In Focus
MARKETING | Staff Reporter, Australia
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Social Media an Effective Marketing Strategy for many QSRs like Nando's & Eagle Boys

Social Media is paying dividends as QSR’s invest more and more into the marketing channel. It is becoming a focus of campaigns and taking away from traditional print, radio and TV advertising.

As Wayne Homschek, founder Pie Face,  commented, social media is an “…effective and relevant media to communicate and interact with [our] customers.” They are spending most of their marketing budget of 500,000 this year and 1.7 million next year on social media programs. “We use social media to drive promotions, it is also an innovative and fun way to interact and be creative with the brand, it creates a cult like community,” he added.

Wendy’s CEO Rob McKay says they consider social media as an essential instrument for their marketing and communications activities. “We recently developed an iPhone App to incorporate into one of our major product promotions and this proved highly successful,” he said. They achieved 50,000 downloads in this App which was in line with their annual promotions. With this success, McKay says they will continue to improve their strategies on social media.

Eagle Boys recognizes the potential of social media and describes it as a “potential marketing tool moving forward.” In fact, under the marketing team, they have an E-Channel Marketing specialist who makes sure that all efforts in this space are organized. Furthermore, they are undergoing a multi-million dollar technology upgrade to better cope with the advancements in the digital media.

Burger Edge and Nando’s also put tremendous value on social media related activities.  Isam Soubjaki, franchisor of Burger Edge, says that “social media has redefined connecting with the customer, the speed with which a campaign is initiated and closed, and how a campaign’s success is measured.” He sees that social media is becoming a more significant medium for brand building than print, radio, and direct marketing. “We are now moving almost all our marketing and promotions towards online media and social media marketing. I see this as the way of the future,” he said.

As for Nando’s, Kim Russell, marketing manager commented “this year will see Nando's extremely involved in social media because it is where our target audience lives and breathes. Russell went on to tell us that “1/3 of Australian women check their facebook page in the morning before going to the bathroom!” They use social media as a tool in enforcing the loyalty of existing customers, as well as bringing new ones to their stores.
MYO also uses social media, especially Facebook. John Smith, MD, said that Facebook is more fitting to their brand. "…[W]e have invested significantly [on Facebook] in ensuring we have a strong strategy and great communication regimen going on with our significant fan base on the platform,” he added.

As consumers begin to make more and more purchasing decisions online the importance of the channel is only going to grow. 

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