Facebook and Twitter are great ways to connect with your customers. Here are ten ideas that you could use.
1. Tweet your opening
How many people know when you open for the day? How many could do with a reminder when they’re tired in the morning?
Example: ‘We’re up and running for the day. Need something to wake you up before work?’
2. Ask your friends what they think of your latest innovation
Don’t panic If you get negative comments. But do look for a grain of truth in them.
Example: ‘Last month we switched our milkshake recipe. Do you love it or loath it?’
3. Tweet a fresh pot of coffee
People know if they hurry along, they’ll get a better-tasting brew. Or when your pastries are fresh from the oven. Or when your chips are freshly fried. Yum.
Example: ‘New coffee pot’s brewed. Roll up, roll up.’
Image: Yagan Kiely
4. Post you music options. Ask customers which they’d like to hear.
Example: ‘Counting Crows, Coldplay or Adele? Which would you like to hear in Ethical Cafe today?’
5. Announce a happy hour when your prices are vastly reduced
Do this when you have produce you’d otherwise throw away. Followers are rewarded with the possibility of a bargain.
Example: ‘Until 5pm pastries are half-price. There’s only 3 left, so move fast.’
6. Ask for customer comments via Facebook/Twitter
People are more likely to be honest when they’re out of the shop. Do highlight the option on the suggestion box.
Example: ‘Tweet your suggestions to @ethicalcafe or send us a Facebook message’
7. Allow regulars to order via social media (or even - gasp - email)
This saves customers time if they’re in a hurry, and grows your relationship with them. Here’s a story of the guy who pioneered this.
They might say: '@ethicalcafe Tall skinny latte to takeaway for 5 mins time please.'
8. Share your bestsellers
If people made the same purchase they’ll feel more connected with you.
Example: ‘This week our customers are lapping up the new Gingerbread latte. Are you a fan?’
9. Post when a regular arrives
They’ll feel valued, and their friends may decide to drop in. Example:
‘It’s early afternoon, and @barnstormed has rolled up. He’s looking productive in the corner’
10. Tweet a 30 minute warning before closing time
It’s your version of the ‘last orders’ bell. Gives people the chance to grab a coffee/cake on their way home.
Example: ‘We close up in 30mins. Fancy a takeaway expresso to aid your journey home?’
And 3 things to remember
This is about informing, reminding, and interacting with your customers. A sales pitch will jar amongst the updates of their other friends.
We all need friends
It’s all about followers. If no one follows or 'friends you', then you’re talking to an empty room. So, put your Facebook/Twitter details on signs in the coffee shop, on napkins, coasters, etc. Add a plug to your receipts. Whatever you like.
Example: Do you like the coffee? Please like us on Facebook.
How often do I update?
Anything is better then nothing. And nothing is better than spamming.
Do bear in mind the conventions of the channel. Twitter moves a lot faster than Facebook, so you can get away with greater frequency without bugging people. As a general rule I’d say no more than:
- Twitter - every 1-2 hours
- Facebook - every couple of days
That's it, go forth and be social. And try to keep the nutmeg away from the IPad.