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This article is part of the 2012: Year in Review series from Nation's Restaurant News, which recaps notable news from the restaurant industry over the past year.
Most restaurant executives might argue their brands could never have too many units, but that case often is true in location-based social media, and it prompted Cinnabon and Texas Roadhouse to audit their presence on Facebook and Foursquare this year through a process called venue optimization.
In Cinnabon’s case, while each of its 500 U.S. bakeries had one real brick-and-mortar location, they may have had several entries on mobile-social platforms like Foursquare and Facebook Places. Duplicates, missing listings or incorrect GPS coordinates caused many Cinnabon locations to not show up in search results for Foursquare users.
The Atlanta-based chain worked with social-marketing firm MomentFeed to audit and enter the correct information for every Cinnabon location on every location-based network, said corporate-communications manager Rachel Hadley.
“Venue optimization creates one location that would be checked into most often, and that increases your visibility on Foursquare,” she said. “If there are 10 other venues for that location with a few check-ins, they’ll all be lower in the search results.”
After Cinnabon began its venue optimization campaign in April, engagement on Foursquare and Facebook increased 12.5 percent and 19 percent per month, respectively, through July. Upon completion of the campaign in July, Cinnabon’s numbers reached a higher plateau of engagement by August, with check-ins increasing another 43 percent and 63 percent on Foursquare and Facebook, respectively, in one month.
Texas Roadhouse initiated its venue optimization effort in August, registering its 390-plus locations on Facebook Places and Foursquare, eliminating duplicates, and correcting inaccurate coordinates.
According to MomentFeed, across a three-month period, Texas Roadhouse grew its total unique impressions on Facebook and Foursquare by 145 percent, while check-ins rose 33 percent and Facebook’s measurement of “people talking about this” for the brand increased 68 percent.