The Coffee Shop approach to using Social Media

using social media

Social Media etiquette


Do you remember the time you came up with this game changing sales idea?

It was sooo simple.

You bust into the coffee shop across the road from the office, walked into the middle of the floor and shouted…

“My product/service/gadget is amazing. Get it HERE…NOW!”

The reaction was overwhelming. The whole place just swooned over you and started throwing money your direction…

Remember that? Yeah… me neither.

You wouldn’t do that in real life. Why would you do it using social media?


Imagine you’re in a coffee shop…


I’ll be honest, for months after I set up some of my social media accounts I didn’t post a thing. I was very conscious that, similar to Vegas, what happens online, stays online. I took the approach that if I wouldn’t say it to someone face to face, I wouldn’t say it on social media.

Even though I originally joined social channels for personal reasons I’m glad I developed an early appreciation for Social Media etiquette. Now that I understand the commercial application of the tools it’s even more important to consider what you’re pushing out into the ether.

social successEveryone has a favourite coffee shop or deli they go to.

In addition to enjoying the nice coffee what else could you experience there?

Would you sit beside someone on your first visit and starting non-stop talking about yourself?

How would long would it take to be on first name basis with the staff?

How long would it take to get a free coffee?

Could you progress the social circle beyond the coffee shop?

All of the above are possible but it would take some time and careful consideration as to how best achieve your goal.

Here’s eight ways to keep it cordial and still get results from using social media.


ONE – Turn up regularly. Post consistently

The more you turn up in a place, the more familiar and comfortable people will get with you.

It’s always better to do ‘little and often’ rather than dump a ‘War and Peace’ sized post and disappear for long periods.

Nothing kills engagement quicker than a vacant timeline. Some channels are more fleeting than others. It’s a good idea to post on Twitter multiple times through the day. But you may find on LinkedIn that once or twice a week is enough

TWO – Know your Audience. Are they your customers?

Just like coffee shops, there are a variety of different social media channels you can hang out in.

You may have a personal preference for one but if you are really trying to meet your target market you need to be where they are.

Familiarise yourself with the various channel analytics so you can reference who you are engaging with.

THREE – Listen to your audience (and competitors)

Is there anything more off putting than a person who constantly talks about themselves and clearly has no interest in what you have to say?

The same applies on social media. If you’re constantly pushing your agenda there is no opportunity to engage.

By listening to your audience you’ll better understand the problems they might have and how your product/service can serve as a solution.

Is your brand being mentioned without you in the conversation?

What do people say about your close competitors.

By listening you’ll get some valuable, real-time feedback.

FOUR – Think before you speak

Common sense really.

I’ve taken the approach that if I wouldn’t say it to someone face to face, I won’t say it on social media.

FIVE – Converse. Don’t forget the SOCIAL in social media

This is possibly the most overlooked aspect of social by business accounts.

There is a tendency to blast out a one way message, multiple times in the hope that someone clicks the link.

Don’t forget it’s a two way channel. You have direct access to people. Make the most of it.

SIX – Solve problems/Add value/Help peoplesolve probs

Did you ever get that wash of relief over your mind and body when someone helped you out and fixed a problem for you.

Felt amazing didn’t it?

Well, if you can achieve this for others through your social media accounts and content you are on to a winner!

People may forget what you say but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.

SEVEN – Build relationships not numbers

Having lots of likes, followers, friends is all good and makes your account look great.

However, are these people engaging with you?

Do you get many replies, comments, mentions or shares are you getting?

A smaller number of engaged users is better than an army of disinterested people.

EIGHT – Migrate your audience from social to a property you own

If you’ve made a meaningful relationship with a fellow coffee shop goer, what is the best way to progress the relationship?

Get out of the coffee shop.

At the end of the day you don’t own anything you post on social.

If the channel shut down over night all your efforts and posts are lost.

While you can create and engage with an audience through social media to really build a lasting relationship you need to get them off social and into something you own – your email list, a visitor on your website or your physical shop. Think of using social media as the means to an end.


Have you anything to add?

Have you any top tips you’d like to share about social media? Did you learn a lesson the hard way? Drop a comment below and share some of your social media experience.

If you’d like to book a consultation on how to get better results through social media for your company, get in touch today. It’s easy, just fill out the form below or you can find my contact details HERE.

Thanks for reading.