Attracting Fans and Building Loyalty with Social Media Marketing
Working with SiteLab Interactive, Wolfgang Puck Companies launched a new interactive web site in April of 2009. Wolfgang Puck has always been a culinary innovator and a leader in the industry as such, he is always looking to staying on top of new and relevant ways to promote the Wolfgang Puck brand and engage with his customers.
Chef Puck places a high value on conversation, storytelling, and the exchange of intellectual ideas. Social media, then, was a natural marketing tool for a culinary pioneer like Wolfgang Puck to increase awareness and generate demand for the brand's various products. As their digital marketing partner, SiteLab worked with our client to establish five key goals for a social media initiative:
- Increase Wolfgang Puck's visibility in appropriate social media venues and conversations
- Increase awareness of the various Puck brands with potential leads
- Build positive online content to maintain Puck's reputation for passion, drive and genuine commitment to quality
- Position Wolfgang Puck as the premier choice for any culinary, dining or catering need
- Establish and sustain positive conversations about www.WolfgangPuck.com as a reliable source for up-to-date information about his restaurants, catering operations, recipes and products
Because of the broad range of Wolfgang Puck's offerings from renowned fine dining restaurants to canned soups and cookware to fast-casual restaurants, it was difficult to know where to start. SiteLab provided expertise to Puck leadership to identify how their various audiences were using social media and where conversations about the company's three business divisions were taking place. Our challenges were to:
- Identify the most effective social media venues to launch the endeavor
- Communicate the unique attributes of each of the three divisions, while maintain a consistent brand image and tone
While the temptation was strong to plunge into this exciting new medium, SiteLab advised our client to test the waters with a two-phased strategy.
- Short-Term Strategy: Start the Listening Process. During this phase, we would audit the kinds of discussions that were already going on with or without the company's knowledge. Among the things we learned:
- Wolfgang Puck's warm, welcoming personality should be promoted like a product - one that avid fans already love
- Local markets offered huge opportunities for Puck, who logs many personal appearances each month that draw large crowds of fans
- Audiences turn to Puck for easy, but impressive recipes that allow them to recreate gourmet experiences at home; the most popular recipes include videos
Online audience appreciate quality content that includes multimedia; response and activity are highest when links, videos, pictures etc. are included
Based on what we learned, we defined objectives to determine the desired results. Finally, we advised beginning Puck's social media exposure with the "Big 3"-Twitter, Facebook and YouTube -- to find our audiences and tailor the content strategy moving forward.
- Long-Term Strategy: Create and Implement the Plan. We discovered that Puck's audience spent a lot of time at photo sharing sites and on microblogs like Twitter. We recommended increased blogger relations from our finding that there was a potential audience in the blogosphere with people who enjoy talking about celebrity chefs, culinary products and online recipes. Using lessons learned and tools from traditional media, we determined and recommended that Wolfgang Puck achieve a consistent, successful social media presence with an annual social media calendar (similar to a traditional media calendar) that includes timely, relevant content topics.
Although success in social media campaign can be difficult to measure in terms of direct return on investment, Wolfgang Puck leadership has been very pleased with the initial results of their social media strategies. Starting with no presence at all, quite a bit of positive buzz has been created in just a few months. Highlights include:
- Approximately one mention of Wolfgang Puck every three minutes in the blogosphere, up from one mention every 28 minutes in 2009. Top associated keywords include "love," "chef" and "cookware."
- Wolfgang Buzz Twitter following has grown by a few hundred people per month since launch, averaging 2-3 mentions per day.
- Tweets @WolfgangBuzz average 3 per day and are retweeted about every 1-2 days.
- By November 2009, there were 41 tweets with a link back to wolfgangpuck.com; in that same period we tracked substantial traffic from twitter.com, with 75% being new visitors.
- The Wolfgang Puck official Facebook page netted over 2,000 fans within the first few months of launch. As of July 2010, Puck's Facebook fan base exceeded 6,100 fans and continues to grow.
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