Bar and club operators need to embrace social media or miss out on trade this Christmas, according to drinks company Pernod Ricard UK.
It has created a guide to how licensees can use Twitter to boost business over the festive period after highlighting that only 12% of on-trade retailers are active on social media every day.
The guide is part of a range of support that Pernod Ricard UK is providing in the run-up to Christmas. It includes ideas for seasonal cocktail recipes and branded drinkware such as bauble-shaped vessels and metal mugs decorated with knitwear designs for brands such as Absolut vodka, Jameson whiskey, Chivas Regal whisky and Malibu coconut rum.
Pernod Ricard UK has been inspired by research which highlights that social media is set to play a role in more than a third of drinks purchases this Christmas. Data from mobile phone ordering app Orderella shows that 28% of consumers are keen to engage with outlets on social media to find about the latest seasonal drinks and serves.
However, with so few outlets using Twitter every day, it is a real missed opportunity, says Ian Peart, on-trade channel director at Pernod Ricard UK. “With an estimated 9.5m adult users at the start of 2015, Twitter is the perfect way for on-trade retailers to instantly reach a large audience and encourage real-time interaction with customers.”
Its guide shows how to get onto Twitter and how to make the most of it including the use of relevant hashtags. It features recommendations for “12 tweets of Christmas” linked to its brands such as “Kick off Christmas this evening with an @absolutuk Espresso Martini” and “We are open today and have some @Jameson_UK & @MalibuUK winter warmers ready and waiting”.
Ian added: “Recent research from the ALMR found that 100% of the venues it quizzed in a poll had a website and Twitter account, suggesting they were already geared up to exploit the true potential of social media to promote their businesses this Christmas.
“However, it also showed that many were rarely active on those platforms, despite more than one in four consumers saying they had interacted with hospitality venues and were keen to continue doing so. This really highlights how important it is for pubs, clubs and bars to get their social media voice right – and to be consistently active across their social media channels.
“The festive period is a huge opportunity to engage with customers and highlight a point of difference, and the right festive social media programme – combined with the perfect seasonal drinks fixture – will help to drive sales this Christmas.”
Pernod Ricard UK’s support is aimed at helping licensees take advantage of the higher interest in spirits drinks and premium brands in December when consumers are more likely to go out and treat themselves.
It is to provide ideas for seasonal cocktails, from a Malibu Hot Chocolate to a Kahlua White Russian – with stencils for creating designs on top of drinks with glitter. It is also promoting a winter twist on the number-one cocktail: a Hot Mojito.
Promotional drinkware will include bespoke glassware for Malibu Hot Chocolate and large bauble-shaped vessels for Havana Club rum, Absolut and Malibu (pictured top).
New for this year are metal mugs (pictured above) with designs based on Christmas knitwear which has been created for use across its portfolio at Mitchells & Butlers pubs, bars and restaurants.
Ian said: “Creating serve envy is a great way to drive their sales of premium drinks, and we are confident that these are exactly the kind of activations that will help our on-trade customers to upsell and win in premium drinks this Christmas.
“They also provide great material for engaging with customers on social media, and we look forward to seeing how social media and our exciting portfolio can help drive sales of premium drinks for retailers this Christmas.”
Also available will be branded ice buckets for table serves of Absolut and Perrier-Jouët champagne and branded copa vessels for Beefeater gin and tonics. It will also provide ideas for pre-meal cocktails using aperitif Lillet and for post-dinner digestifs and cocktail alternatives to desserts. There will also be a special food pairing guide for Chivas Regal, Havana Club and Jameson.
“There is a clear opportunity for those on-trade retailers who can excite their customers during Christmas 2015,” Ian added. “The winners will be those who can drive footfall through mechanics such as engaging social media and by stocking the right range of drinks.”