It’s no secret that New Yorkers love a good cup of coffee.
We love to drink, smell, talk about it, and even celebrate it in our own fun ways!
The only problem? There are hundreds upon hundreds of coffee shops in NYC, not to mention the big chain cafes that have the means and budget for mass advertising. Still, if you’re the owner or manager of an independent coffee shop, Instagram is an effective tool to promote your shop online and turn those views into paying customers at the door.
Of course, Instagram is just part of many online marketing tips for small businesses, but when used correctly, this hugely popular social media app can increase the visibility of your New York coffee shop business. Here’s how you can do it!
Give people a reason to share and like your images
These days, it’s not good enough to post any old picture of a coffee cup or the interior of your shop… you have to consider lighting, the right angle, and of course, your coffee! People love coffee art using foam, and a fun well-designed mug doesn’t hurt either.
If the sunlight is streaming into your window and creating a beautiful halo of light, then grab a camera and snap a pic ASAP. If your customers give you permission, photograph people smiling and having a good time – positivity always wins!
Create a snazzy profile
Posting some sharable images is one thing, but you’ll have to ensure that your profile looks the business by having a bright, discernable profile pic – ideally your logo. Use the description section to write something funny, earnest, or engaging. Make sure the theme, if any, is immediately identifiable from the description and that you appeal to your target market, whether that be vegans, comic book nerds, vintage lovers, and so on. Also, ensure that the coffee shops address is available and any current promotions you might be running.
Use hashtags effectively
Even though it seems easy and simple, adding hashtags and expecting people to follow you
won’t work that well. It’s often better to use smaller, yet trending hashtags that focus on your local area. This could be examples like #newyorkcoffee, #nyccoffee, #bigapplecoffee, etc.
The next step is to see who is also using these hashtags and like their posts, comment on the images or videos, and follow their account. By engaging with locals, you have far more
chance of gaining fans who will follow back and hopefully visit your café. Don’t forget to geotag, either, as it’s good to add your location to every post.
Run contests or fun weekly quizzes
A great idea to increase growth on Instagram is to create your own little online niche. For
example, you could create a coffee-related question every Monday and use a hashtag like
#mondaycoffeequiz. This lets people engage with your profile and gives them a reason to visit
every Monday. You could use run contests like a caption competition, whereby you post an
image without a description and ask followers to leave the best caption. Your favorite could
win a free cup of coffee! You could even ask followers to tag a friend who they’d like to go for coffee with. These ideas will get people to your door and add a bit of fun.
Work with local influencers
Even though the influencer bubble might be bursting one day, it’s still worth taking advantage of NYC influencers while you can. Get in contact with some who you think would do a great job of representing your coffee shop, and work out a deal where they promote your store and they get either a one-off payment or free coffee! You could also team up with other local companies, such as breweries or pizza shops or clothing stores, as you’re all in the business of a lively and thriving New York. Promote each other in your Instagram posts or even be old school and leave flyers in your shops.
Those are just some ideas to get people from online to in the store, as at the end of the day, it’s all about serving people great coffee in a perfect atmosphere in NYC!
Make sure you check out these accounts for inspiration in the meantime.