Merchant: East Coast Wings + Grill
Location: North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Texas
Platforms: Momentfeed, Facebook, Instagram
Bottom Line: Using digital marketing platforms, brands can measure the lasting impact of social media campaigns.
Super Bowl advertising can drive buzz for national brands, but putting together high-profile TV spots to run during a national broadcast is too expensive an endeavor for most regional brands. With the big game fast approaching, some restaurant chains are taking a more localized approach and tapping into Super Bowl fever without spending millions on 30-second TV spots.
The fast-casual dining franchise East Coast Wings + Grill has first-hand experience with leveraging hyperlocal advertising during the Super Bowl. The company, which has more than 60 locations operating or in development, created locally-relevant social media campaigns to target consumers and gauge foot traffic results during last year’s Super Bowl. Now one year later, Director of Marketing Maria Capparelli says East Coast Wings plans to continue delivering locally targeted ads and posts on social media to drive engagement as it expands its footprint with additional restaurant locations.
“Our Super Bowl campaign was driven by local store marketing, in store marketing, and social media marketing through targeted ads and posts,” she says.
In the run-up to last year’s Super Bowl, Capparelli worked closely with the digital marketing platform MomentFeed to create locally-relevant campaigns on Facebook and Instagram. Instead of generating national ads to run on social media, East Coast Wings took a hyperlocal approach and created unique campaigns for individual restaurant locations. They used the dynamic radius that Facebook suggested around each restaurant location to determine which consumers should view their online ads, while also targeting dynamic content based on location and other personalization factors using MomentFeed’s platform.
“We really love having the ability to hyper-target a local demographic and give each guest the feeling of loyalty to ‘their’ East Coast Wings,” Capparelli says. “In establishing local pages, we’re able to market specifically to events that are going on in the area, community sponsorships, local specials, new beers on tap, and even share local news.”
In order to measure the true effectiveness of last year’s Super Bowl campaign, Capparelli and her team waited until after the big game was over and used foot traffic data to determine whether business was being sustained. Capparelli says she was able to measure sustained traffic by sales, guest count, and social media metrics.
“We look at engagement before and after the Super Bowl as well as in juxtaposition with normal traffic and engagement on an average day,” she says. “We also compare year over year metrics for that engagement.”
In addition to running ads on Facebook, East Coast Wings also utilized Instagram ads during last year’s Super Bowl. During a 10-day period, Capparelli says the company was able to reach 135,298 unique guests and engage 850 guests. The Instagram campaign also helped East Coast Wings gain 388 new followers, which was a 49% increase from the company’s follower count the day before the ad launched.
“With the typical ‘wing-fatigue’ that comes after the festivities, we want to remind people that we’re about more than just amazing wings,” she said.
In the time that East Coast Wings has been running locally-targeted campaigns on social media, Capparelli says she’s learned a thing or two about what makes for a successful brand page. She says loyal guests who are long-time patrons have a sense of pride in the pages for ‘their’ local restaurants, and she emphasizes that local pages with the most engagement are those where the owners and managers have a close relationship with the community.
“Our brand page attracts a lot of new guests that are trying East Coast Wings for the first time, or who heard our ad on the radio or heard about us from a friend and are looking for some more information about a restaurant they may have not visited before. We’re also able to share large-scale marketing efforts on our brand page, such as press that we receive,” Capparelli says.
Locally-relevant campaigns have also helped Capparelli gain insight into her company’s guest base, which she can then use to influence other marketing initiatives
“We’re able to hone in on our target demographic based on foot traffic and other factors. We are [also] able to target our ads and posts to drop during the peak hours of foot traffic for a specific demographic that we want to reach, which increases the likelihood that our targeted guest segment will view our ad,” she says. “We’re able to use our ads dollars more meaningfully and purposefully when we are able to hone into a target demographic based on that reported data.”
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.