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How Waitrose used Facebook for its pancake-making masterclass

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Supermarket chain Waitrose , a Leading retailer in IRUK Top500 research, celebrated this year's Pancake Day with a Facebook Live Video session. Jake Ward, business development director at Groovy Gecko, told us how they did it, and what the results were. Here are the highlights.

The event



Food writer and TV presenter John Whaite, the winner of the Great British Bake Off 2012, hosted Waitrose's first pancake-making masterclass at the supermarket's cookery school at King's Cross, London. The event marked Pancake Day and came in response to survey findings that suggested 58% of respondents would be making pancakes at home that day, with many looking for the perfect pancake recipe during the afternoon. Social media users tend to share pictures and recipes with online friends on Pancake Day.

How it worked



Groovy Gecko was Waitrose's Facebook Video publishing partner for the event. It used polling to enable viewers to vote on which ingredients should be used, which filling (macerated strawberries and Chantilly cream, or chocolate ganache) should be used and how the final pancake tower should be constructed. Viewers could vote for their favourite by giving the video a like or a heart. Votes were shown in real time on the screen. Viewers could also ask their own questions - and won a bottle of champagne or a box of chocolates if while Waitrose cookery school head chef Eleni Tzirki denonstrated how to make the perfect pancake, with tips such as adding a pinch of salt to strengthen the gluten and give the final product a better shape.

The results



The overall winner was chocolate ganache with 52% of the vote, and the final pancake tower was topped with peanut brittle and chocolate tuile.

The 39-minute live stream has been viewed by nearly 240,000 users - a viewing count of 62% of its 386,431 page likes. Jake JWard, business development director at Groovy Gecko, says: "Although this may not have consisted entirely of viewers who had liked the Waitrose Facebook page, it's likely that the video attained such a high level of reach as a result of its interactiveness, bringing it to the attention of viewers' 'friends'."

Overall, the stream had 1,200 likes, 174 shares and 549 comments.

Ward says that data it has collected from more than 180 Facebook Live streams over the last year suggests that live videos that last between 20 and 45 minutes perform most strongly. Live streams are considered a success if they reach a viewing count of 15% of total page likes.
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