Admiral Taverns launches social media course for licensees

Social enterprise: Admiral Taverns wants its licensees to engage with customers using online platforms to ultimately drive sales

With social media tearing up traditional notions of marketing and sales in the pub industry, the UK's largest independent tenanted and leased company Admiral Taverns has launched a new course to help its licensees implement tools and campaigns through the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

The face-to-face workshops are aimed at engaging with customers and driving people into pubs, with the areas covered ranging from setting up an account to exclusively marketing events and promotions to reduce advertising costs.

Suzanne Smith, Admiral’s head of licensee recruitment & training, explained that the scheme has already been well-received by licensees, as the firm expects to put 150 of its staff members - almost 20 per cent - through the course over the next year.

“We’re very excited to be making this level of support available to our pubs and are delighted that so many licensees are embracing social media as a ‘must do’ tool for their business,” said Smith.

“It is important for our licensees to utilise platforms such as Facebook and Twitter in a positive way to communicate with their customers and local community.

“The ‘driving sales through social media’ course helps licensees get the most out of these modern marketing tools, while providing more experienced users with new and more diverse skills.”

Followers to customers

The Admiral social media course is run in partnership with specialist training provider ABV training. It is held across two separate days, with post-workshop support in the weeks afterwards.

Nicola Black, licensee of The Wuthering Heights pub in Keighley near Bradford, was someone with little social media experience before attending the workshops, but she has seen both her Facebook likes and Twitter followers materially increase since taking the course.

She said: “After converting the pub’s Facebook page to a business page, I discovered lots of tools to showcase what’s happening at the pub. For example, I was not aware there was a ‘menu tab’. Now I keep this up to date to drive more customers through the door for their evening meal, or for specific events.

“I was daunted by social media before I attended the Admiral workshops, but I have now discovered how easy it is to put something on Twitter and Facebook every day, just by learning how to link the two together. It’s definitely made marketing my pub a lot easier.”

Free marketing

ABV Training’s Wayne Beasely has been running the Admiral Taverns course and concluded that all licensees can make the most of social media in one way or another.

“Social media is getting easier and easier to use,” he said. “There are built-in marketing tools to Facebook and also bolt-on apps that are free or very inexpensive to buy, and Twitter helps pubs to contact potential customers really quickly and simply.

“If you decide that you want to promote an event or special deal, you can send this out in minutes now, rather than weeks with printed material.

“However, you have to start with the basics and always keeping in mind your customer base, as they may not all use social media or if they do, they might not use the same social media as you.

“It’s also important that someone acts as a gatekeeper to the pub’s social media output – if you wouldn’t say it to a customer then don’t type it.”

The social media course comes just a few weeks after the recent successes of Admiral Taverns’ e-learning courses, which have completed the training of over 150 licensees. Admiral Taverns was awarded the title of Best Tenanted/Leased Pub Company at the Publican Awards earlier this year.

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