Here is a great case study on how I turned $50 into $2000 of weekly sales week after week for a local nightclub client, using only Facebook!
Across North America bottle service sales have been dropping. People seem to be finished with the exciting allure of expensive alcohol and a private booth. The economy is catching up quickly and the overpriced partying is starting to drop. Like in every case this scenario may be affecting your venue as well OR you might be immune to the local economics and have that high end clientele that has no issues spending (which is great!)
One of my clients was in this same scenario where bottle service reservations have died down to a minimum. With 20 tables to fill every night they were booking around five on a Saturday and then even worse three of those didn’t even show up for their reservation. Sales were dead.
The bottle pricing was decent, not too expensive, but low enough that discounting the product would be ‘too cheap’ and most likely backfire. I have seen that before: a venue offers $50 bottle service which then gives the perception of desperation. Not only are the margins too thin to make any real money but the customer knows that this ‘fire sale’ shows that your venue is very slow, this promo is desperate and they don’t bother coming out anyways. Or even worse they come to pre-drink at rock bottom prices at the club and then run off to their new favourite spot to spend the real money. Your revenue would still be at zero. Bad idea.
So I started testing the market and developed a very simple birthday promotion. I kept the bottle service price where it was at $130 per 26oz bottle, which is standard for this small market, but offered a complementary bottle of champagne in the price to celebrate the customer’s birthday. Local champagne was around $7 a bottle in cost so the promotion had the perception of fantastic added value to the customer but did not cost the venue much to implement. Way better than discounting to $50 and killing your bottom line.
Great promotion now time to market it. I used Facebook to start testing. I know your pain with Facebook, so many venues try to use Facebook in their daily marketing efforts to disappointing and frustrating results. Facebook Pages with 3000 fans make a post and it reaches 200 people, with no real sales results from that. Frustrating? Yes absolutely. Do you need to be on Facebook and make it work to your advantage. Yes absolutely!
They key to Facebook is to target very carefully. The algorithms used to distinguish whether your post is worthy of being shown to your fans is complicated and changes constantly. Your biggest advantage is to target the audience so that you know that only those people that would be interested in the post sees it. It gets likes, comments, engagement and then in turn Facebook knows that the post is ‘news worthy’ and really helps you push that post to the fans and their friends. Very tricky to navigate.
I created a nice image that promoted ‘Having a Birthday? Come celebrate with us at XYZ Venue and get 1 Bottle of Vodka, 10 friends in for FREE, line by pass, a private VIP booth all for $130 AND we will help you celebrate by including a complementary bottle of champagne at no cost!’ I added our reservation URL and the post was done.
That particular post was shown to around 150 people out of our 3800. Which was expected. Again Facebook’s algorithm gets in the way. No problems, now it was time to advertise the post and target those people that I knew were interested in seeing it (not just my random Facebook fans that come to the venue here and there).
I went to my Ad Manager (on Facebook) and started a $5 a day campaign. I promoted that one post but carefully selected which type of audience I wanted to target. Only those that would be interested in the promo would see the sponsored post and thus getting excitement, engagement, and qualified views. I chose the local city, age demographic, music style interests and even selected ‘having a birthday this week’. For me, I wouldn’t recommend just hitting the Boost Post option – it’s too simple and not targeted enough. Using the Ad Manager and even Power Editor allows you to fine tune your audience. (there are great resources online on how to learn those tools, or contact me!)
My daily impressions shot up to the thousands and you can imagine the comments and shares that the post had. People were sharing the image with those friends that were having upcoming birthdays, those that wanted to celebrate their birthday at the club, and more. Spending under $50 a week brought instant bottle service revenue (and directly tied to the birthday promotion, so was trackable to this idea). Having 20 booths sold out with well over $2000 in bottle service revenue every week for one simple promotion.
This type of marketing can work with many different styles of promotions whether it is bottle service, food sales, etc. Be sure to develop a very strong promo with calls to action and test, test, test.
*every scenario is different and your venue and profitability may differ as well. You may make less, you make make more! The above story is a case study that worked very quickly for the venue while I was on top of the analytics and marketing tweaks through out the process.