Hey, and welcome to the latest Escape Room Marketing blog! I hope you’ve had a great start to 2020 and are ready to start growing your Escape Room 😊
But today, I want to talk about 10 different ways you can engage with potential customers on your social media AND win new bookings.
Engagement is easily the biggest influence of whether somebody will book your escape room through your social media. If somebody is actively engaged with you, they’re much more likely to enquire and make a booking.
Engagement can come in many forms, but usually involve taking any action. If somebody likes your post, they’re engaging. If somebody comments on the post, or shares it, or clicks a link – they’re engaging. They’re getting involved.
Sadly engagement can be neglected. Many marketing agencies may promise to get you 10,000 followers on social media – but if 0 are actively engaged, that number is useless to you.
The good news is there are dozens of different ways you can engage with potential customers, and I’m going to share the best 10 ways that escape rooms have used to successfully win new bookings consistently.
It’s going to take a bit of work at your end, but I’m going to make things as clear and as easy as possible so you can get started right away.
Before I get started, a quick note. If you’ve read any of my blogs before you know I’m big on one thing:
I’m a firm believer that there is no point in learning and reading new marketing strategies for your escape room if you don’t put them into action. So today, I’m going to set you a challenge. I want you to take at least 3 of the 10 engagement methods I’m going to share and start using them on your social media.
Are you up for the challenge?
I’m sure you are 😉
Before I start sharing the 10 engagement methods, a quick note on social media. There are so many different social media channels out there, but only certain ones perform the best for escape rooms. I suggest you focus on:
-Linkedin (you might not have expected Linkedin to be in the list. If you don’t use Linkedin much or at all to market your escape room, read one of my other blogs HERE, which covers why you need to get started right away!)
With that said, not all of these social media will be able to utilise all of the engagement methods I’m going to share. Instagram is for images only. Youtube, for videos only. Facebook will be able to use all of the methods, and Linkedin most of them.
But maximise your results and engagement by using all four social medias!
1. Photos & Videos
Let’s start with a simple one. Photos and Videos may seem obvious, and you probably already post plenty of images at the very least, if not videos. The key is to ALWAYS have one of the other with everything you post. Never ever just post some text. A post with a photo or video is much more likely to be noticed, read, and interacted with.
The most common photo that escape rooms post are team photos, both winners and losers. This is a great opportunity to engage, and I cover this in point 5.
Photos can come in many different forms, but they should always be colourful, bright, and vibrant. If they are real-life photos, they DON’T need to be high quality – you can just use your phone! Photos of different parts of your rooms (whilst avoiding spoilers) will always do well, as well as any appropriate and popular memes – or you can always make your own!
As for videos, there are many things that work. One thing, in particular, is teasers and trailers for each of your rooms. This is a big strategy, though, so I’m going to cover it in greater detail in a future post.
Next up, we have competitions. Competitions are a great way of creating engagement because people stand a chance of winning something. A free visit to one of your rooms for a team of 5 or more usually do best.
The key with competitions is the rules of entry. In order to maximise engagement and how many people see your post and escape room, one of the entry requirements MUST be that people share your post or page on their own social media. This has a great compound effect, as more and more see your post, want to win and share, and so on.
Another great requirement you can add is tagging those friends or family that they want to bring with them if they win. Again this increases the amount of engagement and views, which will spiral big time!
You may be a little hesitant to give away a free visit at the cost of several hundreds of dollars. But the large amount of engagement you’ll be guaranteed to experience will well make up for that in new bookings that you’ll achieve.
Plus, if you make people enter their details on your website as part of the entry process, you can market to them at a later date via email, text message, etc.
Competitions are very much an investment – but that is absolutely what all marketing is. They’re a proven method for escape rooms, and I’d recommend running a competition as often as monthly. You won’t regret it!
The third method of social media engagement that performs the best for escape rooms is polls. Platforms such as Facebook allow polls to be ran, but you don’t need to use the specific poll option to run one. You can simply create a post (with a photo!) that asks a question and have people answer it in the comments.
Polls are great for engagement because people like to have their say and be seen doing so. You can run polls and ask questions on anything topical or escape room related.
One of the best performing polls I’ve seen an escape room run was a teaser for their upcoming room. They ran a poll asking their audience what theme they thought their new room was based on. To add to the engagement, they combined it with a competition, where each entry was in with a chance of being one of the first to try out the new escape room for free!
Polls can be great for getting feedback and ideas for your escape rooms too.
Thinking about trialling an adult only themed evening event? Run polls asking what times, themes, etc. people want. That’s just one example of many, but you can see the potential to get market research before investing in anything new.
Next up we have discounts. I don’t think I’ve come across a single escape room that doesn’t offer some kind of discount if you know where to look. Those who are hesitant about offering a discount consider discounts to be desperate. The fact is they’re fantastic ways to generate new bookings, and not at all desperate. And they don’t have to be huge discounts to be effective, either.
