Case Study: Pineapple Express – developing a strong social media strategy

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Using social media marketing to build Pineapple Express

Pineapple Express is a cafe with a special emphasis on super foods and everything that is ‘good for your insides’.

Developed by Jonathan Ford and Tom Sweep, the brand is going from strength to strength, with their social media presence continuing to grow every day.

About the team

Jonathan Ford

Jonathan Ford has played a significant role in shaping some of Brisbane’s signature venues, events and projects. A QUT Marketing graduate, Ford’s keen interest in marketing and promotions developed from a young age, strengthened by professional experiences in both Katarzyna Group and Arcade Creative (now Follow Agency) until 2013, when he and Tom started Department Group.

Jonathan values relationships highly, and is renowned for being a creative and a forward- thinking leader. In an age of rapid content and channel creation, Ford believes integrated marketing and communication strategies are key for any business looking to stand out from the white noise of ‘in-your- face’ marketing tactics.

Tom Sweep

Tom Sweep has nine years experience in the marketing, events and promotion business, having worked for Arcade Creative (now Follow Agency) and contracted for large entertainment organisations such as Ten Pound Crew. After graduating in Property Economics at QUT, Sweep combined his new knowledge with an interest in the ever- growing marketing digital landscape to found Department Group with Jon.

Tom values hard work, efficiency and clarity in the production of high quality work. An expert in getting the right message to the right people, Tom is the go-to guy for the development of social, digital and online strategies. A well respected individual in the local community, Sweep understands the effectiveness of direct and interpersonal marketing strategy and integrates this into all his client stratagems.

About the brand

Pineapple Express

Pineapple Express was developed as there was a lack of healthy food in the market place. Very few cafes and fast food outlets were doing anything exciting, so Ford and Sweep saw an opportunity to create something unique on a big scale.. Pineapple Express! They worked on a comprehensive social and digital strategy that would drive sales and awareness for the brand.

Social Media Marketing has underpinned the success of their business, with their branding, tone, and visibility- driving a cult following for their healthy and ‘post worthy’ breakfast and lunch options.

The boys use a number of different social channels, with their primary focus on Instagram & Facebook.

“Both Instagram and Facebook are amazing platforms to make your voice heard and we found these channels developed data and turned into sales for our businesses”, said Ford.

Pineapple Express has a growing fan base of over 19,200 followers on Instagram with each post receiving over 7,000 organic likes.

All of their followers and likes have grown organically over time with little advertising spend.

These results have been achieved by creating an environment that encourages user generated content. Making the customer an extension of their marketing campaign.

social media is a great way to target & capture your direct audience with the key messages you want to deliver them!Click To Tweet

According to Jon and Tom, “social media is a great way to target & capture your direct audience with the key messages you want to deliver them!

It ensures real retention with your audience, which develops leads & sales for your business. None of our current businesses would be where they are today without developing a strong social media and digital strategy.”

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Follow Pineapple Express


Instagram: @pineappleexpresscafe

Facebook: @pineappleexpresscafe