Blog Insight

Sur La Table’s Recipe for Social Media Success

Sur La Table was founded by Shirley Collins in 1972 when she saw a need in Seattle for a kitchenware store. At the time, it was hard to get high-quality cookware locally: French knives, pastry bags, cheese cloths. Shirley got a business loan—the first time a woman had done that on her own in Washington—and turned a run-down, old speakeasy in Seattle’s Pike Place Market into the city’s first kitchenware store. Sur La Table is now the second-largest specialty cookware retailer in the US, with over 100 stores across the country, a robust culinary program, and a digital presence that has transformed Sur La Table’s customer experience.

Sur La Table’s audience is a blend of beginner home cooks, expert chefs, and kitchenware enthusiasts. Part of Sur La Table’s challenge was connecting all of its different audiences with its brand promise: to peel back the intimidation around cooking and be a place where chefs at any level feel encouraged and inspired to submerge themselves into the joy of cooking. With thousands of stock-keeping units (SKUs), in-store events, online promos, and cooking classes happening all over the country in local markets, it was a challenge for the Sur La Table marketing team to create a cohesive communication stream from Sur La Table’s catalogs and emails to its digital platforms. Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram were all being managed by different team members, and the team didn’t have the strategy in place to give each channel the love it deserved.

Sur La Table partnered with The Garrigan Lyman Group (GLG) to transform the customer experience in social media. This included management of all organic and paid social media campaigns, including both organic social posts to drive engagement and targeted social ads to drive product sales and sign-ups for cooking classes.

The new strategy reimagines Sur La Table’s social media channels as a vehicle to meet customers where they are and offer them exactly what they need in the moment. Each post tells a story and provides options so curious customers can easily click to learn more.

Seasonal Recipes and Promotions

This post is a live demonstration of two Sur La Table chefs walking through how to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving and answering viewers’ questions in real time. It also directs to a Facebook event where customers can watch other tutorials, browse recipes, and shop for products.

Targeted Content Based on Browsing or Purchasing History

This ad targeted people who had browsed the Sur La Table website in the past 15 days and didn’t make a purchase but were interested in French cooking and French cooking brands.

Geotargeted Content Based on User Location

This post allows customers to enter a giveaway to win pie-baking products and learn more about signing up for new pie-baking classes in their city.

Now when Sur La Table’s customers see a new post in their newsfeed, it serves them an experience connected back to the brand promise. Using conversational language, real-life imagery, live video cooking demonstrations, giveaways, contests, and more, we’ve helped Sur La Table lock in a recipe for social media success. And when Sur La Table’s followers want to learn more, we make sure the digital experience is seamless from the first time they see a social post to converting and making a purchase right there on the social platform.