Twitter For Business Case Study: The Coffee Groundz

by Alan Underkofler on October 27, 2009

Square Martini Media is committed to sharing Social Media success stories to provide insight on what Social Media can do for your business.  Today we will discuss the Social Media strategy for The Coffee Groundz a small business in Houston, TX.

The Coffee Groundz Background
coffee_groundz_logoCoffee Groundz is not your typical coffee shop!  It was started to fill a niche; serve great coffee and tea, cold beverages, and spirits!  Coffee Groundz also provides free wifi and is work friendly with outlets and at every seat as well as outside on the patio.  Sounds like a great place to visit!

How it Started
How is this small independent coffee shop using twitter to attract more clients and create stronger relationships with their customers?  Like many businesses first venturing into Social Media for their business J.R. Cohen the manager of Coffee Groundz started out with listening, “I spent the first hour just looking at it wondering what to do”.  The next day J.R. started following local Houston twitter users as @coffeegroundz and engaged them in conversation.  J.R. would encourage his followers to stop by Coffee Groundz and ask for him by name.  When customers arrived from twitter J.R. would greet each them, building on the relationship.

The Success Story
The Social Media ROI (return on investment) for The Coffee Groudz is tremendous.  J.R. estimates within three months sales doubled because of twitter.  This happened by engaging the local twitter community and listening to what customers were saying.  J.R. often talks about twitter to go customer Sean Stoner @maslowbeer on twitter.  Sean requested his breakfast order on twitter hoping to get in and out of the coffee shop faster.  J.R. was listening and responded with “Wi. What do you want on it?”  This created a huge response from the Coffee Groundz twitter community.  It turns out many customers wanted to order via twitter and @coffeegroundz welcomed them!

The twitter Impact Continues
the_coffee_groundz_tweetupCoffee Groundz and taken twitter a few steps further by hosting live twitter events called tweetups at their location.  It’s not surprising when you have 100 twitter people at your location they do more than just tweet!  They buy coffee, drinks, and food!  And more importantly these events attract new customers to experience Coffee Groundz.

Hosting events have always been a great way to increase sales for restaurants, bars, and clubs.  By creating such an impact with twitter Coffee Groundz seems to be attracting additional events to it’s location.  Just this week Hallmark Mobile Greetings hosted a live event at Coffee Groundz to show customers how their mobile greetings application worked.  The tweet sent out buy @coffeegroundz “Free coffee and free dessert here thanks to #hallmarkmobile come by and say hi.”  This Social Media Strategy works for Coffee Groudz as it attracts new customers.  Hallmark Mobile wins by tapping into the digital and Social Media customers that frequent Coffee Groudz.  Brilliant!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Global Patriot 10.27.09 at 1:07 pm

Twitter can be such a powerful tool for local businesses, extending their ability to engage with customers when they’re not in the store. Tweeting deals such as “2-for-1 special this Friday” can get loyal customers in the door more frequently, and has the potential to go viral via retweets to their followers, which will expand the customer base.

In San Diego @DowtownRob hosted a great tweetup at O’Brothers (@obrothers) – it was my first taste of their “100% Authenticated, Bone Fide, Certified, Pure Organic Beef Burger” – and I’m now recommending them to friends and visitors.

bennie 11.09.09 at 7:44 am

Problem is that their coffee isn’t very good, and I don’t care if they are tweeting me or not: I refuse to buy substandard coffee.

Just because you put it on Twitter doesn’t mean it will create customers for a product that wouldn’t sell otherwise. Twitter doesn’t create mythical demand from out of nothing for mediocre products and services.

Alan Underkofler 11.09.09 at 11:36 am

@Global Patriot – I agree! Twitter is a powerful tool for local businesses and O’brothers is another great example of using social media! By hosting the San Diego TwineUp the had 75 additional San Diego twitter users experience their fantastic food which creates more word of mouth and twitter exposure!

@Bennie Thank you for your comment! I have not had the pleasure of trying Coffee Groundz yet but they seem to have a great following in Houston! The restaurants and bars that create a balance of great food/drinks, great service, and a great atmosphere seem to do well and adding social media just explodes their success! Maybe you experienced them on an off day?

Any other Coffee Groundz customers care share their experience?

Burr coffee grinders 01.06.10 at 1:03 pm

I’ve been going to the Coffee Groundz now for about a month, at least once a day for coffee. About half the time I use the drive-through window, which apparently gets priority for service. Reason being, it often takes quite some time to get your coffee when going inside. There always seems to be two or three people working, but inevitably there’s only one doing all the serving. I’m not sure if they have a major team work problem or that’s just the way the management wants them to do things. At any rate, because I’m a regular, the employees know what I want, and the brewed coffee is excellent with a good variety. If you go here, use the drive-through and you’ll be served quicker.

Digital Charl 05.19.11 at 3:29 am

I especially like the idea of the twitter socials, like a flash mob but around coffee!

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