I am a self-confessed slave to the coffee beans. I schedule meetings in cafes, I work in cafes, and I love every chance I get to have eggs benny on a Saturday morning (in a cafe).
But the story is not always that rosy. I’ve been in some bland establishments that lack customer service, good food and good coffee. I certainly can’t help making coffees and I definitely can’t cook, but maybe I have some ideas here that a cafe might take on board to bring more people in and create a buzz around their business.
I am a huge advocate of social media, there’s no hiding from that, and in particular I am very much bullish about the future of Foursquare. It is somewhat typical of social media that some will argue that location-based tools such as Foursquare will never get as big as the hype, whilst other people will argue that i’m stating the obvious.
Either way, there are some great opportunities for Cafe owners to use Foursquare for promotional purposes and to encourage loyalty amongst your customer base. Please have a read over the following cafe marketing ideas and hopefully I can inspire you to implement some of them.
1. Reward Your Mayor with His or Her own Coffee Mug
Why not go and get a batch of really nice coffee mugs, branded with your cafe name, the Foursquare logo and something celebrating being the Mayor. Whenever you get a new Mayor, give them their own mug and keep it behind the counter for them. Each time they come in, give them their coffee in their own mug at a regular coffee price. It will make them feel special and create some fierce competition for the mayorship, which of course increases loyalty and drives visits.
2. Give-Away Travel Mugs for 10th Check-In
Following on from the previous idea. Produce some branded travel-mugs, which would include your logo and the Foursquare logo saying something like ‘I’ve Checked-In at ABC Cafe’.
You may want to make it for the 25th check-in maybe. What it will do is to encourage people to get to the check-in mark and once they’ve achieved the milestone and received their travel mug, they can bring it in with them to be filled up. The mug will create brand recognition and the initiative will encourage loyalty as they will want to keep using their travel mug.
3. Promote a Cafe Swarm
A Foursquare swarm is not something that is commonly known but essentially it is when 50 or more people check-in to a venue within a three-hour period. Once the figure is reached, each of the people unlock a nominated special. Sydney’s Cafe Vivo actually recorded the world’s first Cafe Swarm last year.
4. Encourage Tips & Recommendations
If you’re looking for new customers then it always helps to have positive reviews out there in the online space. Foursquare is one of many platforms out there that allow customers to post reviews. So why not have a few posters or table cards in your Cafe to encourage the check-in and then leave a tip.
5. Encourage Customers to Share their Check-In on Twitter
This one is again a bit out there but think about the buzz it will create. Provide your customers with a free coffee or free cookie when they check-in and share it on Twitter. This is where the twist comes in, set up a large screen that is connected to the internet and run Twitterfall. It will allow you to have each check-in drop down on the screen and allow you to track the sharing and obviously generate some interest. The more shares across Twitter will also get you some great exposure. Particularly if you’re already running a Twitter account.
Whilst I couldn’t run a cafe, I do believe that there’s many that could simply so with some energy to liven things up and create some buzz around the place. Maybe, just maybe some of these ideas could go some way to doing that.
If you have any feedback or more cafe marketing ideas please feel free to post your comments.