Coffee shop owners can’t deny the power of social media. It’s a perfect way to strengthen customer relationships online. It’s also a way to reach out to new patrons without spending thousands of dollars on advertising.
Here are 4 ways to boost the effectiveness of your coffee shop’s social media strategy…
1. Define your brand
Before you start posting content, define your brand! Spend 1-2 hours identifying the goals, brand image, and message you’d like get across. You’ll be surprised how this little brainstorming session will clarify your strategy.
Here are a few good questions to start with:
2. Schedule your posts
Staying on top of social media can be a daunting task. When things get really busy, it’s not uncommon to let your social networks go by the wayside – sometimes for weeks at a time!
Consistency is possible with a scheduling strategy. This means using a platform like HootSuite to manage several of your networks from one dashboard, creating multiple posts in advance. Use this quick start guide to get rolling.
I also find inspiration for posts often comes in clusters, or at times of day when no one will be awake to read them! If you’re one of those cafe owners with very early start times, scheduling posts for more active times of day can help you reach a wider audience.
Try setting aside a quiet moment every week to sit down and come up with 5-6 posts that will keep your followers engaged with your brand. Then schedule them throughout the week, and watch your network grow! (tweet this)
Some ideas for content you can pre-schedule;
3. Leverage independent business connections
Your coffee shop is a place for people in the community to get together and discuss their dreams and aspirations. You’re an idea incubator! This is why connecting to businesses is a great place to start branching out on social media.
Build your community presence by supporting local suppliers and other businesses. Make a list of independent retailers, restaurants, services and suppliers that give the neighborhood its unique life and charm. Now go on Facebook, Twitter, and every other social network and reach out to them as a fellow independent business owner. (tweet this)
Remember to share other businesses’ accomplishments and congratulate them too. Did your fresh produce supplier just win an award in sustainable farming? This is great stuff to post to your social networks. It positions you as a socially responsible coffee shop that adds substance to your network.
Leverage creative connections
In last week’s post using social media to attract new customers, I mentioned how bars can use their connections to live performers and artists to grow their network. This is truer for cafes.
Remember that beyond using your space as a venue for art and music shows, creative people frequent cafes as workspaces. This is why artists, writers and musicians can become some of your best advocates when you connect with them in social media.
Here are some basic steps to reach out to your creative connections online;
With the right social media plan, and just a couple hours each week, your coffee shop will see positive results.
Be a smart online networker!
Define your brand, schedule your posts, and leverage your business and creative connections!
Looking to take your coffee shop to the next level?
Take a tour of Restaurant Engine today and see what your business can do with a website.