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Consumers are shifting where they spend their time in the digital space and are demanding information, conversation and engagement like never before – so it only makes sense that brands should follow this trend.

The rising popularity of brands on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram has made this medium a necessary marketing tool that not only generates sales but also allows brands to connect directly with their customers in a social way. Brands that want to succeed and grow should be embracing social media.

Social media is primarily geared towards consumers and  allows brands to interact with their audience in an authentic and engaging way. The advantage of social media over a conventional website is that it already has a captive audience who are in the mood to engage and explore. Recent independent market research conducted by Lab 42 showed that 85 percent of people surveyed felt that Facebook was a good way to connect with brands, with half of those surveyed finding a brand’s Facebook page more useful than its website.

Engaging with customers via social media has never been more important for brands wanting to develop genuine and engaging relationships with their customer base. This being the case, a strong social media strategy is needed to support this growth and build a strong voice as a brand. Bakers Delight have recently reached over 125,000 Facebook fans. With fan numbers growing rapidly each day, this has put us in the ranks of other major Australian brands also leading the way in social media such as Sportsgirl, Vegemite and Telstra.

Our social media strategy aims to engage with existing and potential customers and ensure we are conversing in a relevant way. Whether that’s about our product, our brand personality, providing customer feedback, or topics off brand that are relevant to the audience. We have invested much time and energy in building a recognisable voice on social media that is grounded in authenticity and integrity, two essential brand pillars for Bakers Delght, which has been the key to sustaining our growth on social media.

With large audiences being built across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and many more it is great to be able to incorporate your brand’s presence across several platforms. Bakers Delight is currently strengthening our social media presence with profiles on Twitter and Pinterest and by developing long-term relationships with bloggers, in particular parenting bloggers who are extremely active in this medium. Engaging with bloggers gives customers a chance to interact with a brand directly by providing genuine thoughts around products and our brand, and of course sharing these thoughts with their networks.

Social media can also be an effective way to provide relevant information to prospective business owners and/or the recruitment of employees. Bakers Delight was keen to harness the power of our existing community and were the first bakery to trial the concept of a franchise recruitment platform through our Facebook page which has been very effective in communicating with prospects in an engaging way.

Top tips for retailers on social media

»    Remain ‘social’ – avoid bombarding your audience with blatant marketing speak that is not relevant to them. Without this, marketing in this space will simply not be effective and be potentially damaging to the brand.

»    See what people are saying about you – by monitoring conversation online you can find out what people are saying about your business. It’s important to have an idea of how your business is perceived before developing your social media approach.

»    Interact with and respond to your audience – almost 95 percent of comments on Facebook brand pages don’t get responded to. These are valuable interactions and deserve a response from your business.

»    Reward audience loyalty – use social media to make your audience feel valued through content and other added benefits such as exclusive offers.

»    Be transparent – social media is about honesty and transparency, so don’t delete negative comments and always be open with your audience. The most popular brands on social media are authentic and honest in their interactions with their followers.

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Kendra Teasdale

Kendra Teasdale

Kendra Teasdale is the group marketing manager at Bakers Delight. Bakers Delight, Australia’s most successful bakery franchise was established in 1980 as a single bakery on Glenferrie Road in Hawthorn, Melbourne. An Australian owned company, Bakers Delight boasts over 700 bakeries employing more than 15,000 people, serving 2 million regular customers per week throughout Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Bakers Delight has been a major corporate partner of Breast Cancer Network Australia for eleven years, raising almost $5.5 million within this time. Through its bakery network, the company donates approximately $143 million in bread to charities each year.

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