How can we be effective in the social marketing era? Do we really have to know all the secrets of online marketing in order to be successful? Yes and no! Let me explain: a café is a public place, where people go, not only to drink a coffee or to get it to go, but also to have a social experience, it’s clear that it has to be a comfortable place where people can go about their business or interact with others in an easy and calm way. The role of the barista is crucial, of course the people that serve coffee have to be open, smiling, and have a positive attitude, to create the right atmosphere for the business. Consumers have to have access to a clean, safe and refreshing establishment, where they can find a smile and a good coffee.
How is it possible to show this atmosphere on social media? Many baristas and café owners complain because social media means more work, taking time, energy and money, including the costs of outsourcing to an agency.
I have been thinking about 3 ideas that have been used by baristas and café owners in two big cities: London, UK and Cologne, Germany and here I will summarise these ideas:
1) Create an Instagram Profile and select the most viewed picks near your activity, than start following the influencers near you and invite them to come for a coffee. This is a very easy way to create a network with people that are very visible near you and to select your customers, according to a very useful distance criteria.
2) Create a contest around your coffee or new drink that you want to promote, and invite people to participate.
3) Allow people to send a photo to your Facebook or Instagram account of the people that have been drinking coffees and have a good time at your place, than contact each of them and offer them a very nice and thankful offer for a free coffee. This is a good way to create customer loyalty, and keep them warm for your next call to action.
But what it’s really doing is a new concept that is going on even more in small areas, cities and defined areas: neighborhood marketing. Since online marketing appeared, many SEO and Marketing Experts have focused on the idea of “local”, this means on the idea of localizing potential customers near you and attracting them, but if we consider a neighborhood as a unique body, with a name, we can create a Facebook page or a social profile for it. We can then promote the activities of an entire group of shops even those that are very different each other. We create a sort of living organism,and through it, every single page or profile will have the possibility to grow, like a tree.
The process of creating value is a sum and not a division, so if we want to add value to our activity, we have to value all the contests where this activity is going on, and our café will be more interesting if it is an interesting and cool place to be, where people have more opportunities.
Shop owners will have the possibility to share the cost of paying an online marketer, professional video maker or a web marketing campaign, if they understand that together they are bigger, stronger, and can create activities to attract people in the area.
If a whole district is visible online, it will be more likely for any small activity to be more visible too.
For my new piece, I’m considering examples of cooperative marketing for districts that are working well and are very effective, so please write to us to share this information!
Giovanna is a coffee writer and book author, with a particular expertise in web visibility and online marketing solutions for Italian Coffee Roasters and Ho.Re.Ca realities.
Giovanna in numbers: 2 Master’s degrees at Milan State University (Food Sciences 107/110 and Agricultural Science 110/110), 1 Master in Management of Development Projects and 1 Scholarship to Escuela Politecnica Nacional of Quito, Ecuador, where she was involved in Cocoa and Coffee Projects, 7 years teaching in Cooking Schools in Italy and Germany, 4 spoken and written languages, 10 years as freelance Journalist for Notiziario Torrefattori, 3 published books and 1 badge as Foreign Press released by German Photojournalist Association (Card No. BPA12A19895-017).