… or on life support?

No, but at least according to Platinum 84 owner Scott Richter, it has become very … boring. The solution, according to Richter — who was named one of “50 Inspirational Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2017” by Entrenpreneur Magazine — is to get younger. More specifically, get to your millennial and centennial customers via their smart phones. Here, Richter explains how.

For those of you who started in the business when it was comprised of neon dens, got arrested fighting for the first amendment, witnessed the advent of the “gentlemen’s club,” watched stripping go mainstream, then go corporate … well, you probably thought you’d seen it all. But you never thought you’d see adult entertainment become boring. It has. The songs, the chandeliers, the billboards are dated, and we are in danger of losing touch with todays–and tomorrow’s–audience. That’s right, the dreaded millennial.
Over the next months, I’ll share the ways our Denver club, Platinum 84, tries to resonate with our clientele, from branding to operations. Today’s focus is marketing which, for us, means social media.

Scott Richter

“I understand how you feel. You know you’re supposed to post, tweet and snap, but secretly you resent it, fell weirdly mystified by this medium that comes so naturally to the younger generation, and secretly doubt whether any of it puts asses in seats.” – Richter

I understand how you feel. You know you’re supposed to post, tweet and snap, but secretly you resent it, feel weirdly mystified by this medium that comes so naturally to the younger generation, and secretly doubt whether any of it puts asses in seats.
Let’s demystify. The average American looks at his/her phone 150 times a day. Your guests are in their phones; you need to be there, too. You must create a culture that embraces social media. Don’t just hire a marketing manager; this is not one person’s job. Every manager, server, bartender and DJ is a promoter, and together they form your promotional army. So rather than tyrannize them about leaving their phones in their lockers, let them go live and take Snaps. Don’t be afraid to make the staff—collectively—the star. Save the thousands you spend on print advertising, because your average server has 500 friends, so with as few as 5 girls promoting that’s 2500 people, mostly local, who see and hear about your club daily. With 10, that’s 5000; with 20, that’s 10,000, and so on. As your regulars become friends with multiple servers and entertainers on Facebook, their personal time lines will light up with images and information about your club, like one giant advertisement, for free.

It’s that simple? Not quite. You must be consistent. The wallpaper on our office computer is our daily promo schedule: 1PM Make Event Pages, 2PM Send Invites, 6PM Take Snaps, 10PM Go Live. The effect is spontaneous, but it’s all very calculated.
Facebook is our primary platform. We make an Event Page for every feature or theme party we host, and share it with staff, entertainers and special guests, who in turn share it with their own networks, as well as send invites to all our followers in Colorado. We also go live nightly. Videos receive more engagement than pictures, so if you want to build content and grow followers, you have to go live.

Our Facebook is linked to Twitter, so everything we post is automatically tweeted as well. Don’t ignore Twitter, especially if you book adult film stars, because you can leverage their ginormous followings, which is the most compelling reason to book headliners at all.
Instagram is also popular with the porn crowd, and just about everyone else, so we spend more time on this platform, but emphasize video. We film the non-nude parts of every special performance and use the videos to grow both Insta and our YouTube channel.
Millennials are obsessed with Snapchat, and so are we. Creating a snap filter with your club’s logo brands every selfie your guests and staff take, for only dollars a day.

The days of banning cell phones from clubs are over; your guests can’t survive five minutes without their phones. But they’re taking pictures of themselves—not your entertainers–so give them a place to do it! We use step and repeats, which give ours guests, staff and features a designated place to pose. So your logo finds its way onto your guests’ social networks.

Hire staff with the understanding that they will be promotors. Encourage them to make a separate profile for work if there are issues with granny glimpsing them in booty shorts. Never force your entertainers, especially the ones who plan to run for president, to participate; but you’ll always have a handful willing to be superstars.

In the interest of full disclosure, I own an internet marketing company … Yes, it gives us an advantage because it has allowed us to see what works best, over time, to maximize online promotions. But you don’t need a technical background or a degree to make social media work for you, and that’s one of the best things about it.

The very best thing about social media? It’s essentially free and can save you thousands a month, even a week, in marketing and advertising costs. (We never buy Facebook ads, and I discourage you from classifying your business as anything other than adult in order to buy them. There are social media companies who disagree, but that’s actually great; it means there’s a conversation.)

The other great thing about social media is analytics. Facebook and YouTube provide detailed engagement statistics, so you can see what’s connecting and with whom. To see how “likes” and “follows” translate to bodies, we use a compelling call to action, a code work or a “secret shot” to track who comes to the club. You can adjust your strategies instantly according to results; something you can’t do with a billboard.

Are there downsides to this brave new world of marketing? Yes. Facebook can shut your page down with one ill-placed nipple, and their all-encompassing community standards and nebulous appeals process can make reinstatement tough.

This is reality—as operators, we’re going to work twice as hard for half the money. We’re going to have to be good at what we do again. Adult entertainment must evolve, and it’s we who must drag it, kicking and screaming, into the new era. Who’s up for the challenge?

Story written by Scott Richter. For more information on Platinum 84 in Denver, visit Platinum84.com.

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