indian coffee shops on social media

How do Cafes in India Brew Engagement on Social Media


Darsana Vijay

November 21, 2016 5 min read

Updated on May 5, 2017

After a hectic week, I really need some quality café time. Read a book, meet a friend, listen to some blues, wolf down a muffin… The weekend can’t get here any faster! It doesn’t help that I am being bombarded with some amazing content from Cafes on Facebook.

Evidently, they are doing a great job on social media, making people like me crave for a hot cup of joe. Luckily, I have Analyze at my disposal to check how well these cafes do on social media. Let us look at how Starbucks India, Café Coffee Day (CCD), Barista, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and Costa Coffee did on Facebook during the period September 1 – October 31, 2016.

To start you off with some quick highlights:

  1. Café Coffee Day has the most number of Fans (4,912,030) while Barista grew its fanbase at the fastest rate (3.79%)
  2. Costa Coffee posted the most during the period studied here (172). Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf had the least number of Posts (21).
  3. Café Coffee Day had the most Likes, Comments and Shares per Post

From these topline metrics, it looks like Café Coffee Day is leading the pack. Let us analyze this a bit further to see what makes CCD so engaging:


We know that Café Coffee Day gets more Likes, Comments and Shares. But let us put this in perspective by looking at the performance of the other brands:


Café Coffee Day is miles ahead of the competition in terms of Likes. The same applies to Comments and Shares.

Do they score so high on engagement because they put out more Posts than their peers?

It’s quite the contrary, with CCD having published fewer Posts that most brands in the group. By now, we have accepted that quality wins over quantity any day on social media. Costa Coffee, for instance, could benefit from cutting down the volume of content as it could be costing them more to produce the content than the benefit they are getting from it.

But, what defines quality content? What are the elements that go into building an effective content strategy? For answers, let us analyze what CCD does:


Content types

Here’s the breakdown of the different types of content they post:

No. of-Post-and-Engagement-per-Content-Type.png

Photos make up the most of their content whereas GIFs are by far their most popular type of content. So, I took a quick look at the link between content type and engagement for all the brands studied here:

content-Type-Engagement-vs-No. of-Posts.png

I took a closer look and found out that out of the five GIFs that were published, the following one did exceptionally well. It received over 62,000 Reactions, 100 Comments and 400 Shares. Hence, we cannot conclude that creating more GIFs is the way to go.

In addition to the spectacular graphics, the Post received better Reach and Engagement because it was promoted. Can every brand do as well as CCD did just by promoting a chunk of their content?

Promoted Content

The graph below shows the percentage of content promoted by each brand in the group and the surge in engagement they experienced because of it:


Café Coffee Day promoted close to 35% of their content, which is more than all the other brands except Barista. What is impressive is the tremendous surge in engagement that they experienced from promoting only a fraction of their content.

Compare the promotion habits of Costa Coffee, CCD and Barista.


Barista promoted their content heavily with 65 out of their 73 Posts being backed by paid efforts. CCD promoted only eight Posts. Costa Coffee did not experience any major boosts in engagement from their 14 Promoted Posts.

The Posts that your brand decides to promote need to be strategically chosen. It makes sense to support a piece of content that required considerable expenditure and effort. Video content and GIFs like the one that we saw earlier fall into that category.

Another compelling reason to promote are special events, sales or changes in the product (or in this case, the menu). If you take a look at the content that Barista promoted, most of them are pictures. These advertised their new menu that caters to the Indian crowd.

This was one of their most popular Posts:

In addition to photos like these that let their audiences in on the new line of delicacies, they also came up with a Diwali hamper. This is something that Starbucks has done as well. Having products around holidays is a great way of bringing in a local flavor. Social media content is a great way to get your audiences interested about such initiatives. It is no surprise that Barista ensured its wide circulation with paid efforts.

As for CCD’s Promoted Posts, there were six photos, a video and a GIF. These photos were part of the series #CCDCoffeeMoments they ran on International Coffee Day. Fans were asked to share their CCD stories. Take a look at one of the engaging photos from this series:

The beauty of this kind of content is that social media audiences get to hear what your brand is about from your most loyal customers. This goes a long way in communicating what your brand is about and why people cherish it. Promotion ensured that this got heard far and wide.


So far we have been discussing how Promotion gives a boost to the reach that a brand’s Facebook Post receives. As you can see in the graph below, CCD’s Posts have received more Reach than any of their competitors:


Barista, even though they promote more do not have the same Reach as CCD. This is due to the number of Fans that CCD has. It has paid off, however, with Barista enjoying the highest Fan growth:


In the following chart, you can see the Engagement and Reach that CCD’s Posts received during the period studied here:


All the spikes in the graph coincide with the eight Promoted Posts published.


The lessons we have learnt from observing these cafes are worthy of note for all brands:

  1. Create content that is relevant to your audience and is in keeping with your social media goals
  2. Support key pieces of content with Promotion to make sure that it gets a wider Reach
  3. Benchmark your performance with your peers to see the content opportunities and engagement strategies you might be missing.

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