Brew Up a Social Media Plan For Your Coffee Shop

Coffee Shop Social Media Plan

Tip #2: Schedule your social media updates so they go live while you’re working.

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:

  • Who is my coffee shop’s ideal customer? Here’s a guide to help restaurateurs answer this question effectively.
  • How have we developed our brand image offline? How can we keep this consistent with online networks?
  • What is the primary theme our social responsibility strategy? Supporting local producers, organic/environmental products, supporting local youth – these are all effective themes I’ve noticed with independent cafes in my area.

2. Schedule your posts

Coffee Shop Brand

Bonus Tip: Take fun photos and share them on social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram.

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;

  • Announce events or specials at your coffee shop that you know about in advance
  • Recent and interesting links related to your cafe or community
  • Recent positive reviews from press or customer sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor. Use GetListed to stay on top of new reviews.
  • Note down quick inspirational thoughts you have throughout the week and want to share with your followers

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;

  • Conduct some research to make a list of your favorite local creative people and groups – focus on people who reflect the vibe of your coffee shop
  • Use your cafe’s company page to connect with each name on your list on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
  • Tag creative people and groups in any relevant event announcements
  • Comment on creative posts as your cafe – show others that you support the creative community
  • Post art and music event images in your photo-sharing networks like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest

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.

Photos by bon appetit and Refinery29

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  • Contrarah

    Excellent and easy-to-use post. Loved it.

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