The London Coffee Festival is the perfect opportunity for gourmet coffee shops to boost brand awareness. I looked at how ten of London’s leading independents performed on social media during this year’s event.

West is best

Out of the ten brands, west London coffee shop, Artisan, won the largest share of voice: 31 per cent of the conversation (see fig.i). Artisan has a respectable and engaged Twitter audience (4K) – but nowhere near as many followers as the more established Prufrock and Kaffeine (16K and 15K respectively).

So, what’s the Putney-based coffee shop doing right?

London coffee shops share of voice during #LCF16 (graphics courtesy of Brandwatch)Fig.i: London coffee shops share of voice during #LCF16 (graphic from Brandwatch)

1. Celebrity advocates

For a start, Artisan had some enthusiastic celebrity advocates, including tennis star Laura Robson (367K followers on Twitter) and kids’ TV presenter Andi Peters (357K). It can’t do your brand any harm when Andi Peters boasts that you’re his local, or Laura Robson endorses you as a pre-training essential.

2. Consistency

Artisan was the most consistent coffee brand on Twitter during the festival with around eight mentions a day (see fig.ii). Other brands saw peaks and troughs or (worse) barely registered at all on the social radar (a shame as consumer-friendly events like these are perfect for relevant, topical – and free – social media content).

3. Relevant content

Artisan made the most of the four days by running a series of barista training sessions and talks, including one with co-Founder Edwin Harrison sharing tips on setting up the business (all under the hashtag #ArtisanCoffeeSchool). Artisan also won the Best Coffee Entrepreneur award, and ran their own competition, #LatteArtSmackdown. A slow but steady drip of updates kept fans informed.

London coffee shops daily mentions during #LCF16 (Graphic courtesy of Brandwatch)
Fig.ii: London coffee shops daily mentions during #LCF16 (Graphic courtesy of Brandwatch)

Other contenders

Department of Coffee and Social Affairs and Black Sheep Coffee also did well. I bumped into Black Sheep at London Social Media Week a couple of years ago. I know they’re social-savvy. But they didn’t run any specific campaigns during the festival. Department of Coffee and Social Affairs created a buzz on 9 April when they cooked dinner for 70 in their kitchen. The event raised money for homeless charity, the Central London Rough Sleepers Committee (#CLRSC). Kaffeine London also saw a spike in mentions on 9 April when they announced their @UKCoffeeWeek fundraiser.

So, the festival wasn’t all about Artisan, but they did west London proud: cementing their reputation for being a little bit of Shoreditch in the heart of luvvie West London!

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Photo: Artisan Coffee use the #LatteArt hashtag on their Instagram account