Avenue Coffee Leaves Tucson Twittering and Caffeinated

As Twitter becomes more of a business tool every day, there is an emerging trend of smaller businesses using the social media platform as a way to engage customers. Korean BBQ trucks in L.A., snowball shops in New Orleans and sushi restaurants in San Francisco have all found ways to market with a limited advertising budget, achieving outstanding results.

Avenue Coffee, Tucson’s newest place to get your java fix, was extremely successful in using Twitter to drive first-day sales to their store on a day that had many clamoring for their free pastries from a much larger competitor.

Over the past few weeks, Avenue has been following many Tucsonans through Twitter and letting them know about their opening. The owners gave updates on how their progress was going such as when they installed their signs, painted their walls and finished their inspections. The tactic worked very well, as the store received 220 customers on its first day with 158 of them (72 percent) saying they heard about the shop through Twitter.

But that’s not all. The owners also offered a free cup of coffee to any of their Twitter followers – a huge incentive for the social media-savvy coffee drinkers to make their pitstop at Avenue. Thirty three of their 676 followers (five percent) came in to try out a drink.

“Twitter was definitely a home run for us, and made a noticeable impact on our first day open,” said Mark Harrell, co-owner of Avenue Coffee. “It gave us the ability to instantly communicate with our future customers.”

The response from Twitter users in Tucson was predominately positive, as the word-of-mouth about the new coffee shop helped drive even more customers throughout the week.

“Twitter is a must-have tool for any small business,” added Harrell.

In a town with locally-owned coffee shops like Coffee X Change and Raging Sage Coffee Roasters that have dedicated followings, Avenue Coffee’s ability to create a niche through Twitter is a great case study. Any small businesses that want a way to gain market share should definitely research the opportunity social media provides.

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