If you are a digital marketer looking for some interesting social media marketing tips or a restaurateur looking forward to understand how social media marketing works for restaurants, this post will be an interesting read. As you know, In the digital era, potential customers turn to search engines and social media to find out what people are saying about a particular brand or company before buying its product or availing its service, restaurants too are compared and reviewed aggressively. Restaurant goers largely use social media and other platforms to read reviews posted by customers, interact with their friends and food lovers to find out more about restaurants they intend to visit or to compare and find out new options to explore. Here is a stat to support the above discussed point – 72% of customers read reviews on Facebook before taking a decision on visiting a restaurant.
A strong social media presence is necessary for restaurants to tackle and survive the fierce online competition.
Let’s look at some more digital marketing trends of 2018 for restaurants by Toast:
- 63% of restaurants advertise on social media
- 26% of restaurants advertise on Google or search engine
- Facebook is still #1 most frequently used social media.
- More successful restaurant businesses are less likely to use Twitter.
In this scenario, in order to up your social media marketing game as a digital marketer who handles a promotional campaign of a restaurant or as a restaurateur, you should analyze your competition and also keep a tab on the best practices adopted by the restaurants that are at the top of the game.
To help you start with that, In this post, we discuss about case studies of 10 best restaurants that have been running some amazing social media campaigns some of which even took the social media world by storm and we mean it.
Guzman Y Gomez
Fans & Followers – Facebook- 236,178 & Instagram- 34,161
The Mexican quick service restaurant started serving in Australia in 2006 and now 12 years ahead they have more than 100 branches across the continent and are in the process of expanding it to US and Asia. They run their restaurants with the confidence that their food quality and fast service can change the fast food scenario. Apart from their heavenly tasting burritos, tacos, nachos and much more, GYG gained its social media popularity from their campaign, #bringcalhome. It was a campaign organised by the team of GYG after a hilarious request from one of their biggest fan. Below is the message that Cal Ryan posted on GYG’s Facebook Page.
Who knew, Guzman y Gomez would take this seriously and will not only reply to this post but create a campaign to bring back Cal to Brisbane for a Chicken Fajita burrito with brown rice and guacamole! For the campaign, GYG asked the followers of Cal and GYG to get 3000 comments and 1,000 shares to bring Cal home for the burrito.
It became easy for Cal and other followers of GYG to mark the task and the next thing the world noticed was that it got completed in just 24 hours! The campaign got viral and got many electronic features!
Even in 2018, people talk about this campaign and how everyone got connected with this story. “Everyone loved the story, as it evolved organically,” Lara Thom, CMO of GYG.
You can check out the complete story here
Fans & Followers – Facebook- 4,489,002, Instagram- 252,780 & Twitter- 1,420,104
Nando’s as always been the most favourite restaurant in UK and their social media strategy has contributed to its success. Their brand running homogenous social media campaigns benefited them in generating engagement and loyalty. In many social media campaigns, Nando’s has encouraged its customers to share their Nando’s experience, one such campaign that engaged the audience was “finger selfies” campaign.
The audience was actively tweeting about their best finger selfies made from the Nando’s napkins – Euro 20 gift card was used as an incentive to get involved.
Fans & Followers – Facebook- 8,179,074 & Twitter- 2,806,297
Wendy’s has always been bold, funny and thoughtful with its Twitter presence. Almost each day they pull off some witty answer or post that engages their audience and connects with them.. Through all this Wendy’s show that they genuinely care for their audience. Here are 2 examples to justify:
With such attitude and sarcasm, Wendy’s made it possible to produce free advertising worth of million dollars, Twitter users retweeting them and them being covered by Business Insider, Mashable and Huffington. One such campaign that was the biggest social media win of the year and has the most numbers of retweet in the history of the world.
Teen named Carter asked Wendy’s how many retweets would get him a year of chicken nuggets? Wendy’s answer was- 18 million. In no time this Twitter post went viral and major corporations like Google and Starbucks jumped in the row to retweet. However, Carter did not get 18 million retweets but got 3.4 million retweets with the hashtag #NuggsForCarter. Anyhow, Carter got his love of his life- Nuggets, free for a year and in addition Wendy’s donated $100,000 in Wilkerson’s name to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
Black Bean Dinner
Fans & Followers – Facebook- 185,531 & Instagram- 15,566
It is a restaurant chain that started in California which specializes in home-cooked food. Their aim was to increase website conversions and local in-store visits so, here’s what they did. They teamed up with a media company to combine mouth-watering dishes, audience-specific captions, local geography targeting, and calls-to-action, into a successful Facebook ads campaign.
Once they were consistently working with their strategy, they could see the rise in impressions and enquiries that they were receiving. They received almost 2 million ad impressions (costing $0.003 per impression); they observed 10 times less expenditure to get an action than they would generally have on other advertising platforms and achieved a 1% average increase in sales across all restaurants.
Fans & Followers – Facebook- 24,636,315 & Twitter- 151,832
Heineken the famous beer brand touched its audiences’ souls by doing a social experiment. Designed to overcome the barriers of overly polarized world, Heineken’s #WorldsApart campaign brought 6 people with strong beliefs, opposing political and social worldviews in a room together towards a common goal- building a bar. This exercise was basically to work out their differences and understand each other with no conditions.
Once the bar was built and they discovered beers, they were given the option to share their beer and discuss their differences. Undoubtedly each pair shared the beer. This campaign did create a lot of media buzz and snatched the limelight. With touching the social problems of the current word, the video achieved 3 million views in just 8 days and over 50,000 shares in the first month!
