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186 years without marketing - then came Facebook

Social media has given many companies a new way of getting in touch with customers and collaborators. One of them is Hotri Storkøkken A/S.
Danish company Hotri Storkøkken A/S began marketing its industrial kitchens on Facebook. This has resulted in lots of new customers.

Publiceret: 29.06.2017
Af Peter G. H. Madsen mail

Hotri Storkøkken in Skovlunde has existed since 1830. For the first 186 years, the company did not spend a single cent on marketing.

Industrial kitchens in the million-kroner range, Hotri’s speciality, are not something you sell through witty ads, but through conversations and by building trust with customers. This was the company’s mantra.

Nevertheless, Hotri - spurred by courses offered by the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) - decided to try out social media marketing last year. This has turned many things in the 18-man company on their head, explains CEO Anders Berg.

“Until one year ago, we had never marketed our products, but we sensed that social media could draw in new customers. We have the highest success rate with Facebook, and we are also on LinkedIn,” says Anders Berg.

See also: DI Analyse - Social media is the companies new best friend (in Danish)

A breakthrough in the perception of social media

Hotri Storkøkken is far from alone with its positive perception of social media. A survey carried out by DI shows that the majority of companies perceive social media as an advantage, while only a very small part consider them a disadvantage.

According to digital expert Benjamin Rud Elberth, DI’s survey clearly testifies to the fact that Danish companies are now taking seriously the idea that spending time and energy on posting pictures, text and video on social media is something that pays off.

“That’s new. Previously, scepticism was far more common,” explains Benjamin Rud Elberth, who has particularly experienced scepticism from senior executives in relation to whether social media marketing had an effect on the bottom line.

“Now, companies dare to spend their advert kroner on it and make plans across media. It’s a much more wholehearted effort,” he says.

See also: Are you ready for the now-world?

25,000 followers on Facebook

Another company that is successful on social media is Danish Air Transport (DAT).

As of the time of writing, the company has 26,082 followers on Facebook, and the number is increasing daily. According to CEO Jesper Rungholm, the company’s activities on Facebook help to create increased engagement among customers, which include both holiday and business travellers.

“We try to engage customers and followers, and we believe we are quite successful,” says Jesper Rungholm, explaining that among the company’s social media stunts is a vote on where to fly for its annual Christmas shopping trip, which followers subsequently have the opportunity to buy a ticket for. Last year, the trip went to Gdansk, Poland.

However, social media does also allow for criticism from dissatisfied customers, explains Jesper Rungholm.

“You can’t avoid situations once in while where someone writes something idiotic on Facebook,” he says.

Meanwhile, DAT does not only use social media for external communication. The airline also has an internal Facebook page where employees can post all sorts of things - from a picture of a colleague sleeping to a restaurant recommendation, explains Jesper Rungholm.

“I’m sometimes surprised at what people post and ask about on Facebook. But I would actually like to see the page be used even more. It helps to create a good atmosphere and solidarity among employees,” he says.

Meanwhile, there is no doubt that employees from time to time will use social media for things that are in no way work-related. Jesper Rungholm does not, however, see any problem in this.

“Employees know they shouldn’t spend hours on it. And they don’t want to, either. I find it difficult to imagine that it would be able to fill a working day,” he says.

This opinion is shared at Hotri Storkøkken.

“Employees are adults. Some smoke a cigarette. Others check Facebook. We might as well acknowledge that it’s here to stay. And we aren’t experiencing problems in the slightest,” says CEO Anders Berg.

According to digital expert Benjamin Rud Elberth, the two directors are on to something.

“Only old-school directors believe that social media reduces productivity,” he says.

Employees are adults. Some smoke a cigarette. Others check Facebook.

CEO ANDERS BERG, HOTRI STORKØKKEN A/S
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PUBLISHED: 6/29/2017 LAST MODIFIED: 6/29/2017