Social Networking for Your Coffee Shop, Part 3

So let’s get to part three, the final page of social networking for your coffee shop.  It’s exciting to break into new areas of marketing.  It has never been easier to market a business since the online world arrived and has evolved.  Here are some more ideas for you:

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is geared more toward professionals or business networking but it should be considered to be included in your social networking group.  You never know if there is a business looking for a local coffee house to supply coffee and pastries for its monthly meetings.  Or better yet, if you roast coffee you could just connect with another shop looking to buy coffee beans wholesale.  Maybe they are not happy with their current supplier or are just about to open a coffee shop.

MerchantCircle

This is kind of like LinkedIn but for your business and on a local level.  Where you have the profile on LinkedIn, MerchantCircle focuses on your business profile, not yours.  I would say it’s a glorified Yellow Pages ad.  I have had good experiences with MerchantCircle because they help local businesses connect with new customers through referrals based on online advertising.

Manta

Manta is the largest free source of information for small companies.  Your company can be among profiles of more than 64 million other businesses and organizations.   Its emphasis is on small- and medium-size businesses.  Business owners and sales professionals use Manta’s huge database and custom search capabilities to quickly find companies, easily connect with prospective customers and promote their own services.  You can list your company details such as company name, address, number of employees, estimated annual sales and more.

What I like most about Manta is the fact that you can add key words and terms that describe your business and services and your information will be listed in the major search engines.  It is an added feature to go with your SEO marketing.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. There are numerous other social networking sites making ground like Digg, MySpace and others.  My advice is to keep it simple but have enough diversity.  If you are planning on opening a coffee shop this is a great way to have a ‘media blitz’ (of sorts) because you are tackling your marketing on numerous levels.  If you plan to customers buy coffee beans online from you, this will only reinforce your internet presence.

A word about social networking on the internet:  The more followers and people in your networks you have the better your marketing will be.  Where else but the internet can you write about your business and have it immediately available to the public?  You can do it all in-house but it’s pretty time consuming.  I have always handled this and continue to do so in my roasting and consulting business because I enjoy this end of it.  It is also a lot cheaper.  You just need to set a schedule and stick to it as it is a daily event.  If you have a lot of irons in the fire, you can also hire a company to do it for you; most of them are local, really good at it and it is well worth the money if you think your time is better spent elsewhere.

YouTube

Yes, broadcast yourself.   There has been a rise in businesses making videos and posting them to their YouTube account.  You can produce latte art videos and even how-to videos.  If you roast your own coffee beans and sell wholesale it is a good way to give your future customers a ‘primer’ to see your operation in action.  You can even upload videos taken by you and customers at events right there at your shop.  There are so many possibilities.  Again, remember to stay on subject.

So that is it for our time together talking about social networking for your coffee shop.  If this is done properly and with consistency, you will see good results and an increase in traffic and sales.

My name is Tony DiCorpo, and I am a coffee roaster, coffee shop business consultant and barista trainer.  I have written an eBook on how to start a coffee shop.  I also own Troubadour Coffee Roasting Co. where I sell coffee and espresso equipment and where you can buy coffee beans.

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