Café customers today are spoilt for choice – making it a buyer’s market unless you have a strong brand and product. On the other side, newcomers and savvy operators are leveraging social media to drive new customers and excite their current clientele.

The answer is to tune your social media strategy to target your customers.

And here’s how you can do that:

Step 1: Listen before responding

Checking out what your customers post on social media about cafés will give you an insight on what content they want to see.

If you are on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, simply go to the search box and type #café or #Cafélife to see what they’re talking about.

When you’re ready to be part of the convo, remember that coffee drives a huge amount of conversation, so ensure that a majority of your content is about it. Also, ensure you post about the experience in your venue, so you can bring your food to life.

Step 2: Invest in production

If your product is good, your customers will capture their experience on their phones. However, the best cafés know that constant brand building is key to driving new customers, whilst day to day operations drive loyalty.

Invest in professional photography and video services to ensure that you capture only the best content from your business. If your social media posts do not look polished, you’ll lose customers.

For the lucky few that broadsheet will want to write about, remember they’ll use your social media photography, so polish it up ASAP.

Step 3: Write less

Put your human hat on, not a marketing hat. People on social media talk in 10 words or less, so why is your café writing so much?

Here’s our analysis of a Facebook post with 1,000s likes but less than 10 reactions:

The good: Use of emojis – people connect deeply with emojis in copywriting.

The bad: Too many words – people are turned off by this. If you need to announce opening hours, link them to your website.

The ugly: Crazy use of hashtags. Hashtags help you reach people, yes, but using #sandwich when the content is about ANZAC is pointless. It reaches people globally who will may not visit your venue.

Step 4: Get the combo right

And here’s our analysis of a Facebook post that has the correct balance:

The good: Professional photography

The great: Four words to tell the story

The fantastic: Cone single hashtag that always connects back to the venue.

Step 5: Take time to appreciate

A simple ‘thanks’ goes a long, long way to securing long-time customers. Social media gives you instant notifications on updated likes, and comments, so get involved and talk to people. You’ll make a lot more money in the short term and longtail.

Step 6: Advertise

Stash come cash to advertise. Local awareness ads are fantastic to promote your café to anyone within a certain radius of your business.

There are 2 main features of this ad format:

1. Map card: Use the new map card to share more locally relevant details about your café. The card includes a map pin for your business location, distance to business, hours of operation and a direction link.

2. Call to action button: Connect with your local audience to help drive offline sales. Choose from ‘Get Directions’, ‘Call Now’, ‘Learn More’ or ‘Send Message’.

It costs about a cent to reach people in your area. That’s 500 people for the price of a soy double shot latte.

In summary: Knowing how to use social media effectively can make a massive difference to your café. Use it wisely and add value to your café.

Find out more about CAFÉ 360