How to Use Social Media to Attract New Customers to Your Coffee Shop

In the age of online marketing, how important is social media for brick-and-mortar businesses like coffee shops? If you want to attract new customers and build a loyal customer base, then social media is essential.

76% of consumers buy products seen in social media posts, according to a survey by Curalate. Not only that, but 21% also go into the store to make a purchase. 

When done well and consistently, social media can be a powerful way to increase brand awareness, promote your coffee shop and reach new customers.

Here are several ways you can leverage all of social media’s capabilities to attract new customers to your coffee shop. 

Run a giveaway

Who doesn’t love free stuff? Giveaways are a highly-engaging type of social media content across all industries. In fact, a study by Tailwind found that Instagram accounts that run giveaways grew 70% faster in just three months compared to those that don’t. 

Hosting a giveaway for your coffee shop is a quick and effective way to grow your social audience and eventually convert them into real-life customers — but only if the prize you’re giving away is worth it. 

While you may not have any high-ticket items at your coffee shop to give away, you could combine a few different things for a prize bundle. This could be a gift card, a bag of coffee beans, free coffee for a month or branded merchandise like a coffee mug. Not only are these prizes appealing for any coffee lover, but they will encourage the winner to come into your coffee shop.

Pay attention to user-generated content

User-generated content, or UGC, is exactly what it sounds like: When a customer publishes original content about your business, whether that’s an image or a video, on their personal social media account. As a business, you can then repost that customer’s content on your brand’s account. Not only does UGC make it easy to come up with content when your idea well is running dry, but it also helps build social proof for your coffee shop.

Consumers trust UGC because it’s authentic. In fact, one survey found that 50% of consumers said they would be more likely to purchase a product because of UGC. 

When someone else posts content about your coffee shop, it’s essentially like you’re getting third-party validation. Plus, reposting UGC to your coffee shop’s social media accounts may encourage other people to post their photos of your coffee shop which, in turn, could get the attention of a wider audience.

Amplify discounts and promotions 

Give people a reason to not only follow you on social media but to come to your coffee shop by offering discounts. An example would be offering 10% off their next order if they follow you on Instagram. Or you could offer a discount for first-time customers.

Whatever the discount, you can use social media to spread the word. You don’t need to be overly promotional all the time, but consistently remind your followers about your discount. You can mention it in your captions from time to time or even keep a reminder of it in your social media bios. 

Offering a discount is a small price to pay for a social media follower and soon-to-be customer.

Emphasize the local aspect

Building an online presence means it’s now easier than ever to reach people all around the world. But even with that kind of reach, it’s important to remember who your brick-and-mortar coffee shop serves: the local community. 

If you want to get new customers to visit your coffee shop, then your social media content needs to appeal to locals. 

One way to infuse a local vibe is by partnering with another local brand for a collaboration or even a giveaway. Partnering with another local brand gives you access to their audience and introduces your brand to a whole new set of customers. 

The key is to partner with a brand that complements your own. For example, your coffee shop could partner with a bakery or even a co-working space, depending on the type of new customers you’re seeking. 

Partner with social media influencers 

Influencers continue to have a powerful force on social media, especially those within the food and drink niche. Partnering with local social media influencers can be a good strategy when you’re starting your coffee shop as influencers are experts at spreading the word about a new place in town. 

Tap into your local network of social media influencers to help boost your coffee shop’s brand awareness. Even if you don’t have a big budget to spend, there are plenty of smaller influencers who charge as little as $100 per post, according to a recent study — and some may even be open to free coffee or food in exchange for content.

Invite them to come to your coffee shop and offer them free coffee and whatever else you have on your menu so they can create content around it. Even something as simple as a shoutout in their Instagram Stories can make an impact for your coffee shop if you’re just getting started.

Post high-quality photos and videos 

People don’t typically need much convincing when it comes to drinking their morning brew, but they do have a lot of options. When it comes to getting potential customers’ attention on social media, high-quality photos that stand out and tell your brand’s story are a must.

Here are a few content ideas: 

  • Give people a peek into your coffee shop’s atmosphere by including interior and exterior backdrops.

  • Don’t be afraid to add a human element by including employees in the content 

  • Showcase signature drinks in a styled photoshoot

  • When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with latte art

As long as this content is high-quality and makes your coffee the focal point, you’ll have an appealing social media brand that will attract new customers to your coffee shop in no time.

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Sam Lauron