Our guide to nailing your cafe's social media on a budget.

Social media for cafe owners

Mr O

Running a cafe is a big job. Cafe owners universally have a never ending to do list and very little time to even think about marketing.

So how do you manage your social media when…

  1. You’re busy

  2. Your menu changes seasonally (and sometimes weekly)

  3. You don’t have the budget to outsource to an agency

Well I guess the bigger question is, why do you need to be on social media?

For the past 2 years, we've been working with cafes, restaurants and coffee roasters to help them get the most out of their social media. Good social media engagement doesn't happen by accident. You need a clear, informed strategy to get real results.The fact is, more often than not, a potential customer will look you up on Instagram before they visit your venue. Your target market is on Instagram. 100%. Social media is a clear form of social proof. Can you really afford to not be nailing it? 
There’s no denying the fact that means you need to be present on social media. More than that, you need to look good. 

Similarly to Ariel, you want to be where the people are. In fact, you need to be.

As of January 2018 in Australia, there are 15 million monthly active users on Facebook alone. That's 65% of Australia's whole population. Instagram follows behind with 9 million monthly active users. (Social Media News)

Instagram is often a substitute for Google when it comes to finding a good place to go grab breakfast. Viewers are looking at followers, vibe, your overall feed and what your coffee / menu offerings are.

So how do you maximise your social media presence on a budget?

1. Keep the look and feel consistent

As of January 2018 in Australia, there are 15 million monthly active users on Facebook alone. That’s 65% of Australia’s whole population.
— Social Media News

The best way to achieve this is to have professional photos taken. Once you decide on what vibe you want for the photos, find a photographer who has a similar style.

If you’re going to prioritise one thing in your social media strategy, this has to be it. Content is everything. Instagram users don’t just look at individual posts. We look at your whole grid. So your feed needs to feel cohesive. That takes planning and work but is achievable!

2. Engage influencers

Mr O Coco Whip

As much as the word “influencer” may make you roll your eyes, they do present great opportunities for brands and businesses alike. A lot of the time, that opportunity is free content and advertising.

Find a person/profile that you like (preferably local) and send them a message on Instagram. Don’t be shy. Usually I’ll say something like “hey I love your style...your photos are mad etc etc. Would love to have you pop in for breakfast on us and have you take some photos for us!”

Shout them and a friend breakfast in exchange for a number of posts on their profile and the option for you to repost their content.

Be specific with what you want and always ask them to share a folder of photos with you. Oh and be generous! Don’t let them pay for any food.

3. Repost good content

Encourage your customers to share posts and tag you! Repost good content (avoid reposting blurry, weird filtered photos, naturally)  Photos of people, your staff and menu items are always a win.

Side note: Please for the sake of humanity, avoid photos where the coffee looks like a blob of foam. It's called "latte art" not latte blob, ok. 

This is not latte art, dear friends.

This is not latte art, dear friends.

4. Use a scheduling program

Set aside 30 minutes a week to schedule posts. Do you spend 30 mins in Deputy? Or 30 mins in Xero? I daresay you spend more time than that on those programs. Think of social media as the same thing. It is a vital part of your business.

I use Buffer for myself and all my clients. It’s user friendly and easy to setup for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc.

5. Play to your strengths

Don't be everywhere. A cafe's feed is visual, so a LinkedIn or Twitter profile probably doesn't make sense. Most of the time I would recommend just being on Instagram and Facebook.


Key takeaways:

  1. Keep it simple and start small.

  2. Don’t overthink it or be too critical. Just make a start. 

  3. Get professional photos taken. Even do it in exchange for free meals if you're running low on cash.

This whole social media thing is not going to disappear anytime soon, so now is the time! Who knows, you might even have fun! So, are you ready to go? I have full faith in you! 

Any questions at all, send me a message. 

All the love, 

Lala