Most corporations, organizations, and even small companies must evaluate the investment in social media based on the ROI. Social media campaigns are sometimes unpredictable; however, your chance of return is greater if you follow these steps, like Outback did with its recent TBT “date night” campaign that resulted in a 7.2-percent increase in its NRN Social 200 score, solidifying its No. 15 position in the real-time rankings. The NRN Social 200 score is a calculated by social-media analytics firm Sprinklr with an engagement and impression ratio.
Let’s take a look to see what Outback served to its audiences…and we’re talking about much more than a Bloomin’ Onion.
1. Leveraged Trends.
Social media trends can change daily. Take a look at what hashtags are trending, what people are posting about, and what’s getting people connected and engaged. Outback developed a Facebook “Date Night” in-restaurant meal promotion that incorporated the popularity of “Throwback Thursday” photo sharing trend to boost the social media traction of its marketing campaign. Outback urged its nearly 3 million fans on Facebook to post photos of their date nights for “Throwback Thursday” using the #TBT hashtag to be eligible for a $50 gift card drawing.
2. Pulled a Heartstring.
Think of your newsfeed on Facebook: engagement announcements, wedding photos, pregnancy announcements, anniversary posts, walls flooded with birthday wishes, baby photos…the list goes on. People love to share happy events that connect them to others. These positive messages get people engaged. Outback knew this. By using a “Date Night” marketing campaign to generate more patrons, and encourage customers to share their connection with their loved ones, and even friends. The Outback Facebook page was flooded with photos from grandparents and soldier-couples home from Afghanistan, to fathers, daughters, and friends out together. They had comments of people reminiscing about their previous dates at Outback and even meeting “the one” at the restaurant. Outback reconnected with many of its fans by pulling a few heartstrings through this campaign.
3. Thought Even Bigger.
When developing a marketing campaign through the use of social media, think about what additional information you would like to learn about your audience during the campaign. What else can you learn about your brand, its image, and your fans that would be useful knowledge to inform future marketing/social media campaigns? This alone is a tremendously valuable ROI. Outback researched romance and date trends beyond its campaign, citing its own “New American Romance Study” that found more than half of those surveyed said they need at least one date night per month to keep the spark alive; however, the study also found 56 percent of people couldn’t remember their last date night.
“After learning that 42 percent of people canceled date night because they were too tired,” said Jeff Smith, Outback’s president, “we decided to make it as easy and tasty as possible with our special Date Night Meal for Two.”
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