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Why Social Media is Essential to Coffee Shops.

So, as you may or may not be aware: alongside being a blogger I'm a social media manager for coffee shops. I know, cool right? I mean heck, it is one of my dream jobs and I have told you about it before, but I wanted to share with you a few reasons as to why coffee shops benefit greatly by having well put together (and consistent!) social media accounts.

I'm an avid fan of Instagram, and although the others available, such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest are still amazing to have in the coffee shop biz, the fact that Instagram grew with the expanse of coffee shop flatlays and fancy latte art proves that this one is the most important for us to look into. So, without further ado, here it is.

1. Informs

So let's start with the easy one shall we? By having your business visible online, this means that those who are curious about certain areas of your coffee shop can find answers to questions to what they were looking for. These can be anything ranging from opening hours and location, all the way over to what kind of tea you're brewing or what coffee you supply (and whether they can buy retail versions of it, too)!

If not for anything else, a coffee shop really should have social media so people can find out the above questions (and more!) easily and quickly.

2. Educates

Not to be confused with 'informs', may I just add. By having an active and consistent social media profile, you can use this as a platform to deepen the understanding of the customer and create a better relationship with them. It's true when people say that hard-selling is now dead, especially in the social media industry (was it ever even a thing)? People go on social media to be amused and learn things, not to be sold stuff - they'll just go onto Amazon for that!

Make posts which educate your customers as to why there are certain things you do, and you'll grow your loyalty base as people want to know more, but also because they feel they have the deeper level of understanding than other coffee shops in the area.

3. Engages

Engages is a superb way to develop loyalty with your customers, or make that final push to get more customers in from outside. By engaging with your customers, you create a deeper level of understanding and emotion with the customer themselves, and they'll feel valued. What makes customers feel good about themselves and keep coming back? Being valued, of course! But I mean heck, this should come naturally with social media in this industry - most owners of coffee shops have a strong sense of wanting to remain in the good books with their customers, and by creating this extra level of engagement available for customers means that we've increased.

4. Expands

Oh the best one 'til last, of course! Now technically, the expansion of a business used to be much easier on Instagram to get found out of nowhere, but the algorithm has changed quite dramatically over the years which means that it is much harder to get 'discovered', but with the right approach and strategy you can still make a dramatic impression on your business, expanding your customer and follower base more than you could even realise was possible!

What's great is the ripple effect of social media which leads to this expansion. Sure, not all of your followers are going to be direct customers, but they are going to have a vested interest in you (well, otherwise they wouldn't follow you). But because you're being followed, rest assured that you'll remain a familiar face - and the more consistently you post, the more familiar you'll be. That sets you up for an increased likelihood of being the 'recommended' coffee shop to friends in their groups, both online and offline.

("hey, you're in _____ area? I'm following this great coffee shop there, you've got to check it out!")

By being visible on social media channels, we're openig new ways that people can find your business . Without social media, it takes a lot more time and effort to do thsese things from the customer and unless they're heavily invested in your coffee shop they’ll probably ditch you for an easier to access shop. Let’s be honest, coffee shops aren’t really low in their numbers nowadays, so I've seen this happen a lot. Heck, even i've done it before.

Therefore, by increasing social media usage - you're incrasing your overall visibiliy and let's a millennial coffee shop user?

Until next time, lovelies.

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