly the same, except the process is much quicker and some of the relationships that took me years to develop in the bar can now be developed at an amazing rate online.
Music was, of course not the only thing that was important. I had to listen to people talk about the staff we employed, the drinks we were making, how they had tried a better cocktail in Las Vegas, how the seats were uncomfortable for older people etc. I encouraged people to talk to me and comment on everything and give me their opinion so I had to react to what they were saying and when they came the following year I hopefully remembered their comments and tried to make it a better experience for them.
One important lesson I learnt from a waitress we employed was that sometimes you also need to tell people that you are the best. Every time she served a mojito, she used to say “that’s the best mojito you will ever have”, its because she couldn’t think of anything else to say! But over the years people came from miles around to drink the best mojito their friend, and their friend’s friend had ever tried, self promotion I initially found uncomfortable became our main draw!
What I was doing in the bar is exactly what you should be doing on Facebook:
If you want to do better business online then look to traditional social businesses to give you an idea of how best to approach promoting your business on Facebook.
Please remember - being social isn't new just being online and social is.
We ended up with extremely successful and social cocktail bars and I had an amazing time (as my expanded waist line could tell you) but things move on, natural progression has led me here to Vie Digital, helping businesses with their social media campaigns.