Sweetwaters Snaps into Social Media


Sweetwaters Café, an Ypsilanti coffee shop, which I just so happen to work at, has recently moved their brand to social media. Sweetwaters has been around in Michigan since 1993 and has collected a following of customers, but they are now looking to get a new type of following, online. The company has just stepped foot into the realm of social media and what a vast new world it is! The owners have even hired on my lovely roommate, Emma, to start up their online marketing campaign. With her help, Sweetwaters is moving into all the major platforms including: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

I sat down with Emma and asked her about her strategy; she had some great ideas, but when it came to Snapchat she seemed to be having some trouble. This got me to thinking about how different Snapchat really is and how the app could be used by a business. With over one million daily active users, Snapchat offers an awesome opportunity to connect with customers. The app should be used to engage and excite a company’s audience, this can be difficult though since it is so different from any other social media platform. With that being said, I came up with a few tips on how businesses can (and should) be utilizing Snapchat.

  1. Offer Behind-The-Scenes Content

The unique feature of Snapchat is that content disappears after 24 hours. Take this opportunity to show your customers what it is like working for the company. Followers want to see exclusive content and by showing them the day-to-day activities and some of the cool things the average customer wouldn’t get to see, you are giving them a feeling of inclusion. Keep content fun and entertaining. In regards to a coffee shop like Sweetwaters, a video clip of how to make an espresso shot could be put on their story so followers can see how drinks are made; something many customers don’t know about and don’t get to see.

  1. Be Candid With Content

Snapchat is probably the most casual social media platform. Because content only stays available for a 24 hour period, this makes Snapchat less of a long-term brand portfolio, unlike other spaces like Facebook and Instagram. On these outlets pictures are often edited, in attempts to project the perfect image. Although quality is important, use Snapchat in a more relaxed fashion, you don’t have to edit and manipulate, just try to show the people behind the company, in a human way.

  1. Provide Access to Live Events

Because pictures and video can be put together to form stories, when a company has an event it should be documented. It is impossible for every customer to show up to an event and of course you still want to make the people who missed it seem included. So, what better way to do it than by recording the best moments and sharing it with everyone? Sweetwaters does a monthly trivia night, which always includes really quirky questions and the opportunity for teams to win free drinks. Pictures of the turn-out and the winning team can be posted, as well as video clips of everyone having a great time.

  1. Offer Promotions and Promote Products

One great way a company can use Snapchat is by offering promotions. Again, going back to that exclusive content element, offer people who watch the whole story a discount or announce contests and deals in a creative way using the app. Employees can also use Snapchat to promote products, of course the rule of 80/20 still applies.

  1. Start a Conversation

Use snapchat to ask questions. Once someone adds the company as a Snapchat friend, they can send pictures, videos and messages directly to the account. This is a great way to get customer feedback or to just start a friendly conversation. Sweetwaters could pose questions like: “how do you warm up on a cold day?” including a picture of a hot cup of coffee and adding the temperature filter to represent how cold it is outside. By starting a conversation, a company engages their audience and makes them feel like the company cares about them.


These are just a few ways a company can use Snapchat to engage with their audience, what are some other creative ways a company could use the app?


5 thoughts on “Sweetwaters Snaps into Social Media

  1. Abriel, I loved your blog, and I will for sure be going there sometime soon to try your coffee! First off I loved how you started off your blog telling about the history of Sweetwaters, and the journey they have started by entering the social media world.

    I especially loved your idea on how businesses can use Snapchat to offer behind the scenes content. I loved this idea because as a user of snapchat, thats what I like seeing most when I watch stories from businesses. It makes me feel like I’m getting the inside scoop and something exclusive. Especially when it comes to live events. I have heard recently and seen a lot of business giving out their snapchat names online and interacting with the community more. They hold contest to see who can send them the best snapchat to win tickets to a concert or a free product. Snapchat gets us as a audience excited because you’re providing a different, more authentic view of what’s going on at the event.

    After reading your blog I realized even more how Snapchat is perfect for real-time social media marketing because it can give the audience direct access to live events. You can use it for product launches, events or just connecting and engaging with your audience. Snapchat is one of the hottest apps out right now and I think your five steps are a great idea for business to connect more with the online world, especially snapchat.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello! I really enjoyed this blog post, and it was nice that it was personal and that you had prior knowledge, so you were definitely an expert on your topic. The fact that you work there also gives you a certain special insight that you can’t find somewhere that you’re only a consumer. You get to see both sides of the ideas.
    I’m so glad that you guys are joining social media, especially snapchat. You bring up a great point about how casual snapchat is, and how that is such a beneficial thing for businesses. I love the idea of behind the scenes photos to really make customers feel like they are getting a first-hand view of what goes on when they aren’t around. Encouraging replies is also a really smart idea, starting a conversation.
    I also really liked your photos! They look very clean and they’re really cute, they truly highlight what snapchat is all about, and also the atmosphere of Sweetwaters, which seems to be fun, cozy, and casual. They certainly added a bit of a personal touch to your post and proved your point: snapchat is beneficial and fun!
    I think that too often, small businesses don’t take full advantage of all the social media platforms offered to them, and the fact that Sweetwaters is is really admirable. I definitely need to get on down there and take a taste!


    • Hey Mary! Yes! i love how casual snapchat is compared to some of the other platforms out there. And thank you in regards to the photos, I made my roommates model for me! 🙂
      P.S. you should definitely check out SWYpsi, and add them on snapchat!


  3. Pingback: 5 Tips for Companies On Instagram | abriel cousineau

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