KFC is sinking its teeth into social media, and gaining some juicy results. The fast food chain is using social channels not only to interact with its customers and engage them, but also to create buzz about its products. According to Rick Maynard, KFC's public relations manager, the ultimate goal is to cultivate brand supporters. "We like to think that all these millions of people who follow us on a social space become advocates for the brand," he says.
For KFC, social media is a way to keep the brand relevant by reaching out to customers in a space where they already spend a lot of time. "Our customers like to connect with the brand in those channels, and we like connecting with them [there] and telling them what's going on," Maynard says. In fact, the brand's Facebook page has received nearly 3.5 million "likes," and close to 50,000 consumers follow KFC's Twitter page.
The company's attempts to communicate with its fans via social media have not gone unnoticed. In fact, a study of about 400 consumers carried out by Ogilvy and ChatThreads found that customers who were only exposed to KFC ads via social media were seven times more likely to spend more than those who didn't see these ads. Maynard says these results make sense. "Social media is totally opt-in. If you're sitting at home watching TV and a KFC commercial comes on, you may be interested in what you see, but you didn't ask for that commercial," he says. "But if you're a follower of our brand, you contacted us and said you wanted to hear about us. It's an audience that is obviously very interested in our brand, what we have to say, and our product."