Casual dining restaurant Nando's has topped the very first Food and Beverage Social Media Benchmark from eDigitalResearch with more followers on both Facebook and Twitter than any other food and beverage brand.
Nando's have nearly 3million followers on Facebook - over 1.4million more than second place TGI Friday's. eDigitalResearch found that Nando's run a creative and integrated social media campaign. Promotions, such as their current 'Finger Selfies' campaign, encourages customers to get involved with the brand when they're in branch, ultimately sharing their Nando's experience and spreading the word with their online friends - something Nando's hopes will encourage more customers through the doors.
eDigitalResearch measured the presence of food and beverage brands on the most popular social media platforms, looking at UK pages only. Whilst some fast food chains have a phenomenal following worldwide, the study found that often content was just not suitable for a global audience. Promotions and offers were often for products that are simply not available or valid in the UK.
eDigitalResearch have been measuring and benchmarking the online retail social space for four years. During that time, there's been an increasing appetite from consumers to get involved with their favourite brands, often at a local or personal level, and as a result, some global brands now run country specific social media accounts, posting local offers and promotions relevant to those followers.
However, this latest benchmark also found that a handful of brands are beginning to go one step further, creating branch or store specific pages for online users to get involved with. It opens up the possibility for staff on the ground to engage with local audiences and really provide a great customer experience.
eDigitalResearch also found that, like their retail and travel counterparts, food and beverage brands are failing to update their social media accounts during weekends, posting on average a lot less on Saturdays and Sundays. Dining out is a social experience, with an increasing amount of patrons sharing their experiences on social media sites with their online friends. With online social activity and buzz being generated all day every day, food and beverage brands need to ensure that they have the resource and tools in place to adequately deal with any activity and make the most of generated content.
The results also demonstrate that, when it comes to posts, quality, not quantity, is key to a successful social media campaign. Top performers Nando's, TGI Friday's and Starbucks all, on average, post less often than any other food and beverage brand.
Derek Eccleston, Commercial Director at eDigitalResearch, comments, "Social media is now an essential part of any customer engagement strategy. Our latest benchmark results demonstrate that creating engaging and interactive content that speaks to individuals, not just the wider market, is key - brands who truly engage with followers and create a real connection with their customers are doing so on a local, country-by-country (and even branch-by branch) level".
The Food and Beverage Social Media Benchmark was completed between the 29th May and 4th June comparing the amount of followers or likes over 50 of the UK's top food and beverage brands have on Facebook and Twitter