I go to coffee at Serranos Coffee Company quite often, stick my earphones in, select some music on Pandora, and pound out some work while I sip down my 16 oz coffee. I’m not quite a regular like some of the retirees in town, but I am there at least once a week. Enough to keep an old punch card in my laptop case to rack up to a free coffee.
Something interesting happened this time when I was in line for my order. The man in front of me – perhaps in his 70s – told the lady behind the counter, “I noticed Joe Bohler’s art is back up!” The lady smiled and pulled a box of ping pong balls from behind the counter. He chose one, read the bottom, and got a free Biscotti to enjoy with his coffee. He and the lady laughed at the little “secret code” game they just played.
I thought, “Must be a Facebook thing.” Guess what I did on the spot while waiting? I was tapping in the Serranos Facebook page on my phone to get the code right. I ordered my 16 oz light roast and read from my phone, “I noticed Joe Bohler’s art is back up!” The ping pong balls were given to me to choose from. I got an oatmeal cookie.
My, how enjoyable the exchange. Such a fun and easy transaction. I notice five very wise uses of social media in this little game at Serranos:
- Fun. It was fun checking into a “secret code” to get a free cookie. The chuckle I shared with the lady behind the counter was fun.
- Attention. For some reason, they wanted to bring attention to the artwork on the wall. I’m noticing what they wanted me to notice.
- Easy. If a 70-something can be hip on Facebook, there is no excuse for me.
- Consistent. This apparently is an every-Friday event. No wonder this place is packed right now.
- Free. The homemade Biscotti or cookie is nothing compared to the value of the relational exchange they made. They’ll probably give away $25 worth of food this morning. The return on the investment is a killer marketing deal.
I’d say the social marketing expense was wisely spent. I’d also say,
These wise uses of social media are helping a small coffee shop in its most important asset: Community.
I felt like I was a part of the community. Seriously, I’m sitting now in the coffee shop – a group of teachers with laptops next to me, a table of retired guys playing cribbage in front of me, a bible study in the booth behind me, and people all over enjoying their coffee. This place is great!
Here’s another revelation: Starbucks is across the street. Half empty. I think Serranos is doing business very wisely.
Question: Are you using Facebook to promote your business? How?