Ways to Encourage Customer Engagement on Social Media for Coffee Shops and Cafés

We all want to increase engagement on our social channels. By this, we mean the likes, comments, shares. A good level of engagement is beneficial because:

• it increases reach. When people like and share content, their followers see it too, meaning our overall exposure is greater
• it what the algorithms want. If a social post gets a lot of engagement, the platforms notes this as high value content and shows it to more people
• we hear from our customers. Using social, we have direct contact with our customers and can hear what they like, don’t like. This helps inform our business to be more customer-centric



So, what tactics could you use to increase engagement on your socials? Check out these ideas.

Strike up conversation

It is not enough to just upload a pic every so often and not say anything. Ask direct questions like “What’s your favourite coffee?” or “which milk do you choose for your latte?”. Make sure you reply to comments and questions. Did you know: 48% of consumers are more likely to purchase if a business is responsive on social media?

There are lots of tools you can use too, like polls. These encourage followers to join in and it gives you insights on customer behaviour.

Be local

Social media offers your business the perfect opportunity to easily seek out new customers and join in and contribute to local, relevant conversation.

For example, Instagram’s explore feature will allow your business to search for content shared by others at a specific location in real time. Is your café located on a busy high street or near a tourist landmark? This is the perfect tool for seeking out and engaging with new potential customers in the area!

Don’t forget to Geotag your own content so that people can discover you too!

Your business can also make use of hashtags in the same way by exploring content on city hashtags or jumping on a local event/festival hashtag.



Use influencers and competitions

Reviewing top posts and hashtags may also help identify any local, social media influencers. Why not invite them to your new menu launch for a free coffee in exchange for a social media mention? If an influencer has many followers, you are getting increased exposure, but also a recommendation from someone who is trusted in their social community.

Competitions always work well on social and are easy to execute. Offer a prize, like a reusable coffee cup, to those who enter. To enter, ask your followers to take an action that will benefit your social page, like ask them to like the post and tag a friend. This again, increases reach and encourages engagement. Just don’t forget to add some terms and conditions!

Cross promote

Most café businesses will strategise on how they will bring their online following into their venue. However, not many will consider how they will bring their existing customers onto their social media.

Existing, loyal customers are your biggest asset – especially in the beginning stages of building your online following. They are key in spreading online awareness. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and consider your product’s presentation and the overall café setting. Would it inspire you to share your experience on social media?

Introduce signage in your café which prompts visitors to go online and follow your social media profiles. You can even incentivise the process through online competitions and giveaways – they don’t have to break the bank either!

Turning real customers into online ambassadors will promote trust in your brand. After all, research shows that consumers are more likely to trust endorsements from real people over direct advertising from a business.