Tuesday, May 6, 2014

800PIZZA is not just for calling as they have a large presence on social media

This week's Slice of Life takes us across the globe to Dubai. 800PIZZA has become a successful wood-fired Italian pizzeria chain across the United Arab Emirates.

The idea of 800PIZZA came to life in 2006 by Mr. Alessandro D'Ubaldo, an Italian expatriate who had resided in Dubai since 1999. It was mainly due to his passion for the traditional wood-fired baking and his belief that customers would appreciate the “taste of Italy” coming all the way to Dubai. A year later in March 8th, 2007, the first Pizzeria branch opened its doors in Al Barsha area. The small outlet was mainly catering for home delivery orders, hence the company’s catchy name; 800PIZZA (corresponding to the number to dial for home delivery 800-74992 (PIZZA))

In 2010, 800PIZZA joined hands with Belhasa Hospitality resulting in a strong growth of its business. By October 2012, the restaurant had spread all over the city with additional four branches in Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai, Motor City, and Ibn Battuta Mall. 

Meet Nadia M. Gharaybeh, Marketing Manager for 800PIZZA. 

PMQ: What type of posts and frequency have you found to be the most effective?
NG: Mainly on our social media pages, followers prefer interactive posts, such as contests and trivias, we also noticed that they like and comment on pictures of our events and caterings, cooking classes we offer and language classes. As for the frequency and based on online statistics we came to a conclusion that the followers are most active at11:00 am (right before lunch time) and at 6:00 pm (right before dinner time), however for twitter we observed that this is slightly different since our followers are most active between 8-9 am (which is when they head to work) and between 6-7 pm (heading home/order dinner). On weekend, we tend to post 3 times/day during peak season and twice/day during slow times. (Starting at 10:00 am, 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm)

PMQ: What is the key to success with social media for any pizzeria?
Social media analytics tend to focus on how many likes you have with engagement and other keywords coming in second. What do you think is most important for pizzerias to look at when considering their analytics?
NG: It is very important to have pictures illustrating our pizza and menu offerings in order for the customer to know ahead of time what they will order and how it will look like. Our pictures are taken in house and they are copywrited by 800PIZZA, also menu and flyer designs are done at our head office with one on one involvement of the General Manager and owner given his passion for designing, photography and above all Pizza! Our tags include the name of our classic pizzas, the city we are in #Dubai given the vast number of followers this hashtag has, our prime locations such as #downtown and #marina and the very popular #foodporn hashtag that has gone popular globally.

PMQ: Do you all do your social media or hired a pr firm?
NG: All social media activities are done in house through the Marketing Department. Starting from designing the pictures all the way to uploading, interacting to following … etc.

PMQ:  Not every pizza shop can afford a PR firm, so for those who are busy and can't hire this job out, what advice do you give them for social media if they just can't post daily?
NG: It is very important to keep a database of pictures of your offerings to make the customer eager to actually try, it is also very important to keep a one-on-one interaction with your followers, to like back, comment, respond to comments, accepts criticism and above all respond to private messages and thank those who took the time to share something with you. If they can’t post daily, it is most important to run the (facebook insights for example) for their page and see when is the peak time in terms of days and time, are your likers most active on weekdays or weekends? Are they most active during lunch hours or dinner and based on that you can create a strategy of when to post and what to post (as it is a very important element of your social media marketing success)

PMQ:  We have found only about 50% of pizzerias have a presence on social media. What advice do you have for pizzerias in terms of social media?
NG: Social media is now the cheapest method of marketing your brand or product, but also it is a double edged sword if done poorly, that’s why the posts have to be well thought of to attract followers (which will result in more customers) and create the curiosity element to attract those who might compare you to competitors

For more information, visit the website at www.800pizza.ae.

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