There’s a reason companies are shelling out big bucks to specialists in digital marketing: 49 percent of all consumers use Facebook for restaurant recommendations and, according to a recent study, 81 percent of U.S. customers said a friend’s post had an impact on their purchase. See 11 restaurants rocking their digital marketing.
1. No Good Deed Goes Unnoticed On Facebook
When Brandon Cook’s grandmother asked for clam chowder from Panera Bread, manager Suzanne Fortier made sure she got a bowl — even though the restaurant wasn’t serving the soup that day. The story, which went viral and was posted to Panera’s Facebook, generating 500,000 likes and 22,000 comments in a matter of days.
2. Ordering on the Go
In 2012, people spent 13 percent more time logged onto Facebook with their smartphone than they did with their computer. In a web-savvy move, Domino’s offered a 50 percent off voucher through it’s mobile Facebook site. By the end of the year, Domino’s doubled its mobile order percentage (20
percent in May to 40 percent by 2012’s end).
3. Digital Cash for the Birthday Boy or Girl
Thanks to Facebook, everyone remembers that it’s their friend’s birthday. But do they remember to get them a gift? Now, thanks to Friendgiftr, they might. The app (used by restaurants like Chili’s, Domino’s, KFC, and Olive Garden) lets customers send gift cards right to a friend’s Facebook account.
4. Cleaning Out Your Inbox for Charity
In 2010, Chipotle launched its “No Junk” campaign, giving guests a charitable way to eliminate junk from their diets and their inbox. For every 100,000 spam emails forwarded by guests to Chipotle, the restaurant donated $10,000 to a nonprofit, serving up a side of karma with their guacamole.
5. Putting the Funny in Digital Marketing for Restaurants
When a high school swimmer asked Taco Bell via Facebook for a brand-themed speedo, the restaurant answered with a simple “What size do you where? And what’s your address?” That comment alone earned 2,414 likes.
6. The Pinnacle of Pinterest
Instead of posting a million pictures of a million donuts, Dunkin’ Donuts celebrates guests who are getting creative with the brand by pinning photos of a DD manicure, costumes people make for coffee cups, as well as photos of their mascot. Their 4,167 followers make Dunkin’ Donuts one of the most popular restaurants on Pinterest.
7. Retweet for a Cause
In 2011, Wendy’s tallied up the most retweets to win the Golden Tweet Award. How? One simple message that didn’t plug a single product: “RT for a good cause. Each retweet sends 50 to help kids in foster care.” At the end of the project, they earned 218,197 retweets — good for charity and for their brand recognition.
8. Connecting Different Platforms
Pinkberry started using frozen yogurt photos taken by fans on Instagram as their Facebook profile pic. Within a few weeks, their Instagram followers increased by 600 percent.
9. Connecting Different Platforms
San Francisco’s Nombe restaurant decided to play a game with their 1,587 Twitter followers. In 2010, they hosted a scavenger hunt where, every day, they’d tweet a clue pointing to a specific dish on the menu. Guests who could guess the daily dish three times earned themselves a free glass of Sapporo.