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From social media zero to hero – the journey of an independent cafe embracing social to grow its audience by 733%
From social media zero to hero – the journey of an independent cafe embracing social to grow its audience by 733%

By embracing social media the business grew its online audience by 733% and successfully saved 70% of its sales.

Hannah Dove avatar
Written by Hannah Dove
Updated over a week ago

Giuliano’s Deli Café (also known as ‘Putney’s Little Gem’) is an authentic Italian deli run by Isabella and her husband Pepe. Prior to COVID they had never used social media.

As the first UK COVID lockdown struck in March 2020 Giuliano’s found itself having to close. But by embracing social media the business grew its online audience by 733% and successfully saved 70% of its sales.

“During the pandemic, it was a sink or swim situation. We either learned how to get social or we would be left behind. We embraced the one-to-one training offered by our local BID and Maybe* and proactively upskilled ourselves. We lost 30% of our business last year due to the lockdown, but without social media that would have been a lot worse. We started from scratch, we gave it a go and we saw results.

We’ve grown our social media audience and engagement and have been able to reach new customers in the community who only found out about us via social media.”

Isabella, Giuliano Cafe.

How did they do it?

Giuliano’s already had a loyal customer base among Putney residents but it needed to engage and serve more customers during lockdown. To do this the cafe started adding a variety of local and foodie hashtags to its content to make their social media content discoverable.

To increase their reach and visibility online Giuliano’s actively uses Maybe* to increase its participation in local conversations. These conversations include those using the #Putney hashtag, conversations created by other independent businesses and the Putney BID - Positively Putney -, as well as the local hashtag that local businesses and residents rally behind, #shareourputney.

The cafe decided to start somewhere and focus their efforts on Instagram, as it’s the perfect fit for food businesses. As well as what’s fresh on the menu, they also make sure to give a sneak peek behind the scenes in the kitchen to help customers get to know them. They show real customers enjoying the food, and inspire people with Italian recipes they can try at home. The content they create tells the café’s personal story, but also provides expert insight into Italian cooking and heritage that gives customers - old and new - all the encouragement they need to visit.

How you can succeed with social like Giuliano’s Deli Cafe

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