My quest for perfection (and my laziness) has left this article unpublished for up to one month, but now I am completing and publishing it.
Now if you don’t already know, McDonald’s Corporation is the world’s largest chain of hamburger/fast-food restaurants, serving around 68 million customers daily in 119 countries. McDonald’s is a very big and easily recognizable brand (only one branch in Africa), but like many existing brands has to face a lot of negative press, a lot coming on the brand’s many active social media pages.
Now this article will go on to look at the existing strategy activities of 5 top fast-food chains in Nigeria, while looking at McDonald’s activities/strategies on Social Media.
Now first question;
What are the top fast-food brands in Nigeria?
I did some usability testing (talked to lots of people) and followed different valuations to come up with what could arguably be the top fast restaurants in terms of brand penetration,market share and availability in Nigeria and they are; Tastee Fried Chicken(TFC), Kentucky Fried Chicken(KFC), Sweet Sensation, Chicken Republic, and Tantalizers Plc
Secondly, I decided to check out their websites; Tastee Fried Chicken comes up with a nice domain name: www.tfc.com.ng, as at the time I was writing this post, the Facebook link on their website was pointing to a fast-food company based in the US. Kentucky Fried Chicken website is kfc-ng.com, Chicken republic url is http://www.swagger2sweetsensation.com/.
You can never find Sweet Sensation Nigeria’s website by thinking about the name, don’t even try, its http://www.swagger2sweetsensation.com/, while Tantalizers url is http://www.tantalizersnig.com/
Now let us look at the strategies adopted by these brands on Facebook, twitter, Youtube, Google Plus and Pinterest.
According to Social Bakers, Nigeria has over 5millions Facebook users, and is 35th on the list of countries with the most Facebook fans, I thought the number would be more, but it is still a fairly impressive number.
McDonald’s US facebook page has over 27m fans, but the brand posts five updates a month yet each one attracts several thousand ‘likes’ and comments, which is more than the brands that posts several times per day. The page’s popularity can be ascribed to the brands global success.
The pages that catch my interest though, are the local market pages which are far more active, the Mcdonald’s spain page has over 462,000 fans while the UK page has almost 500,000 fans and both pages post a lot of interesting product centric stuff. They create a stream of shareable content that gets Mcdonald’s lovers to regularly talk about their products; they have created a page on their website where users play a shareable monopoly game where users can win different prizes and they create interaction for this on their Facebook page
What are the Nigerian Fast foods brands doing?
Tastee has 4525 likes on facebook and has an average of 3 posts on a good day (some posts/pictures recycled), and the post all range from product promotions to other interesting content with an average of ten likes and 6 comments on each post They have also run a couple of competitions like Fan of the month, photo contest, etc (although none has been run recently).
KFC is a global brand, and they have brought some of their magic to their KFC Nigeria Facebook page which has 30,289 Facebook fans. They however do not post often,and regularly recycle posts (like the one below)
Chicken Republic has 3575 likes on their Facebook page, but their last update was on the 27th of March. Their most popular post however has about 943 shares, 36 likes and 16 comments.
Tantalizers has a Facebook page with 140likes and zero posts.
Sweet Sensation has 92 likes on Facebook, and their only post was done in March 2010
Looking at the local McDonald pages, McDonald’s USA invests a lot of time and effort in maintaining an active Twitter feed. There are over 995,000 followers on this page, and most of the effort here is targeted at customer service, as they maintain a dedicated customer service feed
According to a research publication “How Africa Tweets’ published in Guardian Uk in 2012, Nigeria had about 1.67m twitter users making it the third largest in Africa, I believe the number should have increased by now.
What are the Nigerian Fast food brands doing here?
@KfcNigeria has 609 followers, 1006 tweets and is following 38. The brand doesn’t tweet regularly and doing a simple search for kfc Nigeria reveals several unnoticed tweets relating to the brands.
@TasteeFC is the twitter handle for Tastee, and it has 601 followers, 296 tweets and is following 296, and from the number of recent tweets compared with total tweets, it seems like they just started using twitter regularly
@ChickenRepublic is the twitter handle for Chicken Republic, and it has 130 followers,33 following and 262 tweets. Twitter isn’t seen as a serious channel for them, as they only tweet once or a few times a month, and don’t respond to any of the queries or join in any of the conversations about them on twitter
Tantalizers do not seem to have any active twitter accounts and have made no effort to respond to any of the backlash they have received on twitter.
From doing a search about tantalizers, I discovered a recent trend about how Tantalizers meals were the worst, and it was allowed to go on without any damage control from the brand.
Sweet Sensation doesn’t have a twitter account and although most of the tweets about them are good, they are not regular.
McDonalds set up a Google Plus account but have done absolutely nothing with it.
According to PlusDemographics in 2012, Nigeria had only about 75,000 Google Plus Users,this slow adoption rate is also reflected in the behavior of the Nigerian fast food brands as none of them maintain a Google Plus presence.
McDonalds has only one main corporate account.with only about 2000 followers, and a majority of their content is pinned from the company’s Flickr account, while the rest mainly comes from other McDonald’s websites.
Adoption of Pinterest in Nigeria has been slow, and the Fast foods are definitely not on that wagon yet.
Mcdonald’s has been able to build a good following on Youtube with several creative, interactive and share worthy video content
Looking at the performance of Nigerian Fast Food brands, it is obvious that most of them need to work on their social strategies, as different reports have shown that Nigerians are regular users of these social platforms for discovery and for sharing.
For as many people that will want to argue that the McDonald’s franchise cannot be compared to these Nigerian franchises, my advice for you is to look and learn from the top in whatever industry you find yourself.
In a future post, I will share some tips for using different social media platforms
For more in-depth analysis or opinions, you can send me an email or tweet @Ifeanyi Abraham
*Thanks to econsultancy for some of the facts and figures