We opened the Café/Diner at the end of May 2013 and we quickly realised that we need to be completely different from the rest. There are too many places offering the same old boring foods that have served cafés/diners for the last 10 years. Indeed the café we took over was exactly the same. Boring, dull, ‘back-street greasy spoon’ image.
We added colour, a new revitalised fresh and upto date menu but also became a Halal Café. We are the first and still, the only Halal Café in Stretford. So we are different, we have a completely different menu targeting various age groups. We wanted to specialise in what we do rather than look too much at outlets nearby. We do not feel as though we have competition as we specialise in what we do and other outlets specialise in what they do. We cannot do what they do and vice-versa. Recently there have been other outlets that have changed their menus by adding foods taken from our menus and speciality shakes and desserts but as the saying goes ‘ imitation is a form of flattery’ and they have seen our success and have purchased their ticket and got on the correct train rather than the outdated one. This makes us happy as we have contributed to the local community and businesses to see the future in a different light.
The outdated train relied on advertising/marketing techniques that went out when the first smart phone was introduced. Social Media has played a huge part of our success and growth. Initially we just focussed on Facebook and created a page which has grown and grown. Stretford is a very hard market to break into with the much fancied Chorlton, Urmston, Sale and Trafford Centre only a stones throw away. 30,000 leaflet drops around the area over a period of 3 months was virtually fruitless. Yet Facebook proved exactly the opposite. Free and easy to use it helped grow Indulgence and spread the news much more quickly and directly. With targeted marketing and posts along with offers we were able to stay ahead of everyone else by offering tailored offers to chosen age groups. Businesses fail as they rely on turning ‘on the lights, open the door and sit back expecting people to flock in’. Times have changed and you cannot expect the crowds if you do nothing.
Pictures work extremely well with posts on social marketing and get more attention. Facebook has helped us reach a much wider audience than we thought possible. We now use Facebook regularly and sometimes we can post 3 times a day at various times. Obviously we are conscious of too much as this can put off people as their timelines are full of our posts. Talking to our customers as part of our customer service also revealed that Instagram is a popular choice amongst the young 10 – 18 year old and older. We listened to feedback and about a year ago opened an account on Instagram which really brings in the youngsters whenever we post targeted offers of Milkshakes, Desserts, Slush etc. A few months we also started tweeting on our Twitter page although this is still in its infancy and we feel the 20year plus are beginning to use this more and more. So we need to keep abreast of these trends and adapt to stay in touch with our targeted audiences and customers. We have had quite a few recently admit that they use Instagram more than Facebook now, compared to 12 months ago.
We now mainly only use social media as our best method of marketing and interacting with our customers. It is free and you can target the age groups and audiences as you need. You would be absolutely bonkers not to use it to promote your business today. Offers, pictures and social media are currently the way forward…..and its FREE.
I think it’s suicidal for businesses like ours not to utilise free social media for marketing.
Zain Iqbal – Indulgence Stretford