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Quick-service chain Panda Express was among the top five biggest weekly gainers in the NRN Social 200 three out of the four weeks measured in June, with most of its engagement derived from Facebook. Panda’s most popular Facebook post for the month advertised its systemwide Orange Chicken giveaway set for June 21, earning more than 20,000 likes, nearly 6,000 shares and nearly 950 comments.

Ninety Nine Restaurant and Pub improved upon its lower base index score in the second half of June with a giveaway of its own — albeit in a less formal style on Facebook. Rather than advertise an official named giveaway, Ninety Nine asked in a June 18 post, “Tell us what your favorite entrée is, and we will randomly pick one of the responses to win a Ninety Nine gift card!”

The chain’s index score increased 15.9 percent and 12 percent, respectively, in the third and fourth weeks of June.

Happy anniversaries

Offering a second box of doughnuts for 76 cents with one full-price purchase is almost like giving away its signature product, but Krispy Kreme Doughnuts’ June 13 promotion exemplified another marketing tactic that drove social engagement: the brand anniversary.

To celebrate its 76th anniversary, Krispy Kreme created a Facebook event for the offer on the 13th and promoted the day with several posts showing old photos of its doughnut shops through the years. The brand’s index score rose 18.2 percent over the second week of June.

Marie Callender’s 65th anniversary contest also made use of vintage photos to drive engagement in the sweepstakes, including photos of chain founder Marie Callender and a black-and-white picture of the Quonset hut where she started selling pies in 1948.

Similarly, A&W All-American Food shared vintage magazine advertisements and photos of its restaurants to celebrate its 94th birthday on its Facebook page and its Twitter account, which serves as the personal handle for its fictional mascot, Rooty. The quick-service chain’s index score increased 12.3 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively, the third and fourth weeks of June.

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