That was said by social media guru Tom Funk, author of two books on how to use social platforms for business.
But how does that work in real terms? How do you, as a coffee professional, take those three very big terms and combine them in one Instagram photo? Never fear, because I’m hear to break it down for you – complete with examples from the coffee industry.
You need to start by making your customers and prospective customers aware of who you are and what you’re about. This gives customers something to connect with. And the golden rule? Be relevant.
Let’s have a look at how you do this. You could start with a social media contest, promotion, or even a freebie – but remember to also keep it social. In other words, get those shares, likes, and comments going! Don’t forget, either, that a picture is worth a thousand words. Have a look at our previous coffee photography articles here and here, so you can make sure your visual content is captivating.
I promised you an example, so here it is: Vintage Coffee. They’ve developed an authentic brand and, in particular, have excelled in generating visual content that constantly keeps the customer in mind. They make sure it’s relevant to who they are and what they do. Take this photo, in which their company logo is turned into a piece of latte art and they use hashtagging to get more attention:
Joy ride! #Vintagecoffee #goodpeoplearevintage #coffeewithacause #thirdwavecoffee #latteart #bikesandcoffee #thanks
Your logo in a coffee cup? That will definitely boost awareness. Credit: Vintage Coffee via Instagram
A while ago, Perfect Daily Grind presented at Cafe Show, Korea, to say: “In the digital age of social media, people share content because it expresses something about who they are.”
And that remains true. Social media isn’t about products; it’s about personality. That means people will only engage with you if they like you and your personality. There needs to be a part of who you are that resonates with your customers – and you need that part to come across in your social media.
So to do this, tell a story but choose to take your followers on the journey with you. Be honest, while remaining relevant. Own your uniqueness. And definitely don’t try to be something you’re not.
Take Rosetta Roastery: their quirky posts celebrate their unique personality. This reinforces who they are and what they do. The picture below isn’t just a beautiful shot; it also came with a funny status that lets you know what Ollie, and the rest of the team, are like.
Rosettaroastery: Ollie in the afternoon. It was a Friday. The party was outside. He was inside. Story of his life. @ollieteddy #coffee #friday #capetown #baristalife #baristaproblems
This photo is anything but generic. Credit: Rosetta Roastery via Instagram
So you’ve finally got your audience’s attention and shown them your personality. They like what they see. Now’s the key part: a bond must be formed and relationships built. And this isn’t just a one off thing, either; it’s a continual process. Unfollowing someone is easy, so you need to deliver again and again and again.
Be who YOU are; people want to connect and engage with an authentic brand, which means that you need to know what you’re about. Make sure that you interact with your audience: ask them for their input and listen carefully to what they have to say. The relationship should go two ways.
Check out Origin Coffee Roasters’ Instagram account and the visual content that goes with it. Each and every post is branded with their unique logo. What’s more, rather than just communicating that they’re about coffee, Origin also shows followers that it’s about the people that they serve day in and day out. This post is a perfect example of that:
#Coffee lovers are a loyal bunch; once we find a place that makes our brew just right, we’ll go back again and again; because we see our regulars so often, we wanted to get to know a little more about the people #BehindTheCup… Meet Satsiri.
A digital marketer by trade, he describes himself as an ‘in the moment’ kind of guy and, whether he’s either at Origin enjoying a Flat White or an #Aeropress at home trying to convince his tea-loving girlfriend to join the coffee contingent, his view on life remains simple; be kind. “First time I fell in love with coffee was growing up in #Sweden. After a walk in the forest with family and friends, I would grind coffee in a old fashioned wood coffee grinder from the late 1800’s. We used to add cloves, cinnamon bark and cardamom.
The second time was in my late teens sitting in modern coffee shops in #Stockholm, people watching with friends. Then I moved back to #SouthAfrica and had a few sad years on instant coffee in my early twenties, what a sin, I am still recovering.
And finally, when I moved to #CapeTown and found #Origin. It was before the hipster days when gourmet coffee was not yet a thing in CT. But that didn’t stop me, I already had a long beard and started my daily pilgrimage to Origin. I haven’t stopped since. But I shaved the beard.
We don’t have choice in where we end up, right? So #carpediem, live in the moment fully and your #future will be bright. Be kind along the way to people, animals AND the planet. The rest will reveal itself.”
Find out more about him and check out his work at satsiriwinberg.com or horsepowercreativemedia.com – from all of us at Origin, thanks for the love and for taking time to chat.
Put your customers at the front of your social media strategy. Credit: Origin Coffee Roasters via Instagram
So there you have it: Tom Funk’s three vital ingredients for social media success, all with examples of how they apply to the coffee industry. Now I’m not saying that managing your social media is going to be easy – but so long as your posts follow these three rules, you should do all right.