Giraffe restaurants ramp up social media

Restaurant chain Giraffe is ramping up its social media marketing to move away from promotions and discounts and better communicate its values.

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The chain’s head of marketing Vikki O’Neill says Twitter is “ahead of the game” in terms of building engagement with its customers than Facebook.

She claims the brand owes its success on Twitter to the instant response it can give to its consumers and the fact that Giraffe tweets conversationally about subjects outside just what the restaurant sells.

She adds: “We never banked on Twitter becoming this entity in itself three years ago, but it really has brought us closer to our customers.”

The restaurant chain prints its Twitter moniker on its receipts and menus to encourage customers to interact with the brand whilst they are dining, such as commenting on service or posting pictures of their food. Its Twitter account has more than 13,000 followers – 3,000 more than Giraffe’s official Facebook page.

Giraffe is also exploring other digital services including Livebookings’ Pocket Diner platform, which allows visitors to book a table on their mobiles and compare restaurants. The company says Pocket Diner has generated a 226% increase in visits to the bookings page on its website.

O’Neill says that while the marketing focus of previous years had been to offer discounts to get customers through the doors despite their spending worries due to the recession, now the brand tries to communicate the “value” of the dining experience.

“In the past year we have done fewer voucher offers and discounts and focused more on adding value. We still want people to spend less, but we are using set menus, ’any glass of wine for £3 and quizzes to push value over discount,” she says.

Giraffe is also trialling O2’s Priority Moments loyalty platform to provide O2 customers with exclusive offers when they visit its restaurants.

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