Social Media 602: First Place Coffee & the Accessibility of Guerrilla Social Media

Updated: Jan 11, 2019

Social media… Is it easy, like second nature? Or complex, like algebra? Maybe it’s a little of both. You’re reading the first Lack of Influence social media case study, Social Media 602 (like 101 or 102 BUT 602 for Arizona … get it?). This series will analyze the complex, almost algebraic nature of social media and explore the elements of sheer simplicity that can make or break a social media brand.



So why not start with First Place Coffee, a local coffee truck run by some of the nicest folks in Phoenix.


It is easy to find success on social media if you are just a genuine human being. People love that shit. The owners of First Place, Devon, and Terrence, are just that— Genuine. Not only does it make them great people to be around or do business with, but it really bodes well for their brand. I want to highlight what they are doing on social media and why it works so well.


Content & Consistency:

Rain or shine, 100 degrees or 50, you can expect First Place to post to their social media feeds. Their posts alert their followers to new menu items, highlight loyal fans, and (most importantly), their location schedule, which is posted without fail every Monday.


Their recipe for content is surprisingly easy and cost-effective for brands promoting locally: By simply documenting where they are and what they are doing, they have built a loyal following. What’s amazing about this type of social media content is its cost-effectiveness. They aren’t going out of their way to create content by paying content creators, traveling to shoot photos for their feed, or even paying to promote their posts. Not only does that save them time and money, but it doesn’t restrict them from posting regularly, which builds brand recognition. This type of cheap-to-free marketing only takes one or two creative minds and is a perfect solution for small businesses.



Community engagement:

First Place Coffee does an excellent job posting about their loyal fans. At the end of most days, they will create a post on Instagram with 5-10 photos of people & their puppers. Why is this a big deal? One it gives people who might not follow them a reason to follow them, they might see a photo of themselves on a local business social media feed! Who doesn’t love that?


A sneaky but delicious benefit to this type of community engagement? It gives people a reason to share the photos on their own feeds! This drives traffic back to their account and boosts their brand recognition all in one fluid motion.





Instagram Stories:

Most businesses forget or don’t seem to care about Instagram stories. That is a big mistake. First Place loves to post in their Instagram stories about dogs, fans, schedules and more (all of which are enjoyable for their customers to view). It’s refreshing to see a local brand leverage the opportunity to have fun and give a direct line of communication to your followers.


My personal favorite First Place Coffee IG series consists of boomerangs of their coffee cups in front of surrounding buildings, trees, people, and signs. This imprints their brand on the greater Phoenix social media landscape and gives people a reason to interact with the brand on a regular basis.


Room for Improvement:

Through their strategic content choices and audience engagement, First Place Coffee is truly an exemplary local social media brand. But this wouldn’t be a case study unless we looked for areas of improvement, wouldn’t it?


There is one thing that First Place Coffee could improve its social media presence. Like many brands, they’d benefit from replying to everyone who comments on their photos.

This simple act dramatically boosts interactive engagement with followers but is often overlooked by small businesses because of the time investment it requires. But, trust me, it makes a world of difference.


People love the sense of being heard and acknowledged. A short comment with an emoji or a “thank you (enter name here) will go a long way to build a trusting relationship between a brand and it’s customers.



Follow Lack Of Influence as we continue the bi-weekly "Social Media 602" case study series as we highlight and examine the ins and outs of small business social media. Know a business that uses social media creatively? Hit us with your recommendations!

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