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A Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Coffee Shops

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Social media is like the online version of the local coffee shop – it’s where people come to hang out, spend time, and catch up on what’s been going on. There’s never been a better or more influential time to have a social media presence for your café. On social media you can promote your wares, communicate with customers, and attract new business. Here’s how to do it best.

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Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… Which ones should you use?!

Social media encompasses a huge array of platforms for you to choose from. While they’re all easy to use, it does take a little bit of time and energy to keep them up to scratch. It’s more a matter of quality rather than quantity when it comes to social media profiles for your business. Choose the platforms you’ll have a presence on, and then make them count.

Facebook is non-negotiable. You have to have a Facebook account for your coffee shop, and this is where you need to keep all of your details up to date. More and more frequently people are turning to Facebook to search opening hours, menus, reviews and locations for cafes they are considering visiting. Your Facebook page is like your store front for social media – it has to look good for passers-by!

Whichever other social media platforms you choose to use, make sure you keep them regularly updated and filled with relevant, engaging, and interesting content. And customers can do some of the work for you: create a hashtag for your coffee shop and encourage people to use it when they post anything which involves your wares or your premises. Often sharing customers’ posts is more powerful than posting material of your own!

Keep it Cohesive

Whichever platforms you use, it’s important to keep your social media presence cohesive. Think about what you’re trying to convey with the content that you post and always keep in mind your branding when you are creating or sharing content. Are you a family friendly venue? Pictures of mothers groups (with their permission, of course!), babycinos, or play areas are good things to post, whereas memes about being drunk might not be.

To make sure you’re on the right track it can be a good idea to come up with a few words that you want your social media to embody, and check that anything you’re going to post matches those words. “Funky”, “budget”, “students”, “quality”, “dessert”, or “quick”, may be things to consider.

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Location, Location, Location

Attracting new customers with social media has never been easier, but you need to make sure you’re capitalising on the full potential of this gold mine. You need to lead social media users to your pages in order to lead them through the café door. While it’s great to have your Instagram picture liked by a hipster in Brooklyn when your café is in Sydney, that person is unlikely to become an actual customer. Capturing the attention of potential customers in the local area comes down to a couple of simple things.

Firstly, always make sure your location is turned on when you post content. This will mean that your post will be tagged with the location, allowing it to come up in searches for that area. Geo-specific hashtags are also super useful. Hashtagging your posts with popular tags for your niche and your area will lead people looking for what you offer straight to your post, i.e. #ChildFriendlyCafesInSydney.

This is also where having a Google+ account comes in very handy, even if may be next-to-useless otherwise. Creating a Google+ account is how you get your business to feature on that little map that comes up in the search results when you google something location specific, i.e. “café near me.” That’s incredibly useful for directing new customers to your coffee shop.

Reviews

Google+ and Facebook, not to mention the raft of social media platforms for restaurants, have features where customers can review your coffee shop. This star rating comes up on your Facebook page and on any Google search results page where you feature. This is critical, and encouraging loyal customers to leave a good review is always a good idea. When the inevitable bad review rears its ugly head, respond tactfully and politely, and redouble your efforts to get regular customers to leave good reviews!

Alex Sizer

Alex Sizer is a red wine lover, content writer and social media marketing specialist. When she's not writing her own travel blog, she's writing for The Social Savior's content team.

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