Social Media Agency Efforts Help McDonald’s, KFC and Others with ROI

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One of the industries most positively impacted by the social media marketing boom has been the restaurant business. Among some of the most popular topics discussed on social media sites, users love to share where they’re dining, what they’re eating and with whom. Now, restaurant executives are analyzing the impact of social media on their business, both in terms of sales and reputation, asking questions like:

  • • “Which competitors are doing the most with Twitter?”
  • • “What gets our fans to engage on Facebook?”
  • • “Do location features like check-ins on Facebook, Foursquare or Yelp help us at all?”

Really, the bottom line to any of these questions is: Are we getting a return on our investment? True, social media is basically free to use (implicit costs like electricity, Internet connections and labor notwithstanding). But the most important investment business owners make when they utilize social media is their time. All in all, ROI is hard to define when it comes to social media marketing.

Fortunately, there are now studies that can help quantify this better. One new study reveals that social media efforts have had an impact on sales results and brand perceptions, especially in the restaurant industry.

The research was done by Ogilvy-Chat Threads, an agency that released a study of 400 U.S. restaurant consumers who were tracked in the first half of this year. The data revealed that social media exposure, integrated with other marketing channels, was associated with increases of between two and seven times in week-over-week consumer spending at the five fast food brands that were selected for the study: Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald’s, Subway, Taco Bell and Wendy’s.

What did the study prove? Among other things, that while television and billboard ads were still found to be most effective at driving revenue and brand awareness, 24 percent of the consumers in the study patronized one or more of the five brands they use because of the influence of social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs or review sites.

That’s measurable evidence of the effectiveness of social media (the five brands were chosen because of their social media campaign activity), and can be transferred into real ROI numbers for those companies. Keep in mind, each of the nationally known companies on this either employs a skilled marketing department or a reputable social media agency. They know that is the way to have a truly effective social media campaign.


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