This week we interviewed Dareen Charafeddine, owner of BookMunch Cafe (sidebar: BookMunch is one of our clients and we love this special cafe) as part of our weekly series of interviews with creatives, innovators, and small business owners focusing on the power of social media for their businesses. If you own a restaurant or a cafe and looking to implement a social media marketing strategy for your restaurant, this is a must read. Dareen's background is the perfect fusion of both the literary and culinary worlds. Her literary experience comes from a prestigious career in education and publishing, and her culinary know-how comes from a specialization in the bakery and catering business.
You founded, own and run BookMunch, an award-winning family cafe in Dubai - what role has social media played in launching and running your business?
We are a small community-focused business, and always looking for ways to reach new customers, while keeping our brand on the radar of our existing customer database. Social media, in general, has helped us in marketing the café, and in associating a certain voice/style with the brand. Instagram, in particular, was very helpful when launching our business. Customer tags and posts of our food, interiors, etc, had a great impact on our initial footfall. Facebook and Twitter are naturally more interactive and help us understand the market better, communicate with our customers and help enhance our image and ultimately bring in the customers.
How has storytelling evolved in social media for F&B brands?
BookMunch is very much a community café (and bookshop), and storytelling is at the heart of our brand. Fortunately, our social media partners understood that instantly, and designed their strategy accordingly. Through social media stories, we were able to build a solid personality and a warm character for our brand, and from that created a more interactive connection with our customers. Our followers particularly like when we share short and personal stories from our team members, like the Humans of BookMunch campaign, which worked because it was real, authentic and sweet.
Which social media channel has resulted in a tangible ROI for BookMunch and why do you think this is?
I think it’s quite difficult to measure ROI accurately for our kind of business. However, we know Instagram brought in actual numbers into the shop when we opened. Facebook is more for brand awareness and connecting with our customers, rather than direct revenue. Facebook has been mostly organic, and a bit of advertising has helped give it a nudge.