Kirsty is a marketing professional who specialises in shopper marketing.
She loves the challenge of coming up with creative ideas and fresh ways for brands to interact with people.
Just like the planning that goes into your menu creation, it pays to have a plan with how you are using social media and in-house promotions. Facebook and Instagram are great social media platforms for Cafés to use.
Make the most of the opportunity to get your business out there by following these simple tips for an effective social media strategy for your café business.
What should you post?
A great place to start is to build out a content calendar by identifying some content themes (3 is a good number). Make sure your theme is relevant to your business, community and what makes your business unique.
These themes are then used as your guide for post content e.g. Theme: What’s on the menu? This theme focuses particularly on your food menu. Your theme post topics could then include: Weekly specials, freshly baked this morning, or an on trend menu item feature. Interchange your theme posts throughout the week.
When writing the post copy write it in such a way as if you were having a conversation with a friend, so don’t be too formal! Add some fun with emoji icons.
Mix it up with photos, carousels, video, and use Facebook or Instagram ‘stories’. At the end of the day, you want variation with your social media.
Your customers hold the key
By understanding your customer and what they need will provide that insight to better market to them, creating content which will attract them to your social media channel and into your cafe. For example, do your customers like to ‘grab & go’ in the morning? Therefore ensure your cabinets are full of beautifully presented easy to eat options for on-the-run. Have a lot of parents visiting?
Make it easy for them to park their pram or provide table activities to keep kids entertained. Use these as content opportunities to post about.
They help promote your brand organically allowing your content to be found by using certain keywords or phrases. So how do you choose what hashtags to use? Make them relevant to your business, your industry & what your post topic is about i.e. #lunch #specialoftheday #urbancafe #openforbusiness.
Create your own business hashtag so your customers can post their own content about their experience at your café - which is gold for building your business reviews and driving new customers your way.
Include trending industry hashtags by using a hashtag generator.
Learn to take great photos:
Beautiful well-composed images of your menu creations, café vibe & local area all help to engage your customer & potential customers. All you need is your smartphone camera! Skill up and take a smartphone photography course so you know how to compose your shots, use lighting correctly, and basic editing.
If you are scratching your head for fresh ways to engage with your customers via social media or in your cafe, running promotions and special offers are a great way to build loyalty and get new customers in the door.
When running a promotion define your offer and include any terms so you don’t disappoint customers or not provide enough information e.g. How long is the offer valid? What is/isn’t included? What do you have to do to take up the offer? But remember the offer must also work for your business and be cost-effective, not costly!
Some specific promotional ideas you could look to adopt include:
Branded merchandise items are an excellent way to get your brand seen outside of your café. Offer up re-usable eco-friendly items your customers can buy and bring back to use. You could also offer a ‘re-use’ discount (which also helps keep your consumable costs down). Merchandise items could include carry bags, mugs/cups, reusable straws.
Loyalty cards are a proven way to keep customers coming back, but make them unique to your business. If you are well known for your delicious muffins you could offer a buy X get 1 free stamp card.
Happy Hour offer:
This is a great way to get customers through the door at slower times of the day. Have fun and think about what your customer might need e.g a sweet treat to get them through the afternoon.
Create a hashtag that customers can use which could be for a certain menu item for a chance to have their photo or content shared by you on your social media. Use your customers as nano influencers!
Daily special board:
Create daily themed specials that you will become known for e.g. Monday Muffins at half price, 2 for 1 Tuesday. Write these on a sandwich board along with a funny pun/quote and place outside to help increase foot traffic & sharability on social media.
Customers simply ‘check-in’ while at your café to unlock a special discount/offer. This is a great way that customers help to promote your business to their social network.