Social media has become a critical part of marketing for every restaurant from big chains to local eateries. With the variety of platforms and low cost of entry, standing out successfully can be difficult. Creating promotions or campaigns is one way to create increases in awareness when done well.
We rounded up five Restaurant Social Media Campaigns of 2013 to show how and why they were successful.
Starbucks Tweet-a-coffee launched on Oct. 28 and lets you “give a $5 gift card to a friend by putting both ‘@tweetacoffee’ and the friend’s handle in a tweet.” Users were able to easily link their Starbucks accounts to Twitter and add a credit card to the account. By mid-December, the program generated over $180,000 in purchases.
The campaign was successful because it infused good will into a never-been-done campaign. It not only got people talking but directly affected the bottom line.
Wendy’s Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger Webisodes
Wendy’s conducted a “360 marketing campaign encompassing national TV and radio, outdoor billboards, and a celebrity-focused digital marketing campaign.” This program was unique as they used fan tweets about their new Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger to develop a song by Nick Lachey and two webisodes.
Integrating traditional and social media marketing methods to support each other created a balanced and widespread campaign. The drawing on customer affinity for the product to create content endeared the brand to their fans even more.
Chipotle 20th Anniversary
A string of “random” tweets by Chipotle gave the impression the account had been hacked. Fortunately, it was part of the company’s 20th anniversary celebration “Adventurito,” which they admitted to later.
While “mistake campaigns” can be risky, they can also generate a lot of conversation quickly. The controversial campaign “added more than 4,000 followers on the day of the “hack”, compared to its normal rate of about 250. The tweets were retweeted about 12,000 times.”
16Handles Tries Snapchat
While national brands have bigger budgets to spend, smaller restaurants still have the ability to use social media to their advantage by moving quickly. A NY yogurt shop, 16Handles, realized many of its young consumers were using Snapchat, so they went where their base was interacting. They enlisted a concept known as “exploding coupons”.
The program worked like this: A customer snapped a picture of him or herself at a 16Handles location and sends it to Love16Handles on Snapchat. In return, they received a “coupon for anywhere from 16% to 100% off on their purchase. They then have 10 seconds to let the cashier scan the coupon” before it expires.
Reaching out where your audience is talking and sharing should be a beginning for any campaign. It shortens the steps for consumers to participate to increase the likelihood of them contributing.
Pal’s Sudden Service Brings People Together
Pal’s Sudden Service noticed many of their Facebook fans had moved outside of their footprint when they were posting how they missed their favorite item. With that knowledge, they “launched a Facebook contest, which called for people to nominate their far-flung friends to win a free trip home to Tennessee for the holidays, as well as a homecoming party at the nearest Pal’s for them and 25 of their friends.”
Even without hundreds of thousands of fans, a restaurant can still affect its business through positive interaction with their core. Without having a sale tied to the program, the effort built stronger relationships with their advocates.
Engage Your Base
Restaurants should continue to challenge themselves and develop ways to engage their fan base using the tools available, while being unique to their restaurant. Consumers are having conversations about restaurants and products daily, so restaurants can build campaigns around that dialogue.