Brought to you by BeerMenus

This goal = your entire social media marketing strategy

Last updated July 07, 2023 · By Dylan Blake

Doing social media for a bar or restaurant can feel daunting, especially if you've got a million other things going on. Many folks just don't really commit to it.

It's easy to see why because questions abound: What should you post? When should you post? How often should you post? And on which platforms? And what if you're not a talented photographer?

We'll dive into all those things in detail over the summer. But today we're sharing high level advice from marketing expert Rob Austin, who runs marketing for Leader Bar in Chicago. His advice is this: your only goal with social media—and any visual marketing—is to show prospective guests what they can do at your bar, restaurant, or brewery.

That sounds reductive, but if you frame up this advice as your north star, your social media marketing quickly falls into place. You'll have the collateral you need to regularly—and thus successfully—post and you'll actually spend less time on it than if you're scrambling to post just because you feel like you should.

Here's how to go about it:

  • Make a list of what people can do at your bar/restaurant. What can they do there that they can't do elsewhere? What makes your bar special? Make a short list (like 3-5 things). For Leader Bar the list is: high quality pizzas and burgers, their big beautiful space, their patio, events, and their staff.
  • Instead of wondering what to post because there are a million different things you could post about, you've now got a limited list. If you look at Leader Bar's Instagram profile, you'll see basically all of Rob's posts fit into his list.
  • OK, now that you know what to post about, it's time to gather the collateral for making those posts a reality. Take a ton of photos—hundreds, seriously—of things, dishes, moments, etc. that show or prove the things on your list are true. (These photos don't have to be perfect, but later this summer we'll teach you how to setup a totally worth it DIY photoshoot day.)
  • Check out Leader Bar's Instagram profile for inspiration here, and keep in mind this doesn't have to be complicated—just go down the list you made of what makes your bar/restaurant/brewery special and take photos that prove it.
  • Now execute: post about the things on your list, and do it often. You never know when someone will be looking at your profile, so make sure you're doing what you can to be there regularly. For example, in the last week Rob posted to Instagram 6 times.

You'll be hearing from Rob a lot throughout the next couple months as we return to his well of marketing knowledge. Check out the interview clip below to learn more about his background in photography, videography, website design, and bar-visiting as well as more advice on marketing in general: