With so many coffee shops everywhere, it’s hard for coffee shop owners to distinguish themselves from the crowd. Whereas finding a coffee shop at every street corner is great news for coffee lovers, coffee shops are competing on social media for recognition, likes, and a loyal audience.
In this day and age not having a good social media presence is not acceptable but when you’re in a competitive industry like the coffee shop industry, you not only have to be present on social media, you have to be at the top of your game. While this definitely requires some planning and a good strategy, it’s not as hard as you imagine to build a great social media presence.
Find The Right Platform
A common mistake coffee shop owners and small business owners, in general, make is being present on all social media platforms instead of choosing the right platform or platforms to focus their energy on. Being present everywhere sounds like a good plan, however, that’s far from the truth because instead of focusing your efforts building your social media presence on a platform that can actually bring you new customers, you spend too much time posting on every social media channel there is. Make sure you choose the platforms that can help you engage with your audience.
For coffee shops, Instagram is definitely the best option. Then, depending on your target audience, you can also be present on Twitter or Facebook. YouTube can also be a good idea if you can come up with an interesting content strategy. Start with one or two platforms and see if you can manage uploading content consistently then expand if you feel that you have to.
Speaking of consistency, it doesn’t matter if you have social media accounts on all SM platforms if you’re not posting anything. Consistency is key if you want to grow your followers and your business. Otherwise, your profiles will stagnate or even lose followers or likes because people don’t like to follow inactive accounts anymore. It may seem overwhelming at first but if you have a strategy, you can make it happen.
Make sure your strategy includes a social media content plan – when you want to post and on which platform but first check the stats on your profile to see when your existing followers are more active. You don’t have to post multiple times per day – one post per day on Instagram should be fine.
On Facebook, you can post a few times per week or vice-versa, it all depends on your audience and strategy. If you want to grow your Instagram, post there daily. If not, you can choose 3 days to test out and based on the post-performance, change hours and days or not. To be sure you never forget about your social media posts, use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Buffer.
Another important aspect to consider – make sure your brand is consistent. If you use more than one social media account, make sure you have the same name everywhere so people can find you with ease. It’s important to be consistent with your schedule but it’s even more important to be consistent with your branding.
Does your coffee shop have a special color scheme? If yes, use the same one for your social media accounts. Having a theme works great on Instagram. Not only that but it makes your brand recognizable. If you have the visual elements narrowed down, make sure you use the same tone of voice everywhere. Adapt it for each platform but keep it unique and make sure people associate it with your brand.
Post content that is relevant to your brand and branding but also content that your followers want to see. Give customers details about your products and make sure you do it in your unique voice by writing captions using the same tone of voice every time. You can also post pictures of the coffee shop, new products, talk about the new blends you’re using, and share your customer’s pictures.
Also, it is important to interact with your audience – reply to their comments, ask them questions, and make sure you give them what they want. Usually, from comments, you can find out what people what to hear from a brand. However, if you don’t have many comments yet, you can ask questions in your captions or do polls in your stories if you’re using Instagram.
We already mentioned that you should engage with your customers but this is truly an important aspect that so many brands ignore. Social media is powerful because it enables conversations. There is really no point in being present on SM if you don’t interact with your audience.
Asking questions in the caption is a great way to start a conversation. This simple technique will also increase your post engagement. Ask people about their favorite blend, favorite type of coffee, favorite snack for their coffee. You’ll not only build a strong connection with the customers and increase your engagement but you’ll also get feedback and learn about your customer’s preferences.
Aside from captions, there are many things you can do on social media to strengthen the relationship with your customers such as running polls, reply to private messages, like your follower’s posts, share the posts they created about your brand, create your own hashtag and ask people to join in, ask people to tag you in their posts so you can share their posts or offer them discounts and access to promotions.
Always be open to conversation and maintain your tone of voice in every interaction you have on social media. If your customers experienced problems at your coffee shop or they have concerns about your products, make sure you’re available to answer their questions and fix the problems.
Keep Up With The Trends
For this step, you have to follow the trends in your industry. You can easily find out about the trends by following the most popular hashtags for your industry. Is there anything there that you don’t already have in your shop? Consider adding that product on your menu.
Of course, do this only when the trends go with your branding. However, there are a few things all coffee shops should be able to provide these days – numerous alternatives. That involves vegan coffee options with different types of vegan milks, vegan snacks, gluten-free snacks, diet options, and so on. Also, make sure you let your customers know you have these options by posting about them and by using appropriate hashtags to reach a new audience.
You might think it’s not important to have seasonal products and to post about them but the reality is people love them. There’s no fall without Starbuck’s pumpkin spice latte, right? Well, make your own seasonal drink and make it different than your competitors.
Use specific hashtags to promote seasonal drinks and treats. You can also have online seasonal competitions or challenges to get new clients and build your online presence.
Don’t skip the caption – explain the picture if you have to since not all people are familiar with the behind the scenes of a coffee shop. Don’t assume people know what you’re talking about – if you post a picture of your barista, introduce him or let him introduce himself and have him share why he loves coffee or how he started in the industry.
People love a good story so make sure every social media post is a story they want to read. When you’re out of stories, give tips. For example, which type of coffee is better in the morning and why, what goes well with your seasonal drink, how to combine coffee drinks with snacks, etc.
You can create perfect pairs using your menu – this cake with this coffee, that cake with that coffee. Make sure you explain why the pairing is good. You can also create a trivia game based on your social media posts where people have to follow your posts to learn information about your products and answer questions in-store to get discounts or free coffee drinks.
It’s really hard to find something original on social media nowadays. Coffee pictures? There are millions. Latte art? Same. So how can you be original? While it’s not easy to be original with your visual content alone, you can do it using an original mix.
Have a color theme that goes with your branding, combine it with captions that use your unique tone of voice and with activities created for your customers. And you’re set! You can also have seasonal themes or seasonal contests to encourage your followers to share seasonal pictures with your products.
User-generated content is amazing for a brand. Not only you don’t have to take as many pictures yourself, but you also strengthen your relationship with your followers.
Geotag your own content to attract new customers online and offline. Another good idea is to use specific city hashtags to make your coffee shop known online. You can also check the hashtags in your area to interact with users who live or visit places near your coffee shop. In your coffee shop is situated close to a tourist landmark or on a busy street, you can use specific hashtags to reach people who are in the area.
The coffee scene on social media is crowded, however, if you’re doing your job right, the right people will notice you. Use the analytics tool of each social media platform to analyze the performance of your posts and adjust your posting schedule and content style if you have to. There are also tools that allow you to track competitors to compare your results with theirs. Keeping an eye on the competition is always a good idea. Moreover, it can give you inspiration for your social media calendar.
With these social media tips for coffee shops, you should be able to reach the right audience and build your online presence but remember to set realistic goals and to look for quality over quantity. This applies to everything – the number of social platforms for your coffee shop, number of posts, and number of followers. You want to build an audience that is actually interested in your coffee shop not just to increase your likes.