How do you take your coffee? Whether your preference is a cappuccino or a flat white, you’re sure to have your favourite place to enjoy your daily caffeine fix and your own reasons for remaining loyal to your chosen coffee shop.
Coffee is much loved by Brits, according to Marketing Week, for 39% of us, coffee has become a part of our day to day lives. In recent years the UK has seen a vast rise in the opening of independent coffee shops. It only makes sense for these social hubs to incorporate social media as part of their marketing strategies.
Similarly to our local coffee shop, social media is based around a human beings need for belonging within a social group – leaving room this type of “relationship media”. It would appear that coffee drinkers simply love to tweet nearly as much as they love to settle down in a comfortable chair and socialize whilst sipping on a piccolo.
Urban Coffee Company’s Twitter account have used Twitter as one of their main forms of communicating with customers for several years, priding itself on ensuring their customers are at the centre of all they do.
Urban Coffee is based in Birmingham and was established in 2009. It now has three emporiums based in the Jewellery Quarter in Hockley, Church Street in the City Centre and The School Yard in Harborne.
The growing cafe culture is a trend that seems to have no sign of slowing down just yet.
Urban Coffee is a prime example of Britain’s love affair with the Coffee Shop. The desire for good quality coffee has seen the emergence of the “mini chain” who specialise in offering high quality coffee blends as more of an affordable treat.
Going for a coffee has become a popular pastime, with many coffee drinkers choosing to visit independent coffee shops like Urban Coffee over market leaders Starbucks and Costa Coffee.
Part of Urban Coffee’s success is down to their brand awareness, they know exactly who they are and what they hope to achieve from their social media efforts. They use social media as a marketing tool for their business.
Hannah Wolsey Managing Director at Urban Coffee said:
“Our flagship emporium (Church St) is in the Business District which means it would be dead on a weekend (the baguette du monde that used to be next door didn’t open on weekends, and Bar Utopia didn’t open on Sundays) however through pushing the word out on social media sites that we were open, we now have a very successful 7 day operation and it cost us nothing to market it!”
Urban Coffee’s aim is to take on the bigger high street brands and by the looks of their Twitter feed they’re doing just that.
Urban Coffee currently has 7,864 followers on Twitter, saying this the brand takes a relatively relaxed approach to Twitter in the fact that they don’t try and push sales but simply try and connect coffee lovers – an account that’s a hub of coffee related conversation and much, much more.
Urban Coffee’s Twitter feed features many retweets from customers and other local businesses supporting Urban Coffee. The Urban Coffee account is made up mainly of event advertisements – the coffee shop hosts many events ranging from Star Singles events to The Moody Food Coffee Club.
Twitter is a way of informing their followers of any events, offers and loyalty schemes that are going on. From “Fizzy Friday” to “Thirsty Thursday” all the information Urban Coffee’s customers need to know is available through Twitter – they have their own voice and are extremely consistent, regularly posting throughout the day.
Urban Coffee’s Twitter account also highlights the great relationship that they have with their customers. When it comes down to it the relationship between @urbancoffeeco and its followers is nearly as important as the relationship between the baristas and customers.
Many tweets and conversations are responses to customer queries and retweets of customers compliments and appreciation.Urban Coffee also offers free wifi allowing customers to tweet real life coverage from an event or coffee meeting encouraging customer participation. The relationship between the baristas and customers is very important.
Urban Coffee directs its social media efforts mainly at local Brummies. For example, the emporium which is part of the Jewellery Quarter has an advantage – this particular area is all about local businesses supporting local businesses. Hyperlocal blog MYJQ supports Urban Coffee regularly tweeting about their quality coffee and up and coming events reaching out to over 10,000 local followers.
As a whole the coffee shop is targeted at young professionals living or working in Birmingham, this differs slightly from Starbucks for example which is aimed at students and those in the professional workplace.
Urban Coffee has become a hub for professionals to hold meetings – an intimate environment where colleagues can come together and have informal discussions whilst enjoying a tasty coffee – advertising the coffee shop as a “meeting friendly” kind of place is a great way of attracting professionals. Professionals that are happy with their experience at Urban Coffee are then encouraged to tweet, giving the coffee shop exposure to potential customers. In this sense Urban Coffee has the advantage over high street coffee shops which tend to be busier and pretty noisy.
Unlike other coffee shops, Urban Coffee don’t tend to advertise their products too much. Their Twitter feed is mainly promoting up and coming events and offers. However, when it comes to coffee and food Urban Coffee tend to tweet images more than anything, actually showing their followers what they have to offer through pictures and videos is a great way of gaining their followers trust.
Urban Coffee ensure they tweet customers back and have a way of making customers feel special. They tend to radiate positive thoughts through their social media efforts and actively engage with customers wishing them a good day etc…
Urban Coffee tend to have the coffee shop approach to social media in wanting their customers day to get better and improve. The coffee shop tend to favour communicating with their customers over Twitter rather than Facebook (which has considerably less likes) – they are happy to hear from customers about their customer service and encourage them to give any feedback experience.
“We don’t have a particular preferred form of social media as we believe each different site acts as a different tool. (i.e. Facebook is great for events, twitter’s great for getting feedback, quick updates etc…) However it does appear that Twitter is our most successful social media just by looking at both number of followers vs facebook ‘likes’ and how many interactions we get on a daily basis.”
Urban Coffee tend to get customers on their side by thanking them for their custom and inviting them to come again – this sense of gratitude makes customers feel valued. Urban Coffee doesn’t seem to have a particular time to tweet but areconsistent in posting content throughout the day and at weekends.
Urban Coffee concentrates its social media efforts on capturing and maintaining its customer loyalty. They use Twitter as a way of promoting their loyalty cards – the benefits of being a returning customers at Urban Coffee.
Urban Coffee also has daily promotions, Tipple Tuesdays offers customers five beers for £12 – the coffee shop promote this through Twitter posting images of customers enjoying their drinks.
Urban Coffee has certainly made a stand for the independent coffee shops in Birmingham. It is evident from their social media efforts (mainly Twitter) that they have captured their customers loyalty – with regular engagement and great customer service.
Hannah said that the relationship between Urban Coffee and its Twitter followers is “Extremely important, it’s the quickest way for us to get our message out and the quickest way to get feedback.”
Urban Coffee have a great understanding of what their target audience is and they use their Twitter account to advertise events – creating a place where coffee lovers can communicate in store and online. They are consistently highly efficient with online posting and have a strong online presence.
As a brand they know exactly what they want to achieve from their social media, they have goals to achieve and make their followers aware of this. The fact that they set themselves realistically achievable goals are one of the reasons why their Twitter account is so successful.
Social media and coffee shops seems to go hand in hand – a social environment where people can come together relax enjoy their coffee and most importantly of all socialise!
You can connect with Urban Coffee Company on Their Twitter @urbancoffeeco