Entertainment: fries are also great for fun selfies.
In lockdown times, Facebook, Instagram and the like often provided the only link to guests. Social media communication is experiencing a rapid boost - but is used differently by restaurateurs. In a series of online articles, we describe which strategies companies are choosing. Part 8: Frittenwerk.
Sebastian Stöwer of Frittenwerk's in-house agency Teomedia talks about fan loyalty, generational thinking in social media marketing and the desire to engage with new platforms and trends in this foodservice interview.
How has the use of social media channels developed for your company in recent years?
In recent years, social media has moved away from the image of an advertising platform and much more towards a communication platform. We want to cultivate communities there that can identify with our values and thus also with our brand. From a purely technical point of view, social media has become much more video-heavy: first thanks to Snapchat and Instagram Stories, then later thanks to Tiktok. We've always had the desire and also taken the time to look at new platforms and trends.
What is the current importance of social media as a communication platform compared to other (digital) platforms - also in terms of marketing budget?
It's rather impossible to rank the different platforms, but each has its own value. While the website provides more basic information (menu, locations, opening hours, etc.) and thus primarily facilitates the initial contact with the Frittenwerk, we want to use social media to build long-term relationships with our guests. A large part of our marketing budget therefore goes to where fans can interact directly with us. How is the significance of the various social media platforms developing for your company, which are gaining, which are losing?
Facebook certainly doesn't have the dominant status it did a few years ago, but it's still indispensable for us, especially for local marketing and events. If you try to reach Gabi (49) from Heilbronn, you probably won't do it via Tiktok, but via Facebook or maybe Instagram. So there's also a certain generational thinking involved: on Tiktok, we're tapping into a completely new, significantly younger target group that might not even be guests at the Frittenwerk for a few years. Many of them don't know us at all yet, so it's not a bad idea to take a look at this platform to ground yourself every now and then. For which different purposes do you use the different channels?
Where customer communication takes place almost doesn't matter: if you "slide into our DMs", you'll get a response everywhere. Content we play out on different channels, it always depends on the goal and the target audience. When a new digital playground like Tiktok emerges, it is of course all the more exciting; we are currently looking around for new opportunities there. B2B communication, on the other hand, is a topic for Linkedin.How has the use of social media channels changed for you and on the part of your customers in the past Corona year? What are the most important learnings for you in this regard?
One of the most beautiful insights of the year was that we felt an enormous solidarity and loyalty from our fans. When we had closed down completely in the meantime, many fans were honestly worried about the Frittenwerk, which was already a small show of love. The "support your locals" sentiment is pretty strong with many. For example, some fans have supported us with coupon purchases. The connection to our fans has become even closer during this time.How has this connection channel been used?
Especially during the ping-pong times when we were constantly between lockdowns and openings, social media was also important in keeping our guests (and us) on track. "Are you guys open? What are the opening hours? Is the patio open? What are the rules?" Because all of this was and is regulated differently depending on the state, there was a great need for information.
Do you think Corona has increased the importance of social media to your business?
It was already very high before, but because much of the face-to-face contact with our guests was eliminated during the pandemic, we wanted to be all the more communicative on social media. Also, because we simply missed the daily conversations. Sometimes we still slip out a "To eat here or take away?" at the checkout.
Have the nature and content of social media interactions changed recently, and if so, how?
Since we've been delivering since December and opened our own fries shop in April, this is of course a topic on our channels every now and then. Apart from that we try to meet our fans on all topics as good as we can. We've also used the time to get fully into Tiktok and have built up quite a reach there.
Do you also use social media for your B2B communication - in what form and for what purposes?
This is particularly exciting on Linkedin. All major news and announcements get their platform here. After openings, we can thank all partners again and maintain contacts. But we also want to give possible franchisees an easy access to the Frittenwerk. Besides, Linkedin is developing more and more into a Facebook-like platform, through which we also reach fans.
How are the social media activities integrated into your company structure and how has that changed recently?
The Frittenwerk has the advantage of having all departments closely at its side with the in-house agency Teomedia. The paths are short and decisions do not have to go through several floors - we only have one anyway.
What role do influencers play in your social media communication and how has their use developed for you recently?
Currently, we're having fun working with local tiktokkers who, for example, take a closer look at a fritter plant for a "store check". We and also the influencers have the most fun when we give them freedom. This usually results in very organic and exciting content. Especially when we already have a friendly relationship with the creators and we meet as equals.