Restaurant Chains That’re Rocking Social Media

1. McDonald’s – Don’t Pay. Simply Hug 

The fast food giant, McDonald’s is a champion when it comes to take their fans by fascination by running super interesting social media campaigns. During the 2015 Super Bowl, McDonald’s launched the “Pay With Lovin’” campaign where random customers were selected who paid for their order with ‘loving gestures’. The servers at McDonald’s stores accepted ‘loving gestures’ such as family hugs instead of cash during the promotion times (which ran from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. from February 2 to February 14). 

The fast-food giant also tweeted about other marketers’ spots and garnered a lot of retweets. 

2. KFC – They Launched A Crispy-fried Sunscreen

KFC, besides being one of the biggest names in the fast food industry is also a marketing wizard. In 2012, KFC India launched the “Radio KFC RJ Hunt” campaign which was a ‘hunt’ for RJs for Radio KFC – an exclusive radio channel that plays music only in KFC stores across India. To execute the audition, KFC created a Facebook app called KFC RJ Hunt and encouraged its fans to participate in the audition/contest. Upon login, users saw a virtual radio console through which recorded a demo of their voice. In order to submit the demo, users were asked to fill in their contact details for further communication. The response to the campaign was amazing as over 3000 RJs recorded the demos.The brand’s Facebook page also garnered 170K new likes. Some of the biggest blogs also featured the Facebook app as the biggest social media campaign. Most importantly, KFC earned new valuable data (including telephone nos. and email ids) to be used for promotions. Last year it created a Kentucky Fried Chicken SPF 30 sunscreen, and some 3,000 tubes of the sunscreen were snapped up in two hours. The campaign complemented the ad campaign featuring actor George Hamilton,known for his famous suntan, as the Extra-Crispy Colonel. 

3. Subway – An Onslaught Of GIFs

Subway knows just how to be creative with their social media marketing campaigns. The brand’s intriguing campaign JanuANY saw interesting GIFs associated with Subway products. The GIFs were synced with real-time moment marketing to cater to a memorable experience. The promotion centered around $5 “Footlongs”. Using Twitter as a platform, Subway responded to anyone who tweeted using the #januANY hashtag. The idea was to promote the campaign via Twitter promotions, organic Tweets, and a few Facebook posts. 

via GIPHYThe motive behind this was to get the customers to share the GIFs with their friends in social media. More than 100 different GIFS were released on social channels and the campaign generated a lot of buzz.  

4. Domino’s Pizza – How To Slash Pizza Prices?

In the name of cheap pizza, Domino’s UK ran a witty Twitter campaign, “Tweet for Treats” in 2012 to reduce the price of Pepperoni Passion pizza. The objective of the campaign was to boost the lunch-time orders; which ran from 9 am to 11am. Fans/customers had to tweet using the #letsdolunch hashtag to plummet the price of the pizza; every tweet would cut off £0.01. People who liked Domino’s UK’s Facebook page and followed the Twitter page could order the specially discounted pizza between 12pm to 3pm GST.  The result of the campaign was obvious; the price of the Pepperoni Pizza fell from £15.99 to £7.74 as there were around 825 tweets. The gain? Well, Domino’s got their existing customers/fans to advertise the brand by tweeting about it. Although the campaign was a cheap setup, it definitely worked for the brand. 

5. Hard Rock – The Largest Battle Of Bands 

Hard Rock is all about music, even when it comes to social media marketing. Hard Rock International joined forces with ReverbNation, an online marketing community for musicians, to augment their Facebook fan base. The two joined powers to create Hard Rock Rising, the world’s largest Battle of Bands. ReverbNation successfully integrated the Hard Rock Rising competition into Facebook, and tapped into their 2 million + community of musicians to promote the contest. Hard Rock’s Café’s participating Facebook pages gained 950,000 new fans and the contest generated over 240,000 shares of the Facebook application.  

6. Starbucks – They Launched A Drink Just For Social Media 

In April 2017, the coffee chain released Unicorn Frappuccino, a sweet & sour concoction made with mango syrup, sour blue drizzle, sweet pink powder and vanilla whipped cream. It was a huge Instagram success generating over I70,000 [Instagram] hashtags about it. Thanks to a few leaked photos and Reddit conversations, the buzz around the drink was created even before the details were released in the social media.  

  The Unicorn Frappuccino was inspired by unicorn-themed food and drinks trending on social media. And the coffee leveraged the trend right way. The Unicorn Frappuccino drove significant traffic to stores during its limited run as well as brand awareness and affinity.  Well, the list won’t be complete if we don’t include the brand’s ingenious Twitter campaign “Tweet-a-Coffee” that let customers give a gift card worth $5 to their friends by including the friend’s handle and the mention “@tweetacoffee” in a tweet. Users had to sync their Starbucks account to Twitter along with their credit card. According to a Mashable report, it was found that more than 27,000 fans used the program. Some 34% of users bought multiple gift cards and 32% of the purchases occurred on the first day. 

7. Taco Bell – How To Keep Users Hooked To Your Page? 

Taco Bell is one fast food chain that has laid out superb social marketing campaigns. One such is the Beefy Crunch Burrito – a limited time product. To validate the product, Taco Bell used Twitter to ask their customers/fans how far they would go to express their love and passion for Beefy Crunch Burrito. As a result, customers responded with countless ways to prove their dedication. Fans went on to the extent of getting burrito tattoos, skydiving out of plane, and even setting up a burrito army. The campaign proved to be a great customer engagement as it built urgency and excitement. Apart from bringing the limited product back in the menu, Taco Bell also benefited with a double increase in fan numbers. After re-releasing the Beefy Crunch Burrito, Taco Bell urged their Instagram fans to get a post to 50,000 likes to keep the burrito on the menu for a laonger time. In return, the post garnered over 2,000 comments. 

 There’s a social media movement on social media to bring Beefy Crunch Burrito back to the menu.  We’ll be updating more campaigns soon. So, stay tuned to this space.  FYI – Here’s how to plan the right digital marketing mix for restaurants  + other useful insights.