Imagine Emily: She is 27 and owns a tiny coffee shop in downtown Boston. Her aspirations are high, but so is the rent. Emily knows a good deal about gourmet coffee and serves it like a pro. But there’s a problem: you will see five more coffee shops down that street. Recently, Emily did a remarkable shop design turnover, refined the assortment, and hired one more barista. Local customers, though, are still floating from shop to shop without becoming too attached to one coffee spot.
Can Emily do something to win over the hearts of the local community members?
How can she make her shop unique in their eyes?
She cannot afford to hire a consultant or even a professional designer. Is it possible to launch a marketing campaign on a tiny budget?
These are tough questions. But still, there is one answer – social media.
Social media allow entrepreneurs and small businesses promote their brands organically and boost revenues by launching low-budget marketing campaigns. When sales take off and one gets to know customers’ better by interacting with them on social media, paid social media advertising can be employed. Need examples?
CupcakeRoyale is a local cupcake shop in Seattle.
Their Facebook page has more than 57k followers. The shop often uses social media as a survey tool asking customers what cupcake flavor they want to see next or posting special cupcake cards for St. Valentine’s day.
They also post original photos on Twitter, and now 18k people follow their account.
Johnny and Joanna from Letterfolk create beautiful letter boards and also post beautiful photos on their Instagram. Each photo features one of their products in a natural everyday setting. They look fresh and homie, no wonder that the account has 206k followers, 40k people follow them on Pinterest.
Before becoming her own boss and a super successful social media marketing blogger, Amy Porterfiled had to leave her corporate job and live through several years of financial insecurity and deep self-doubting. Now, 253k people follow her Facebook account to read witty posts and listen to podcasts. Her Instagram has 61.8 k followers.
Dannijo boutique was set up by two sisters Danielle and Jodie Snyder in 2008 to sell their own designer jewelry and curated outfit collections. 148k people follow them on Instagram, and you will know why from the first photos.
What do all these businesses have in common?
- First, they are very committed to creating quality content and posting it regularly.
- Second, they use powerful visuals and coherent design to create strong brand impressions.
Notice how they combine powerful text messages with branded imagery. Together, all visuals convey the particular “feel” of the brand. While different social media channels are used, the overall look of the posts remains consistent.
Now let’s return to Emily. It took her some time to realize what social media can do for her business. Now she feels inspired and ready to go.
What will she do?
First, she takes a closer look at her customers and people in the neighborhood. Most of them are young adults working in the nearby office buildings. Emily notices that many office workers look tired and overwhelmed before having their first-morning coffee. She also notices that after their first sip, their faces brighten and many visitors love her new interior design and often take selfies with a cup of coffee in hand.
After a night of brainstorming, Emily comes up with a small strategy. She decides to make her coffee shop the number one place in the neighborhood where people can cheer up and chill, especially before going to work. She will even open the shop an hour earlier every day to deliver the desired cup to early morning birds. What next?
- She will engage her customers on social media by posting funny coffee quotes and beautiful pictures every day.
- She will encourage social media check-ins by offering discounts.
- She will also make photo collages of her customers before and after their first coffee and tag them on Facebook.
Sounds like a social media marketing campaign! But something is still missing.
How can Emily make sure that people in the neighborhood associate coffee chilling with her shop and not the next one down the street?
Of course, she needs to create a strong brand on social media. But can she afford it?
Here’s a list of all the things Emily does next:
So, seems like Emily’s social media marketing campaign will cost her 24 bucks.
What can she get for this money?
1. A beautiful logo designed by professionals.
2. Branded backgrounds for social media accounts.
3. Amazing templates for social media posts.
Procaffeinating – tendency not to start anything before you’ve had a cup of coffee.
Drinking too much coffee can cause a latte problem.
A yawn is a silent scream for coffee.
Emily’s social media campaign was a small, local sensation. Her posts were beautiful and funny, so they got many comments, likes, and shares on Facebook and Instagram. Emily enjoyed entertaining her small community with daily jokes and barista stories. CoffeeChill doubled its revenues and Emily became a local social media rockstar.
And remember? The whole campaign cost Emily $24, one sleepless night, and a lot of daily posting.
Do you like the story? If you are a small business owner, an entrepreneur, or a new blogger, you too can start conquering social media without paying for ads.
Why did Emily succeed?
- She knew her audience well.
- She came up with a brand mission.
- She established a clear goal – to raise brand awareness and to form a loyal community on social media.
- She encouraged visitors to follow Coffee Chill by tagging them personally and providing discounts for social media check-ins. Hew content was good enough to make people like and share it.
- She committed to a social media schedule and posted daily. In such a way, she remained connected to her visitors even when they were away.
- In all her social media posts, she used the same colors, fonts, backgrounds, and other visual elements. As a result, CoffeeChill’s social media presence looked consistent and professional.
- Emily posted many original photos and pictures. Emily used branded templates and the same filters for all her visual assets. Soon, her Instagram posts were recognized whenever they popped up.
- Despite being low on funds, she got a professionally designed logo.
- Emily’s brand “came alive” in the minds of shop visitors and followers. This unique personality separated CoffeeChill from its competitors.
People got attached to the “look and feel” of CoffeeChilling and kept coming back. Even those who never came to the shop enjoyed Emily’s visual narrative and shared her posts with their friends and followers on social media.
What do you think about Emily’s story? Tell us in the comments!
And what about you? Does your business need a social media boost? A few viral posts wouldn’t hurt, heh?
I’m sure that you are already brimming with ideas for your killer SMM campaign. Get even more inspired by our stunning visual bundles for social media!
We are always looking forward to your comments and questions.
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