How Could a Small Coffee Shop Run An Effective Social Media Campaign?

The most important thing you need to do is to devise a low-cost,  easy-to-implement, low maintenance strategy that will allow you to engage with current and new customers without breaking the bank or consuming too much of your time.  That being said, here is my recommendation:

1)  Open a YouTube Channel:  This is completely free.  Have you and your employees make a series of videos on topics from “How to make a Cappuccino” to “The health benefits of Green Tea”.  These videos do not need to be professional, in fact it is better if they are authentically amateur.   A buddy of mine made a “How to tie a tie” video that now has over 3 million views.  How did he do it?  He put something useful on YouTube and let it ride, suddenly he had millions of views which translated into tons of online sales.  Now, you are a local shop, so online sales won’t help you, but YouTube notoriety could, as well as this strategy will feed into the other two.  TASK – Make 5-10 Interesting Videos on YouTube

2)  Open A Twitter Feed:  This is also completely free.  Search online and find ~100 quotes about coffee, or about awareness, or about life in
general and put them into a spreadsheet (Make the quotes short, so that they will be less than 140 characters, probably 14 words or less).  Make two tweets for each of the 10 YouTube Link, put them into the spreadsheet (mixed in with the quotes).  Compile 90 fun facts about Coffee, form them into quotes (with links to your YouTube Channel), again keeping them under 140 characters (use a link shortener).  Now, you have 210 ready-made tweets.  Download TweetDeck, put three tweets a day in for the next 70 days, and suddenly you have an active twitter account.  All you have to do is reload the tweets again for the next 70 days each time they are about to finish.  On a daily basis, go online and respond to anyone who reaches out to you.  Lastly, follow local accounts that have lots of followers, or coffee/tea accounts that have lots of followers.  Basically, you are using twitter to drive your YouTube account and extend your brand online.

3) Promote Your Sites In-Store:  This is the most important part of the strategy for a small business.  I am guessing that your coffee shop has
wireless, but you want to do this either way.  Have large signs referencing your Twitter and YouTube accounts, have a drop box for suggestions
on your Twitter and YouTube accounts, print your account websites on every menu, business card, and piece of advertising you have.  Encourage people to join the conversation.  An engaged customer will stay with you through price increases, staffing changes, good times and bad.  This will allow your YouTube and Twitter accounts to help you even if they never get big (but if they do, it will give you more to talk about:  “e.g.  we have
had 25,000 views on YouTube, check us out”).  You might want to try things like giving away a free coffee for those who mention your coffee shop on twitter, or 10% off if they follow your twitter account or subscribe to your youtube channel.  TASK – Drive every single coffee customer towards your websites and get them to engage with you online.

The best part about this strategy is that all it costs you is time, there is no money involved.  Make a few videos, post a bunch of pre-scheduled tweets, reply to those who engage you online, and encourage your current customers to help you build your brand online.  This will probably take a total of 40 hours, and then 2 hours a week at the most.  Let me know how it turns out, and good luck to you out there on the web!

 Todd Hagopian

About Todd Hagopian (@ToddHagopian)

Todd Hagopian received his BA from Eastern Michigan University with a major in Political Science. After graduation, he worked as a Financial Advisor and a Bank Manager before returning to school. He attended Michigan State University, where he completed an MBA with a double-major in Finance and Marketing. Todd is now a Senior Product Development Manager for a Fortune 500 company. He frequently writes about business issues, social media strategy, and political issues that he finds important. Enjoy the blog!

Posted on September 23, 2011, in Social Media and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Online reviews, check-ins using foursqure & others can also be added as a part of the strategy….

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