A diverse collection of restaurant chains scored the biggest gains in the NRN Social 200 index the second week of July, and while their reasons for increased social-media engagement all varied, the keyword that applied to all of them was consistency.
Boston Market, for instance, had not changed drastically the type of content or the frequency of its posting on Facebook and Twitter, but it benefited from the ongoing popularity of its new ribs introduced back in April. Likewise, Papa John’s kept its social-media platforms regularly refreshed with new posts about football and its specialty pizzas, as well as its charitable efforts under the “#PapaJohnsCares” hash tag, which fans noticed and appreciated.
For Krystal and 7-Eleven, consistency could be defined as posting content that is emblematic of their core values and brand history. The nearly 400-unit burger chain earned its spike in engagement simply by touting itself as “a Southern thing,” while the C-store brand made a big deal out of its 7-Eleven Day event, which took place on July 11. Another “C” word besides consistency that proved crucial for 7-Eleven was comprehensive, as the brand’s social-media campaign spanned for days across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
1. Boston Market
Weekly percent change: +23.4%
Index score: 12.64
Boston Market primarily uses its Facebook and Twitter pages as avenues for once-a-day posting about its promotions and new menu items — though its Facebook page also appears to be where the chain responds to social-media questions and complaints, and quickly. During the second week of July, Boston Market’s Facebook engagement increased with more likes, comments and shares of two posts for two separate menu items: Market Bowls and St. Louis Style BBQ Ribs. The ribs item, which Boston Market credited with a 16-percent same-store sales lift earlier this year proved particularly popular, earning nearly 300 likes, compared with the chain’s typical Facebook posts, which tend to generate fewer than 100 likes.
Weekly percent change: +21.6%
Index score: 34.07
Convenience-store chain 7-Eleven made hay on its namesake day of July 11 with a comprehensive social-media campaign to accompany its small-Slurpee giveaway in all its stores. The promotion encompassed all three major platforms tracked by NRN’s Social 200, with a “#7ElevenDay” hash tag on Facebook and Twitter, as well as frequent links to YouTube videos showing people how to do the Slurpee Dance. On 7-Eleven Day itself, the chain’s promotional photo went viral on both Facebook and Twitter, earning more than 19,000 likes and 18,000 shares on the former, as well as several thousand retweets and favorites on the latter.