Coffee shops could definitely be considered landmarks here in Athens, GA. Although you can find a Starbucks in basically every metropolitan city in the country, Athens brands itself on the unique personalities of each of its local coffee establishments. But out of the handful of these quaint java joints how does each one capture their unique culture and then portray it to the local consumers?
Take Walker’s Pub and Coffee, for example. The sweet smell of coffee beans is put aside for craft brews and cocktails at night (or at noon if you’re up for day drinking). Known for the bearded men that sip chai tea lattes and the hipsters of the Classic City studying philosophy, Walker’s is the pinnacle example of local coffee in Athens. Walker’s then transmits this urban-trendy facade through their social media sites. For example, their Instagram features employee spotlights where the coffee connoisseur can get a feel for the type of baristas and bartenders they will interact with while visiting. Side note: some of these employees are members of the band Family and Friends so make sure to stop in and say “hey” because they’re kind of a big deal: Shaky Knees Lineup. Walker’s Twitter account is then used for promotional tactics such as “Join us this Saturday 3/19 at 9PM for our Terrapin Jittery Joe’s single origin coffee stout event. 4 delicious beers on draft.” By viewing Walker’s through these digital lenses, one can understand the specific coffee/bar atmosphere that they will be walking into.
Then there’s Hendershot’s. The go-to joint for Normaltown/Prince Ave locals, Hendershot’s is known for their live music and eclectic furniture and decor. Hendershot’s uses their Instagram account daily if not hourly with videos of the coffee fruition process and ads promoting the jazz group showing next Thursday. Hendershot’s prides itself on combining its entertaining, cocktail, and java abilities. Their Twitter account is used to get the word out about open mic nights, poetry readings, and the live music that plays 5-6 nights per week. Again, by using these digital routes, Hendershot’s attracts their coffee drinking, music loving consumer and fills them in on what’s happening.
One can then analyze the different personas of those who are going to each coffee shop, simply based on what each coffee shop is promoting on their digital channels. Walker’s may have the trendy law student who needs to study during the day but then kick back with a beer after class. Hendershot’s may target those who want the environment of a music lounge but the comfort of a cup of joe. This could be analyzed even further with other local spots like Iron Works at The Graduate, Two Story, Zombie Donuts, 1000 Faces, Sips, etc.
I use this blog as an example to show how companies, even local coffee/entertainment/bar venues are using their different social media accounts to diversify themselves from their competitors by capturing the true personality and nature of its employees, atmosphere, and customers.