ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Trying to make an impression on social media can feel a little bit like screaming into the void. About 70% of Instagram posts go unseen, said John Notte, account director for Franke Coffee Systems North America, Seattle, at CSP’s 2018 Hot Dispensed Beverages Forum. To break through all the noise on social media, retailers have had to get savvy.
Check out these four retailers' strategies for reaching c-store foodservice fans via Facebok, Twitter, Instagram and more ...
1. Be real
One way retailers can rise above the canned content on social media to promote hot dispensed beverages is by providing an authentic voice, one that reflects the audience you want to reach. Kwik Trip Inc., Wes Des Moines, Iowa, has hired a 20-something to lead its social content. “She’s not as conservative as I would be, but it’s working,” said Paul Servais, retail food service director for the chain.
2. Call to action
Geotargeting, or delivering content to users in a specific location, is another tool at retailers' disposal. Tri Star Energy LLC, Nashville, geotargeted students to come in for free coffee during final-exam weeks. The retailer is considering rolling out a “Be Your Own Barista” campaign on social media, in which guests use recipe cards at the coffee bar to create their own Instagrammable concoctions.
3. Think fast
A quick response to fans is another must, said Kathy Mejia, senior category manager for BP America ampm, La Palma, Calif. To encourage continued engagement, Mejia said retailers need to answer questions on social media right away. Mejia’s team intends to drum up excitement in April about a new-product launch with a Cold Brew Day. The social media push will kick off an entire summer of 99-cent cold brew of any size.
4. Embrace current events
Customer inquiries aren't the only instances in which retailers need to stay on their toes. Kathryn Delinski, fresh beverage assortment manager for Wawa Inc., Wawa, Pa., said a timely reaction to news events is also important. “When the Eagles won the Super Bowl, we pulled together a campaign in a week,” she said. Delinski also gets a report on what restaurant competitors such as McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts are up to on social media and compares it to Wawa’s strategy and impressions.