I know you’re probably reading this via Facebook, ironic right? This is not meant to be click bait. Gorilla Cinema is actually abandoning Facebook. No, not today, not this week or even in 2017, but by 2018 my goal is for us to stop marketing our bars and events using a platform which has started to show diminishing returns for us as a business. The simple reason we are leaving Facebook; it has become too much noise and we are part of the problem. Between the fake news articles, the ads posing as news articles and every viral video known to man, it has been increasing hard for me as user to filter the messages, let alone try to get my message out and have it stick. 

The bar and restaurant world is a world of slim margins. Advertising dollars basically don’t exist for small business owners. Traditional print and radio still remain expensive and do not guarantee patrons through the door. Facebook was a savior for us trying to make a splash in the now ever increasingly competitive and crowded entertainment market. With one easy click, we could potentially reach thousands of eyes and drive them into our establishments. As much as I believe Gorilla Cinema, The Overlook Lodge and The Video Archive were born on Facebook, it is now time for us to start thinking off the screen. 


The first step is always the hardest. The business model for bars and restaurants is open the doors and wait for the customers to come to you. This year we are going on a journey to find our customers and engage with them outside of the four wall of the bars. For our company this means hosting and participating in dozens of events throughout the city, teaming up with brands we like and trying to surprise Cincinnati. The goal of this would be to bring the magic and service of what we do every day and show it to the public out in the world. 

Gorilla Cinema Movie PopUp: 'The Goonies' in Covington's MadLot featuring a free screening with food + cocktails themed to the film

Gorilla Cinema Movie PopUp: 'The Goonies' in Covington's MadLot featuring a free screening with food + cocktails themed to the film


I tell this to my bartenders every day, “The most important person is the person in front of you.” I think so many of us in the industry get discouraged by slow nights, but sometimes you build an audience one person at a time. So, this year our staff is focusing on making it perfect every time. We are taking the time during our slow periods to put that extra touch on every cocktail and every interaction we have. Talking to our patrons about the events we're doing, talking to patrons about the things they are passionate about and then catering events to actual interactions we’ve had. We will promote these events through cost effective and creative ways around the city using our already talented pool of creative people.


Don’t get me wrong, I think social media is great. I just think that our company is using it wrong and using it far too frequently. We need to start to look at which platforms reach our audience the best and not which ones reach the largest amount of people. Maybe for us it’s Instagram, or Snapchat or Twitter and maybe it actually is Facebook to a small degree. 

We are in the customer service business and Facebook has removed some of those real world interactions that lead your business to have something more than customers. It allows us to have die hard fans. Tell me what you think? Do you think there are new marketing revolutions right on the horizon? Is it time for Facebook to go the way of Myspace?  What do you think the best way to market online has become?