Cold Rock Ice Creamery is fast becoming a textbook case study in how to embrace social media by using Facebook and Twitter to communicate with its customers.
Cold Rock, embraced social media at all levels of the company after seeing success with their Cold Rock Facebook fan page. The company has gone as far as to encourage individual franchisees to establish their own Facebook fan pages to offer customers exclusive coupons and information specific to their local store.
“We are broadening our marketing campaigns by using information networks like Facebook and Twitter which allow us to communicate with our customers more directly,” Cold Rock CEO Stan Gordon said.
“These networks allow us to engage our customers and seek their opinions, particularly if we’re going to introduce a new ice cream flavour or mix in, as well as answer their questions.”
“Most people want to talk about what their favourite flavour is and argue where we should set up the next Cold Rock. But some use Facebook to ask us about how to open their own franchise, how to get a job at one our stores and where new stores are opening.
“Customers are very interactive and consistently giving us feedback which influences how we do things at Cold Rock.”
Cold Rock is owned by Melbourne-based Franchised Food Company, which also owns Nutshack, Pretzel World and Mr Whippy.
Mr Gordon said the new dual Cold Rock/Pretzel World store in north Hobart, which attracted more than 2,000 people within its first three days, proved social media worked.
“Hobart didn’t do any marketing aside from their Facebook page and word of mouth, and they broke all Cold Rock customer records,” he said.
Around a quarter of Cold Rock’s 90-plus stores have their own Facebook page. Cold Rock Geelong, which has more than 4,300 Facebook fans, uses its page to give customers exclusive weekly mix in offers.
Last year store owners Trent Woodall and Nino Verfurth ran a promotion which promised customers who visited the store in their pyjamas after midnight a free mix in.
“More than 90 people showed up and that was when we realised social media was a great tool for our business,” Mr Verfurth said.