Where escape rooms go wrong with their discounts is they don’t scream about them enough! Social media is a great place to do so, and because discounts are popular, you’ll get great engagement from them naturally too. That, combined with the usual success of running discounts, means you’re guaranteed to get bookings from social media posts promoting your discount.
Combine a discount post with a poll or competition and win engagement and bookings.
5. Tagging Team Photos
I briefly eluded to this strategy when talking about photos. Most escape rooms post hundreds of photos on their social media of winning and losing teams. It’s a nice touch, and people like to see themselves and save a copy of the photo too.
But escape rooms fall short of turning this daily process into great engagement. At the time of taking a team photo, the players (both winners and losers) will still be hyped from the experience they just had in your room. This is a great chance to remind them to tag each other on the photo once you upload it that night.
This has a fantastic compound effect. The friends of those tagged will see the photo, see what their friend has done and ask them about it. Many will want to have a go themselves, ask for details and book.
Do this with every single team you can! At first, it may seem a little awkward asking them to tag themselves, but people love it! They want their friends to see what they’ve been doing and the fun they’ve had.
6. Current Events
Next up, we have current event posts. These are quite common, and you probably already do some already. For example, wishing your followers and customers a great Christmas or New Year. If I were you, I’d get a list of all of the big events coming up this year and plan a post for each. Easter, bank holidays, valentines, sporting events, political events, etc.
The list will easily add up, but don’t fear about this taking a lot of time. You don’t need to put tonnes of effort into creating great photos related to each current event. Just a simple post that recognises what is happening.
These work great because the current events impact everybody, and people get hyped for them. People will love to engage with your posts, wishing you a “Merry Christmas”, etc. too.
7. Local Current Events
Similar to current events, there will also be events specific to your local town or city. Again these are big to the people who live locally and who are your target audience!
Examples might be winning city of the year or another award, or hosting a special event, or being visited by a celebrity. You get the idea.
This can also include events specific to your escape room – an anniversary, or a new room opening, or a team member’s birthday!
With both current and local current events, you want to aim to have a post on them about once a week. Some weeks may be quieter, but other weeks will have several, so it balances out.
8. Q & As
Next up, we have Q & A sessions. These are similar to polls or posts asking a question but in reverse! Instead, you give your audience the ability to ask you questions, and you can answer them. You could do this live on Facebook, or via a general post.
Like answering questions, people love asking them too! Of course, you want people to answer questions about your escape room where possible. You can host special Q & As for certain events like the opening of a new room. You can even offer free entry for a random question.
Q & As work great for so many different ways. In particular, they allow other people to sell your escape room for you. They will ask questions that other people want to know the answer to. And many of the answers may overcome concerns or doubts people have about visiting your rooms.
And by having people comment, their friends and connections will see their interaction, and the post spreads organically.
9. Special Mentions
Number 9, and I love this one!
Special mentions are posts aimed specifically at a certain customer or group who have recently played one of your rooms. You might want to mention them because they did an awesome job, and broke a record for beating a room. Or maybe you want to recognise them for being the friendliest, or for coming all of the way from somewhere far away just to play!
There are many different scenarios where special mentions can come into play. Of course, you need to ensure you have permission from the people you’re mentioning before going ahead. But there are so many opportunities that spring from this.
If you have a new record for beating a room, frame your post to challenge others to come and beat it! If you have a customer who has come back and played FIVE TIMES, celebrate them and mention how other customers will love coming back time and time again – and you can even offer a discount for returning customers too.
10. Puzzles/Games/Brain Teasers
Last but not least – puzzles. This is a big one, so big in fact, I’ll be dedicating next weeks blog post entirely to this strategy! But in short, it involves posting different puzzles, games, and brain teasers and challenging people to play.
People who play these would love to come and play your escape rooms, which makes this great for engagement and getting new bookings.
Anyway, more on this next week! Be sure to subscribe near the bottom of the page to ensure you don’t miss it!
Before I sign off, a quick important note. Marketing escape rooms is not easy, and whilst there is no set formula, there is one thing that is critical: Consistency.
In order to build engagement and get bookings from your social media, you need to be consistent with the strategies I’ve covered. It’s not enough to make one post every now and again when you feel like it. Create a plan, a schedule, and stick to it.
Have you picked your 3?
You’ve made it to the end, and I hope you’ve learned a lot. The question now is, have you picked the 3 engagement strategies you’re going to consistently do on your social media? If not, pick now! Here’s a quick recap:
Photos & Videos
Tagging Team Photos
Local Current Events
Q & As
With your 3 picked, start planning and putting the strategies into action now! And remember, many can be combined with each other to generate even more engagement and more bookings.
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