Have you made your Facebook page look all Christmassy yet?
I know, I spend most of my time on Twitter berating the fact that Christmas is mentioned far too early, but now that it's October you should be making the most of your advertising opportunities on social media to get customers in this holiday.
Facebook Cover Image
Don't view your social media cover images as just another place to slap up yet another photograph of your pub – this is prime marketing space. The optimum image size for Facebook is 851 x 315 pixels. Although Facebook will try to make whichever image you upload fit, it is better to set the image at the correct size for maximum impact.
Rather than just uploading an image, create an advert. Use this space to invite people to book now for their Christmas dinner, advertise your live music events over the holidays or simply showcase the party you'll be having this New Year's Eve.
If you haven't already got image editing software then one of my favourites is Gimp (www.gimp.org), a free alternative to Photoshop, but it can be complex to use if you're not familiar with such software.
Facebook Call To Action Button
Make full use of Facebook's Call To Action button on your business page. You can set this button up to perform a variety of tasks, from directing people to your website to generating a telephone call within a mobile device and a lot in between.
For simplicity, set up a Book Now button and use it to direct people to your Christmas Menu page on your pub's website.
To catch people's attention, be clever with your banner design and actually point out the Call To Action button when people land on your page.
Your profile picture should be the same image across all your social media accounts, no matter which platform you're making use of. This way, when visitors find you on the web they always know they've found the same business – very handy if you're one of the 786 Red Lion pubs in the UK...
At Christmas, pimp up your profile pictures with a handy festive image. Using a free image editor such as Canva you can quickly add a holiday hat to your pub picture and update your profile images for the celebrations.
Finally, people love to see pictures.
When creating posts, use Rich Media – photography and video are hugely powerful tools to engender interest from people following your page so, rather than posting a simple text status that invites people to book a table for Christmas, make sure the post includes a link back to your website's food page so people can see your menu, and attach an image of one of your dishes to give your reader a reason to engage.