Why did the chicken cross the road? To get some Nando’s.

Fancy a cheeky Nando’s? Don’t we all? Juicy, flame-grilled chicken marinated in their world-famous peri-peri sauce. Ooooh, I am getting a serious craving for some chicken. But we’re not here to talk about their chicken, so hold that thought. We’re here to talk about their very unique approach to using social media to build their brand, and win over the hearts of our rainbow nation. They’ve already won me over, hence why I’m writing this piece, but they didn’t pay me to do it, I swear…I’d do it for free for some chicken anyway.

Nando’s success on social media is owed to a simple but, of course, cheeky social media strategy. It’s called a cheeky Nando’s for a reason. I just love the simplicity of their tone of voice, avoiding any boring, grey, repetitive jargon that you’d usually see with other restaurant brands. Whether it’s across Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, Nando’s delivers punchy and playful social media content that can either wind you up the wrong way or make your day when the petrol prices just aren’t.

Sharp one-liners and jumping on the news cycle where relevant, chancing a laugh with it, Nando’s pretty much has social media figured out to the chicken bone. While humourous, sarcastic quips might not be right for every business, Nando’s says “screw that” and goes all in. They talk to their customers like you would with a friend, “howzit my bra, fancy a Nando’s?”, which helps develop a human voice for a social story. Less sounding like a robot, more Nando’s.

Nando’s keeps its social media strategy simple, just like its menu. They focus on quality over quantity, and whatever they create they always seem to hit it for a six, and their audience catches it every single time.

Nando’s has become notorious for its satirical ads based on current affairs and trends, The ads may relate to the country’s climate, politics, or fiascos and are presented in a humourous manner. Although sometimes controversial, this relevance has led to some very successful campaigns for the chicken giant.

People like ads they can relate to, so using current events as the foundation for your marketing can be a great way to connect with everyone. South Africans often find humour in unfortunate situations, like loadshedding, corruption, and how can we forget…good ol’ Parliament. Nando’s has used this to create some of its most memorable advertisements. Responding to what’s happening in this country is a great way to get the public’s attention and make your campaign unforgettable, as long as it is done tastefully, like a mild quarter chicken and wedges… mmmmm delicious!

Nando’s regularly encourages its audience to tag a buddy or share their plates. It’s a simple yet effective tactic that they use to grow their reach. It creates a sense of community with their audience, like when you bring your buddies over to your Gogo’s house and she just makes everyone feel at home. Where they really own social media is by the sheer quantity of their customers that create content about them, without even being encouraged! Some might say Nando’s has a somewhat hypnotic effect on those who experience its delectable might firsthand.

They’re extremely engaging on social media, especially on Twitter. Nando’s has fantastic banter on social media and will often reply directly to people’s tweets. The public actually mentions the brand in the hopes of getting them to reply with either a ‘famous clapback’ or a funny ‘thank you’. I mean, let’s be honest, getting Nando’s to notice you is like the equivalent of your crush acknowledging your existence.

Engaging with your audience is a big part of marketing in the digital age, particularly on social media. By not engaging with audiences on social platforms, you are losing out on opportunities to expand your customer base and create a loyal following. 

Engaging with social media content created by your customers builds loyalty and should form part of a great social media strategy. Re-sharing content from your customers shows them some serious love too.

Nando’s keeps it simple, but never plain, because plain rhymes with pain, and pain is not good. They go easy on the posting and focus their efforts on engaging with customers. At Grindstone, social media is our thing. We craft and create uncomplicated and, effective social media strategies that get results for our clients. Our goal is simple, if you’re happy, we’re happy, and if you grow, we grow. Get it?

And to end things off, I’m off to get some chicken, so I’ll catch you on the flip side. May 2023 be good to you.

Andre Carstens

André loves to live healthily, exercising for a few minutes, and then gobbling up a whole cheesecake… because life is about balance. If you ask him what he loves the most in life, he’ll quickly respond with ”Rufus” (his dog). He seamlessly slotted into our dynamic team. By using his innovative writing ability, he has proven himself a valuable asset, not only to our team but to our clients.

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