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Coffee Bean's mobile social strategy drives 36pc lift in local engagement

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is seeing some positive results from its mobile, social and local marketing efforts over the past year that support a growing base of engaged fans.

The American coffee chain partnered with MomentFeed to enhance its capabilities on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, allowing the company to interact with its consumers on a new level and gain a 136 percent lift per month in local Facebook fans in the past year. When a consumer posts a photo of themselves drinking Coffee Bean beverages, the chain can "Like" and comment on the photo.

?We?ve been seeing a lot more real-time photography from customers,? said Patrice Anderson, director of social media and ecommerce at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Los Angeles.

?We had an event on Sunday in Orange County [for National Coffee day] where we were engaging with people waiting in line at the event through Instagram and Twitter,? she said. ?It actually drove other individuals to attend the event when they thought it had been closed.?

Mobile social
With apps like Instagram and Vine becoming more popular, consumers are posting to social media on the go and in real-time. They may be sitting in a coffee shop and decide to take a picture of a cup of coffee and tweet it.

Coffee Bean wanted to take advantage of this trend and engage with its consumers while they were on the go.

MomentFeed provided Coffee Bean with two different products to help them with social media engagement.

Pinsync allowed Coffee Bean to update the locations of stores on Facebook, Google Places and Foursquare to make sure they were accurate. That way if a consumer clicked on a link to get directions, they would be accurate.

It also merged duplicate pages for the store to streamline the chain?s presence.

The other product called Localvoice then let Coffee Bean interact with consumers through social media. It lets the chain "Like" or comment on individual photos or many photos at one time, as well as post the photos to its own branded page.

This create a two-way dialogue between Coffee Bean and its consumers.

For instance, one consumer Instagram-ed an image of a cup of coffee from Coffee Bean next to a laptop with the caption ?A dream come true to start my Spring Break with a research paper + book report #coffeebean #thisiswhatmylifeis.?

Coffee Bean commented ?We?ll be with you the whole way through!? This consumer?s friends then commented on how cool it was that Coffee Bean commented on the picture.

It created a positive relationship with a consumer that then led to an image boost and branding with the consumer?s friends on Instagram.

Positive results
In addition to the 136 percent increase in Facebook fans, Coffee Bean saw a 36 percent average lift per month in local engagement, a 46 percent average lift per month in local impressions and an 83 percent average lift per month in local reach.

MomentFeed calculated all of the results and found that the social media success translated into a 5.6 increase in ROI.

With consumers constantly on social media via mobile devices, brands ought to realize that they need to be there. Coffee Bean saw this opportunity and has seen a great improvement to its consumer relations by acknowledging the social mobile culture.

?We feel it?s important because that?s where our customers are,? Ms. Anderson said.

?You want to be present in the channels where your customers are engaging, and it gives us an opportunity to listen and hear what customers are talking about but also to engage with them when they?re enjoying the product at home as well,? she said. ?It helps keep the brand top of mind.

?Our goal is to do it in such a way where we?re not trying to constantly bombard them with promotional information but it?s also an opportunity to educate them and talk about other aspects of the program.? 

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York