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Papa Murphy's3. Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N Bake Pizza
Weekly percent change: +16.2%
Index score: 11.65

Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N Grill Sweepstakes has driven significant growth in Papa Murphy’s Social 200 index score this summer, including a year-to-date record increase of 88 percent for one week just a few days after the contest was announced. That promotion continues to supply Papa Murphy’s with content for its Facebook page, including a user-generated photo of the brand’s pizza being cooked at home on a grill, which earned more than 900 likes and nearly 100 comments and shares, far above baseline levels for those Facebook metrics.

White Castle4. White Castle
Weekly percent change: +13.2%
Index score: 22.67

Restaurant brands long have recognized the value of devoted fans when it comes to the sales they can generate, but last week, White Castle found how much one fan could help a restaurant’s branding efforts go viral. A photo of a White Castle replica constructed entirely from LEGO pieces, taken by fan Rob Bender and uploaded to Flickr, proved to be White Castle’s most engaging Facebook post of the week and for months. The picture received more than 14,000 likes, nearly 4,000 shares and nearly 500 comments, including a few from Bender himself.

5. Buca di Beppo
Weekly percent change: +13.2%
Index score: 21.88

Similarly, one photo of the Apple Gorgonzola Salad on Buca di Beppo’s Facebook page earned nearly 2,000 likes and more than 100 shares, compared with like totals in the low-triple-digits and share totals in the single digits for most of the casual-dining chain’s typical posts. However, the brand undoubtedly was helped by a July 12 post that preceded the week measured in this Social 200 recap. The post was for a $20 gift certificate redeemable at Buca di Beppo all weekend, which included the first two days of the period. Importantly, the photo that accompanied the offer showed several Buca signature menu items. Buca garnered more than 80,000 likes and more than 7,000 shares for that offer’s Facebook post.

Editor’s note: Some brands tracked by the NRN Social 200 are not active on their social-media platforms and have a low index score as a base, yet can produce large swings in that score with minimal activity. Because of this, the restaurant chains with index scores below 5.00 are excluded from NRN’s weekly report on the Social 200’s biggest gainers.

Contact Mark Brandau at mark.brandau@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN