How to Build a Facebook Page to Increase Your Café’s Sales

Are you a member of the social media site Facebook? If you aren’t, and your business isn’t either, now is the time to set up a page. Why should you fall ON the grid, so to speak? Using Facebook is a great way to interact directly with your current customer base, increase awareness to gain new customers, promote events, reward customer loyalty, receive feedback, etc.  Ultimately, the goal is to build sales, right? So, how do you create a fan page for your cafe?

1) Join Facebook

This is a rather obvious, but important, step. Facebook requires that you have a personal page for yourself before you can set up a fan site for your business. With over 350 million members worldwide, it’s fair to assume that you already have your own page, however, if you have been delaying your membership, visit the homepage and get started. It’s free and anybody can join. If you aren’t computer savvy, ask a trustworthy and knowledgable staff member to be the administrator for the page.

2) Create a Fan page for your business

Visit the ‘Create a Page’ section.  You will be asked to enter the category for your business in a drop down menu. Under ‘Local’ most of our readers will select ‘Cafe’.  You must then choose to name your page, which should be the name of your business. It is important to note that you cannot change the name of the page later. You then have an option to make your page visible to the public. While you are getting it up and running, I would recommend keeping the page hidden and making it visible only when you are ready to present it to the world.

3) Building a fan base and content development

Once your page is created and you have added the pertinent information, make your page visible and invite all your friends to become fans. Ask your employees to do the same. Consider placing a small sign near the cash register to promote your site and encourage customers to become fans by letting them know what they can get out of it. Drink discounts, event promotions, limited-time offerings, etc.

Here I think it is important to note the potential pit falls with this step. You have to give your customers a reason to be a fan. If the message is just, “Follow us on Facebook, myspace and Twitter” because we happen to be there, then you haven’t accomplished anything. Also, if you have 1,000 fans and  never send updates, again, you will get nothing out of it.

It doesn’t always have to be about discounts, either. People want to see what you are up to. What makes you a destination? You can post pictures of a popular local musician performing to a crowd, a link to a YouTube video of your barista pouring latte art, etc.

4) Have fun with it

Facebook, (and Twitter, and foursquare, etc., etc., etc.) are great mediums to interact with your customers. Not only is it free, but it is so much easier than trying to develop your own website. The opportunity is there so take advantage and have fun!

I invite you to become a fan of Stockton Graham & Co. on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay updated on all the specialty coffee and beverage industry trends, get useful business building tips and to see our specials, discounts and limited time only deals. Also, if you need any help getting your Facebook fan page up and running, give us a call at 800.835.5943 and we’d be glad to provide assistance.

Mike Adams
Stockton Graham & Co.