Moreover, 91% of the comments on video were sentimental with messages like ‘We should really talk more’ and ‘listen more’, the campaign was an emotional success and the brand achieved their aim of promoting openness as a value that breaks down the barrier between us.
What the video here.
Fans & Followers – Facebook- 78,689,185 & Twitter- 166,587
Apart from advertising new products, promote sweepstakes and publishing reports on community engagement, the brand engages and works hard towards connecting with its audience. . However there was a time when the McDonald’s chains were battling to increase their sales as questions were being raised on the food quality. Also people were favouring chains like Chipotle over McDonald’s. So in 2014, they launched a transparency program in the US called “Our food. Your questions.” Through this program, they were trying to tackle questions like ‘what’s really in a chicken nugget’ and whether they are ‘pink slime’ in their burgers.
So to gain back the trust of its customers, McDonald’s dedicated a section of its website to the campaign where basic questions related to their beef and pork are answered. In addition to that, a video series which featured former “MythBuster” co-host Grant Imahara was also launched where he would visit various McDonald’s suppliers and break all the myths. These videos appeared on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channels along on the company’s website.
The chain invited questions from consumers on their social media handles such as Twitter and McDonald’s made sure to answer them.
With such programs and campaigns McDonald’s has brought an impact on its customers.
Fans & Followers – Facebook- 1,284,020; Twitter- 209,240
A popular US-based Restaurant-chain specializing in Chicken Wings, started in 1994. Since then there is no looking back for this aviation-themed restaurant. Wingstop has always been active on social media and their customers engage with them on social media. It is amazing to observe that almost 30% of their followers engage with their content on almost daily basis. The basic target audience for this brand are generally sports fanatics who are also chicken lovers. This helps them in creating a community of passionate friends and loyal brand advocates.
The witty posts they share relating Wingstop to sporting-events and also the interesting and funny stories related to their menu they come up with make their social media pages very lively and engaging – no wonder, the engagement always remains high.
Fans & Followers – Twitter- 11,482,684 & Instagram- 16,999,313
Being the favourite coffee place for people all over the world, Starbucks has the highest impression. The diverse content that they upload aims at promoting the premium and international image that they have maintained for years.
In 2014 their campaign, “Meet Me at Starbucks” was a major hit and gained a lot of success. It centred around a 6 minute documentary that was filmed at 59 Starbucks stores in 28 countries over the course of 24 hours. The crux of this documentary to highlight the human interaction at Starbucks stores around the world. Then the spokeswoman of Starbucks, Linda Mills said that the idea of this documentary stems from the thought that there are so many easy ways to connect with people thanks to technology, but “we’re not really connected unless we’re face to face.” The uplifting montages of young couples kissing, kids laughing and sipping their Frappuccinos and elderly couples embracing at the backdrop of Starbucks with a cheerful music definitely touches the emotional chords.
Such emotional content definitely elevates the brand in creating a community that people would want to join and share their experience. With such interesting content that they create back to back they consistently keep trending on social media.
Fans & Followers – Facebook- 70,570 & Instagram- 169,039
SweetGreen is a restaurant aiming at building healthier communities by connecting people to real food in areas of DMV, PA, MA, NY, CA and IL. With the simple motive of encouraging people to choose healthy food yet the most difficult to convince, SweetGreen plays the tactic of being consistent and bring out images, videos and campaigns that makes their food look attractive. Keeping their branding, imagery and message consistent, each post is a definite reinforcement of the only message that fresh, sustainable food is the future. They keep it simple on their social media handles that helps them create the aesthetic social channels that do not distract its audience from their message: Passion and Purpose.
Ted’s Montana Grill
Fans & Followers – Facebook- 46,423; Instagram- 2,923
Ted’s Montana Grill was founded in 2002 by media entrepreneur Ted Turner and restaurateur George McKerrow Jr. with important ingredients like simplicity, honesty and authenticity in classic American dishes. They have been America’s No.1 place to have the most mouth smacking ‘Authentic American Dining’. Apart from being the best in their arena, their social media game has always been at ace.
In 2017, when the restaurant was in the celebration mood for its 15th Anniversary, the brand happily welcomed 3 more items in their menu. To tackle the summer heat, Ted’s Montana Grill launched 2 new burgers and a special anniversary cocktail in a campaign that highlighted various aspects of temperature, spice and heat. Jalapeño Huckleberry Margarita, No. 15 and Bacon Jam Burgers were included in the full menu and were prepared fresh, in-house, from the scratch daily.
“We’re very excited to introduce three new menu items. Throughout the course of our brand’s history, we’ve been very selective when we introduce new or limited-time offerings,” says Kristi Martin, president. “The anniversary items give us an additional reason to celebrate, while exploring new flavor profiles with our guests. The campaign component, which is the first of its kind for our brand, allows us to highlight our 15th anniversary in a new and exciting way with those who have been there all along.”
As a part of the campaign, guests were encouraged to visit their nearest Ted’s Montana Grill and try one of added product and post a photo on social media by checking in with using the hashtag #TedsOnTheBeach. Through this campaign one lucky winner from each restaurant will compete for the ultimate prize of a beach vacation.
About the Author
Tanya Vashistha is a business writer and an associate at Finessse Interactive, a leading full-service Digital Marketing Agency that has worked with some of the big brands across Industries. Tanya is also a contributor at The Digital Inn.