Turn Your Customers into Fans and Grow Your Coffee Business
Launching a consistent Instagram feed and maintaining your Facebook page is only the first step. The business hours are up to date, the contact information and address are accurate, and you have begun taking your content seriously. Will it be worth your time if no one sees it? If your follower count isn’t increasing on its own, there are a number of measures you can take to change this for the better. A high follower count builds buzz and attracts potential new customers to your cafe.
How do you turn a one-time customer into a fan? Here are the 7 best ways to increase your business’ follower count on social media. Not sure whether being on Facebook & Co is really necessary? Find out why social media is an essential tool for growing your business here.
The easiest way to market your social media pages is with a small note by the register or on your menus. A repeat customer may see this and be reminded to follow one of their favorite local cafes on Facebook and Instagram. First-time customers will see it and feel curious about what their newly discovered spot has to offer online.
Share your Instagram handle, Facebook page and unique hashtags in the same location you have your WiFi password listed so it can’t be missed.
Targeted Hashtags on Instagram
Hashtags were made to connect users to ideas, products, and places. It is the single best way to make your brand discoverable on Instagram.
You want to choose the tags with the most buzz. You probably already have a pretty good idea about the language your customers use when talking about cafes. However, it’s important to not choose every possible variety of these words. Instead, choose a few, pinpointed hashtags.
Search the hashtags that relate to your cafe´s mission and choose the most popular to use alongside your content. Use your location to your advantage. For instance, a quick search on Instagram will tell you that #chicagocoffee has more than 40.5k results while #chicagocafe has only 5,000. This tells you which hashtags more travelers and residents are using on Instagram to discover new coffee shops in the area.
Beware of using too many hashtags, which will remind customers of spam. Top brands only choose the most important hashtags and generally add no more than five. Keep an eye on the hashtags that refer to your cafe or neighbourhood and engage with users who post using these hashtags. By liking and commenting on their posts you show appreciation for their efforts.
Set the Tone
If you want users to press follow, then it is a necessity for your brand´s Instagram and Facebook page to convey a distinguishable mood. One subtle but very visual way to show your cafe’s tone is with a color palette, ranging anywhere from cozy warms to vibrant cools. A brunch focused cafe will often post bright, rich-toned photos highlighting the mouth-watering food. While a late-night cafe with open-mic poetry may show photos with dimmed lights and dark tones. Think about what vibe your cafe gives off and focus on it.
Take the time to edit and style your photos before you post them on Instagram. Consumers are used to seeing images everywhere. If your content is high quality, it will make your feed stand out from the rest on that very first click.
Some businesses are more flexible or more strict when it comes to their tone on social media. Beware of either looking too stuffy and sterile or too haphazard and confusing. The most important thing when it comes to your cafe’s tone is to show an authentic experience. Millennials and Gen Z’ers respond to businesses acting genuine and mostly ignore conventional advertising.
Engage Customers by Launching Social Media Contests
Sometimes a cafe’s follower count rises quickly but their engagement levels remain low. Your customers enjoy your posts on Facebook and Instagram but have no reason to join in on the conversation. Social media was designed for sharing, so encourage your customers to give you feedback.
It could be as simple as posting a photo of one of your cafe´s gooey cookies and asking your followers to comment with their favorite bakery items. A sponsored sweepstakes for free or discounted coffee in exchange for tagging two friends on Instagram or following your Facebook page will increase your engagement. If you have an artistic customer base, then a photo contest could provide easy personalized content for your page.
Get creative with the process, it should be fun! Watch your customer base become more and more involved with your posts on both Facebook and Instagram.
Become Part of the Hype
Take advantage of location-based advertising by always geotagging your cafe. This will also make your cafe much easier to discover while searching. If there is an event in your city or country with a trending hashtag, such as a new exhibition or city-wide festival, create a relevant post and become a part of the hype. Limited edition coffees or treats can quickly trend in the community.
Customers are more likely to follow and engage with a page if they see the brand joining in the conversation. If your caption asked a question, then don’t forget to respond or like a follower’s answer.
Reposting photos your guests have taken in your cafe creates a community around your coffee shop and encourages other customers to post about your business online. Keep a unique hashtag in your bio, this lets social media users know exactly how to get your attention.
Remember, no users are going to try to interact with a neglected page. Post regularly while keeping the content interesting. This will increase the odds of a social media user responding to your content.
Show Your Fun Side with Instagram and Facebook Stories
Instagram and Facebook Stories are a great way to share content with your followers. Since they disappear in 24 hours, there is less pressure to post perfectly curated content. This allows you to be more spontaneous and have a little fun with it.
If a member of the crew has a birthday, giving them a shoutout on your story shows the company’s human side. Does a regular customer sit outside with their dog every morning? Ask if you can take a quick picture! With stories, the photos don’t have to be edited and you can share multiple a day without annoying your followers. Time to get creative!
The highlights section of your story can be used to conveniently give users access to more information. Use a short and simple title for each highlight and have an easy to understand symbol as the icon. You can use a highlighted story to share your menu, contest rules, photos of your most popular different drinks and treats, or anything else that customers may find useful or interesting. Above all, social media is a visual story you share with your customers. The more people engage with your story online, the more people will start coming through the door.
We would love to hear how you are using any of these tips for gaining more followers on Facebook and Instagram. Please leave a comment and let us know!
Written by Bianka Rose Cramblit for The Way to Coffee.
Bianka discovered her love for specialty coffee while studying English Literature during her university years in the United States. She believes that a cup of coffee is a writer’s best companion and is always seeking the best new cafe in each new city she visits. An avid traveler, she has called sunny Madrid her home for the past three years. Her hobbies include baking, yoga, and reading.