Facebook Marketing Best Practices From Sub-Zero and Wolf
Madison, Wis.-based Sub-Zero, Inc. and Wolf Appliance, Inc., industry leaders in premium refrigeration, wine storage and cooking equipment, has proven itself most popular among Facebook fans in the kitchen appliance category. Over 89,000 fans, owners and kitchen designers currently interact on the official Sub-Zero and Wolf Facebook Page.
Launched September 2009, Sub-Zero and Wolf's Facebook page allows the company to share product news, design trends, showroom events, culinary tips, recipes and videos. Fans share photos of their kitchens, discuss their latest culinary creations, swap recipes and recommend products.
As the brand leaders online, Sub-Zero and Wolf continue to dominate the kitchen appliance category on Facebook, with 10 times more combined Facebook fans than its leading competitors.
To find out the brands' secret to success with Facebook, eM+C recently chatted with Christopher Parr, Sub-Zero and Wolf's brand communications and interactive marketing manager, who directs interactive and social media strategies. Highlights from the discussion include the following:
eM+C: Why did you turn to Facebook as a marketing tool? What were your original goals for the social networking site?
Christopher Parr: Our existing customers and owners — predominantly affluent women aged 44 and up — were becoming active on Facebook, so we knew it would be a great place to communicate with them about our brands. We really wanted to create a place where our current customers, who are very passionate about our brands, can share photos of their kitchens, discuss and swap recipes, and recommend products. Basically, we wanted them to feel like they're a member of the "club."
We also wanted to create a place where we could cultivate new prospects by introducing them to new product lines and features, and where they can learn about our brands from our current passionate customers. Finally, we wanted to communicate with another segment of our customer base — kitchen design professionals — who use the page to showcase kitchens they've designed.
eM+C: How did you first go about promoting your Facebook page to customers?
CP: We made sure to establish our page with real customers and real owners from the start. I'd rather have 10,000 real fans and owners — true brand advocates — instead of an irrelevant mass. We wanted quality over quantity.
As a result, we really nurtured our existing owner database and promoted the page to them via email communications. We urged them to visit the Facebook page and post photos of their kitchens or share recipes there, and ultimately become our Facebook friends. Currently, about 30,000 of our current 85,000 Facebook friends are also customers. [Editor's note: The Sub-Zero/Wolf Facebook page currently has 89,825 friends.]
eM+C: Do you do any outreach to prospects to increase your number of Facebook friends?
CP: Yes. We encourage our friends to participate on the page. We ask them questions such as, "What are you having for dinner tonight?" or to post pictures of their kitchens or their latest gourmet meals. The idea here is that their like-minded friends may check out these posts and peer into the world of Sub-Zero/Wolf, and as a result may become a friend or like us.
We've also tested the Facebook Ad program, which allows us to promote our Facebook page via ads on the Facebook pages of specific, demographically relevant friends of our friends. This allows us to expand with right-minded people, which is important for a luxury brand. This technique brings us about 1,000 new friends per week.
eM+C: Can you offer our readers three tips/best practices around establishing a brand presence on Facebook?
CP: 1. Be likeable. Don't be the friend who overstays his welcome. Don't do more than two posts a day, and really try to spread them out.
2. Invite participation. Post questions, ask your friends to upload photos and nurture a dialog with them.
3. Talk like a friend. The mission statement for Facebook reads "Facebook is a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family and coworkers." Nowhere in there does it say communicate with brands. Talk with your friends like a friend. Really turn off the PR-speak and press releases.