Cousins Subs Leverages Social, Marketing Tech to Stay Local

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Look at the menu board at Cousins Subs, and you’ll immediately notice how important local is to the restaurant’s brand. But the commitment extends beyond the Wisconsin cheddar cheese featured among the Midwest chain’s list of local ingredients—it goes all the way back to how the brand chooses to represent itself on social channels.

Justin McCoy, Cousins’ vice president of marketing, can remember setting up the company’s first Facebook page nearly a decade ago. “As everything has continued to evolve, a branded global page has become less and less effective based on the competition in the space and the changes Facebook has made.”

The company started to clean up its branded local pages on Facebook, and engagement spiked, McCoy said.

“In many cases, guests may like our branded page, but they interact more with our local page,” McCoy said. “That shifted where we went in terms of advertising.”

Marketers at the company now work with local operators to place personalized content on their social channels, he added.

Cousins works with marketing platform MomentFeed to manage its local store listings and data. Since Cousins brought MomentFeed abroad, its monthly views on Google listings have increased by over 20%. In 2017, when a user searched “subs” on Google, 58% saw Cousins Subs appear as the first result. Nine in 10 saw Cousins appear in the top three results, and 97% saw it in their top 10 results, McCoy said.

“You can see that we are making an impact in terms of SEO, cleaning up our data, and improving our position,” McCoy added.

In one MomentFeed case study, Cousins found that nearly two-thirds of its online ordering traffic came from localized efforts. After one campaign with MomentFeed, downloads of the Cousins Subs mobile app increased 42%.

“They are a powerhouse in the industry that provides us with cutting-edge advice, where to go, trends they are seeing, and that then allows us to optimize what we are doing,” McCoy said.

MomentFeed has helped Cousins to review Google and Yelp scores of specific retail locations, which McCoy says the company’s field team shares with its franchisees. Those metrics and comments help franchisees improve their services.

“We certainly commit time, resources, and dollars to place content that has a localized touch and feel,” McCoy added. Cousins, which operates in some 100 locations centered around the Midwest, prides itself on thinking “big picture even with a moderate budget,” McCoy noted.

Kate Talerico is a staff writer at Street Fight.