How to use influencers to grow sales and trends that entice customers

Every week we bring you social media tactics and top tips to drive your social media strategy forwards. We introduce you to real life businesses in multiple sectors which are growing their business using social media so you can learn from and replicate their success using new techniques.

This week we're off to Comicoffee in the Isle of Wight to show how they're brewing the perfect social media takeaways. We're also stopping by Emporia patterns in Ashford to show you how to use influencers to increase sales. Let's go . . .

Comicoffee in the Isle of Wight connects to customers by staying on trend

Matt Sprooles who owns ‘homey but quirky’ coffee house Comicoffee in Newport, Isle of Wight should have had a tougher year due to the multiple lockdowns.  But, by using trends in the market and fun things he knows will resonate with his customers on social media, he's managed to not only keep his business afloat but actually watch it thrive and expand to a second premises.

Matt has seized opportunities to get creative and use social media to sell. His pre-order deliveries and click and collect service including his tasty homemade donut boxes (which has seen the team making hundreds of donuts into the wee hours of the night) has been a big hit with customers. He also saw an opportunity to create something for families by doing a Kid's Box with a comic, donut and lots of other goodies which could be delivered to the kids during February half term. As a father of two boys, Matt knew that his market would respond well to something themed around lifting kids' spirits.

It has been working! If you take a look at the conversation that is being generated around Matt's business it features staff names, products, delivery and lots of positive language which mirrors the content the team at Comicoffee have been putting out their channels.

Top tip: If you see an opportunity to do something new that you think might give you an edge, try it. Social media is a great way to stay connected with your customers and to promote your business in a consistent but creative way.


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A post shared by ComiCoffee (@comicoffeeuk)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by ComiCoffee (@comicoffeeuk)

Emporia Patterns in Ashford shows us how to use influencers

Clair and Charlotte are the dynamic duo behind Emporia Patterns - an independent dressmaking pattern house based in Kent. This week they explained how, during lockdown, they began to use Instagram and learned how to use influencers to connect with other key industry players.

Clair and Charlotte previously networked at trade shows with other companies within their industry and they felt a real sense of community and collaboration when they did this. During the last year, with all events cancelled, rather than rest on their laurels they got ‘crafty' on social media and started identifying the key people that they are self confessed ‘fan girls’ of, knowing that these people would also resonate with their customers.

Through social media they began to develop a relationship with expert Fabric Godmother (over 67K followers on Instagram). They commented, liked, shared and began to develop a relationship which previously would have only been possible face-to-face. Now Fabric Godmother shares their content, supports their business and is even an occasional customer. This is a great lesson in how to use influencers.

As far as these ladies are concerned, business owners shouldn't view bigger accounts, or businesses in your industry as competition; instead, see them as an opportunity to share, grow and collaborate.

Top tip: If you want to learn how to use influencers, start by liking, sharing and commenting on other businesses' content in your area or your sector. It is the best way to get noticed and may lead to some big partnerships or even sales.

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