Social Media and Cafes
Why Cafes Should Join the Social Media Conversation
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Social media sites are today’s best resource for advertising, networking, and communicating with business contacts, loyal customers, and future patrons. Most social media sites are free to join and free to use. With no costs and the potential for many benefits, there are no reasons not to take advantage of this opportunity.
Social media sites enable cafe owners and managers to:
- Advertise special events;
- Encourage new business;
- Network with other cafe and restaurant owners;
- Find new business contacts, and;
- Interact with customers easily and quickly.
Twitter for CafesTwitter allows users to post short messages called "tweets." By posting at least one tweet per day about your cafe, other Twitter members who are interested in restaurants will find and “follow” you. Your followers may be potential customers, or people who contract to sell products or services to restaurants.
Tweet something about your cafe at least once per day to keep your business in people's minds. Tweet about a drink special, a new wine menu, or special menu options. Tweet compliments that customers give you or your employees. As people start to follow you, they may send you messages. By responding to the messages you build your business network.
In order to not miss replies that are “tweeted” to you, consider signing up with a free account at SocialOomph or Hootsuite. These social media sites simply organize Twitter accounts and make them easier to use.
Advertise your presence on Twitter by including your Twitter handle on all email communications, your business card and on your cafe website.
Facebook for CafesFacebook is a free-to-use social media site. Create a Facebook account and a Facebook Fan Page for your cafe.
Facebook allows you to do much more than Twitter. You may post longer messages, as well as photographs. Your fan page is similar to a well-thought out yellow pages ad, but better. Set the privacy settings so anybody can access your Cafe’s fan page. If you wish to use Facebook for personal reasons, you should set up at least two accounts, one for business and one for personal use.
A Facebook fan page allows you to show people the inside of your Cafe and what a wonderful atmosphere it has. Smiling waitresses and smiling customers in photos set the tone and make people want to come visit your Cafe. Log in to Facebook at least once per day to interact with other users and to talk about your cafe.
Facebook and Twitter are just the tip of the social media iceberg; savvy cafes are expanding into online video postings on Youtube and Vimeo, posting pictures at Flickr and encouraging their customers to announce that they are patronizing the cafe using Foursquare.