Social Spotlight: How Tim Hortons puts people first in its social strategy

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Tim Hortons and Canada have a symbiotic relationship. The restaurant chain has forged a brand identity as the largest (and best-known) coffee and donut franchise in the country. Now they are creating a social identity that contributes to and drives this brand on a global scale.

Aiming to target the entire nation of Canada as a core audience and attract that audience to engaging and creating meaningful content, Tim Hortons chooses a people-first-social strategy that reflects the company’s values.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways the brand connects with their customers through social networks.

They targeted an entire country

Canadian culture is at the heart of Tim Horton’s news. With locations all over the world, everyone can get a taste of Canada with its sweet treats and coffee. But social media is a more impactful playground for Tim Horton’s and his followers to join in celebrations revolving around popular Canadian pop culture, sports wins, and more.

Your target audience may be broad, but sharing in these moments and using that content in your content strategy shows an understanding of what is culturally important to your followers. It creates a connection between brand and customer, but also conveys a sense of relevance and guarantees that you always have something to discuss with the people who love your brand.

Make it yours: Not every brand has the same chance (or the same mission) to target an entire country. But the most important thing is to see Tim Hortons speak to his audience through the lens of culture. When you use social media to share in joyful moments that are important to your own target audience, it creates a sense of connection between your brand, your community and current events.

Your engagement is simple but powerful

Simple engagement decisions are sometimes the most powerful. Tim Hortons realizes this by accessing his social audience to curate store playlists or by nudging his followers to brighten up a gray day.

Your questions, prompts, and other interactive tweets generate significant threads of comments. There are two advantages: customers and followers are not only committed to a brand they like, they become part of the brand experience. The next time they’re in the shop and hear a song they may have suggested for the playlist on Twitter, they’ll feel like their opinion is important in shaping the experience they keep coming back for. It’s an easy way to use the power of the social to build trust and loyalty with your audience.

Hey, the internet is pretty tough these days. Drop a “Toast Me” below and we’ll say something we think is great. #NationalToastDay

– Tim Hortons (@TimHortons) February 25, 2021

Make it yours: Do you use questions and prompts in your social strategy? Think about how you can make the two-way conversation a bigger part of your content plan. Enable your customers to be part of the brand experiences you create so that they can be reflected in their consumer decisions. Get inspiration from what interests your audience, even if it’s not directly related to your product or service. By focusing a prompt on music, Tim Hortons makes the engagement feel more authentic and less selfish.

Your audience is your content

Part of maintaining a brand identity that is loved by an entire nation is understanding that the people of that nation play a huge role in your brand.

Tim Hortons focuses on the people they love to create and share meaningful content. Their 2020 vacation campaign – a whimsical video series that focuses on Canadians and the snowmen they filmed this winter – shows that people’s mentality and underlines a strong message of inclusion. Tim Hortons made no effort to correlate their product with the touching video series they created. While the campaign has little to do with coffee, the popular chain shows us that the people they serve are just as part of their business as the products they serve.

We were honored to feature Canadians and their snowmen in our vacation film. We had the even greater honor of seeing their reactions when they saw the final cut. Take part and experience the magic. Maybe it will inspire you to build your own! #SnowpeopleCanada pic.twitter.com/wivz4rfyls

– Tim Hortons (@TimHortons) December 23, 2020

And the content didn’t stop at a produced video where families came together. There are separate spotlights on each family and their values, and it is the reaction of the families watching the last video with Tim Hortons. They invite their customers into their brand and invite us, the viewers, into every aspect of this process to build a deep connection with their community.

And the real magic? Coffee and donuts didn’t even matter. But you still recognize the Tim Hortons of everything.

Make it yours: Content can reach unimaginable heights if you first create a strong brand identity. Don’t be afraid of taking your content strategy in unexpected directions and folding your values ​​(and the people you serve) into more of what you are showing the world. If done right, people will still recognize your brand in everything.

Tim Hortons may have a reputation as a popular Canadian coffee chain, but thanks to the company’s thoughtful approach to social strategies and the innovative places they use their personal content and audience engagement, this international brand is building a reputation that popular all over the world is world.

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