Pizza and Social: A Match Made in Heaven (and a Kitchen) #smlondon

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This is the fifth in a series of ten articles from our recent #smlondon LIVE! 2015 event. To read the rest of the series, click here.

In a world where everything moves so quickly and fleetingly, there’s only one thing you can truly rely on. And that’s pizza. Luckily, last Wednesday, Tim Love, Social Media and SEO Manager at PizzaExpress, was at #smlondon LIVE! to fulfil all our pizza dreams and tell us the secrets behind PizzaExpress on social. And he didn’t disappoint! We also cleverly (…or cruelly) put Tim’s talk right before lunch, which definitely got people excited for lunchtime. PizzaExpress are darn good with their ‘food porn’.

Tim was actually the most tweeted about speaker on the day, as illustrated below by our friends at Falcon Social:

As well as rekindling our passionate love for pizza, Tim also provided some pretty interesting content during his presentation. So what did we learn?

On mistakes:

  • Tim took some time in his presentation to illustrate some of the content that wasn’t so successful.
  • It’s important to know what trends are worth jumping on, and what ones you should not.
  • What I liked about this point is that it’s okay to try new things on social. If something doesn’t work, embrace the mistake, move on, and learn something from it.

On measuring success:

  • Measuring ROI can often be a difficult task for restaurants and food brands
  • The main PizzaExpress goal, and ROI, is to keep customers passionate about PizzaExpress as a brand.

On pizza:

  • Pizza is the most Instagrammed food in the world.
  • Pizza is delicious

On customers:

  • The customer is Pizza Expresses main focus. Forget followers and numbers – what’s important is engagement.
  • You should not use each platform in the same way – change up the content you post and the way you post it for different platforms. Facebook users will respond differently to Twitter users and vice versa.

On successful campaigns:

Tim used the CMYF campaign to illustrate their success on social.

  • There were over 60,000 entries to the competition.
  • Email drove most entries, and social was the second biggest driver!
  • Facebook was the most successful driver for entries on social.

On video:

If you follow PizzaExpress on social, you’ll know that they are the KINGS of food porn. Timelapse videos of melting pizza, cream being poured over a cheesecake…yum.

More and more platforms are turning to video content as their main content…PizzaExpress are fully embracing this by creating content on the visual networks, like Vine and Snapchat. If you don’t already follow PizzaExpress on Vine, I would honestly recommend it.

On embracing the new:

I’m particularly inspired by PizzaExpress because they’re one of the few British brands that I know who use Snapchat successfully.

They recognised the young and engaged audience that Snapchat attracts, and post content that would be relevant to them. They launched their presence on the Snapchat with free doughballs on A level results day, for example.

READ MORE: Why Your Brand Needs to Be Using Snapchat.

On the PizzaExpress approach:

As illustrated in all the points, I think what makes PizzaExpress an interesting and engaging brand on social, is the facts they are human. Tim shared the PizzaExpress ‘recipe for success’ during his presentation, and it revolved around being reactive, thinking about the customer, and honouring the heritage of the brand itself. A delicious and obviously successful approach!

If you’d like to hear more about PizzaExpress’s approach to social, listen to the SMKnowHow Podcast:

In the meantime, you can follow Tim on Twitter: @timlovepizza.

READ MORE: Exploring PizzaExpress’ Playful Social Strategy [CASE STUDY].

Ruby Lowe

Ruby is a social media manager.