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Pizza Hut Builds Huge Following Across Platforms


You’ve got to give the marketing folks at Pizza Hut some kudos for their social media efforts.

In day six of Janet Thaeler’s and my foursquare case study series, I’m going to take a look at how Pizza Hut used foursquare, Facebook and Twitter to engage their audience.

Back in May, while the primary season was in full swing, Pizza Hut launched a social media campaign to expand it’s influence and asked customers to vote for a special offer they launched last Fall.

The vote for the offer was tied to Facebook, but supported by Twitter and foursquare.  It looks like it has worked out well.  Pizza Hut has 1.4 million fans on Facebook and about 31,000 followers on Twitter. 

Acting as “campaign manager” for the promotion was Alexa Robinson who is the official Pizza Hut Tweetologist.  (Sounds like a made up job title to me.)  Her story is interesting because she started out as an intern for Pizza Hut and that turned into a full time position as Tweetologist.

The campaign was successful and Pizza Hut’s $10 any pizza deal has no anticipated end date.  Pizza Hut is a division of Yum Brands and this promotion helped the chain see sales gains in same-store sales beat every other division in the fast food empire.

Largely on the strength of the $10 deal, Pizza Hut posted stronger sales than its sister companies. At Taco Bell, sales at restaurants open at least a year were up 1 percent in the second quarter but sales at KFC, the nation’s largest chicken chain, were off by 7 percent.

Yum’s other brands also have a large amount of Facebook fans, but those divisions engage differently with their customers.  KFC has no custom landing tab, while Taco Bell has a game and video to engage fans. 

Is Pizza Hut’s success due to foursquare?  I don’t think so, but I do think they managed to effectively use social media and a killer deal to build sales and customer base in an economy that is still feeling the pinch of recession.

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  1. seobyswaby
    July 27, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Several people on Twitter have questioned whether this success is due to social media or simply to TV. All three Yum brands have TV and all have Facebook pages with similar memberships. The difference I see is in how the brands engage with their customers. KFC doesn’t have a custom landing page, while Taco Bell’s is about a game and video, not an offer. Only Pizza Hut engaged their customers around an offer. Only Pizza Hut had strong sales and they have a higher price point than the others.

    Could it be the perceived value of a $10 pizza? Sure. Maybe Pizza Hut can answer the question.

    Like

  1. July 27, 2010 at 2:21 am

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