Shelley Widhalm of Shell’s Ink Services does some of her writing work at locally owned coffee shops to support Main Street businesses
By Shelley Widhalm
Locally owned #coffeeshops bring in walk-in and regular business but also have to compete with the coffee shop branded with a siren.
To help with that competition and sell even more coffee, coffee shops can engage in #blogging and #social media to grow their fan base by telling their story and demonstrating their quality of product and environment. This helps them stand out from chain coffee shops that have brand recognition and a higher advertising and marketing budget.
Social Media Engagement
Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) is a way to engage with existing and future customers and a way to market, but not actively sell, your products. Customers want to know about your promotions, hours of operation, location, menu and any reviews.
- Updates: You can post news updates and details about your special events and promotions, plus seek customer feedback on existing and new product offerings. This helps customers feel valued and that their opinions matter, establishing a baseline in your relationship. Be sure to respond to what they have to say and implement their best ideas.
- Contests: Come up with ideas for contests and promotions to incentivize customers to view your pages. Maybe offer a weekly happy hour or a special of the month. Or give out a coupon, gift card or product for the winner of a photo contest doing something exciting with your product or in your shop.
- Emails: Build an email listhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_mailing_list of fans and followers, inviting them to join through your social media outlets. Give them an exclusive offer in return or news that they can’t get by doing a regular search.
- In Store: Offer special promotions for visitors in your store that encourage a next visit, such as stamp cards or a coupon. Make it even better if they visit your website and write their story for a double stamp.
Being Cohesive and Concise
Be sure your videos, offerings and written content are cohesive, telling the same message with regular postings and updates, such as every Tuesday and Thursday.
Be sure the messages are concise and to the point with just the right details.
Be sure the messages are specific to you and your products and store, not going off in visual and verbal tangents. The message should fit the visual, such as a photo of latte art with an explanation of how the barista created the art and give the barista’s name and your store name.
And be sure to keep in mind your branding and what sets you apart from the siren and the other competition.
Follow the trends, keeping taps on the growth of the specialty coffee industry, while also finding your unique selling proposition, or what sets you apart. If your customers want it, bring it to them so that they want to repeat the experience.