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Smaller restaurant brands promoted their menu items as well, some successfully bringing about major gains in their Social 200 index scores, but other strategies often prevailed to make the biggest difference for mid-size and regional chains.

During September, when large and small restaurants were focused on Dine Out for No Kid Hungry, Togo’s Sandwiches and Bravo! Cucina Italiana saw their biggest jumps in social engagement by getting involved with the charity.

Bravo

Togo’s had the highest increase for the second week of September, when its Social 200 score climbed 25.1 percent to 7.58. The brand’s other social-marketing campaign, a video series called “Togo’s Logo Q&A,” continued to be an entertaining piece of content, although the number of likes those posts typically got were only a few dozen in the early stages. However, Togo’s posts for Dine Out for No Kid Hungry received hundreds of likes, including more than 550 likes and more than three dozen shares for its first such post on Sept. 7.

Similarly, Bravo’s Social 200 score increased 22.1 percent to 6.78 during the third week of September, when the casual-dining brand pledged $1 to No Kid Hungry for every new like its Facebook page received. Bravo also promoted a $5 coupon for any customer who made a $5 donation to No Kid Hungry and pledged another $1 donation for every time that Facebook post was shared.

The week before, Long John Silver’s used its Facebook page for cause marketing and earned an 8.9-percent gain in its Social 200 score to 10.67 as a result. Rather than tie in with No Kid Hungry, Long John Silver’s talked up its long-running partnership with Children’s Miracle Network, using its promotion for National Talk Like a Pirate Day as the news hook. A picture the brand shared of a pirate-theme children’s hospital room, which Long John Silver’s used to remind fans that it sponsors Children’s Miracle Network, earned more than 330 likes and nearly 60 shares.