On Tuesday, IHOP hosted a National Free Pancake Day in efforts to raise money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. This was the seventh year for the event that has since raised over $8 million. Not only was this great publicity for the 1,532-unit restaurant chain, it demonstrated IHOP's fulfillment ofsocial responsibility.
In December, the National Restaurant Association announced that the restaurant industry contributed nearly $3 billion to charitable efforts in 2010. This is a significant amount of money, but what is even more significant is that it came from 94 percent of restaurant operators in the United States. Restaurant owners seem to understand the importance of social responsibility and many choose to contribute to local charities often dealing with hunger and starvation. Although the efforts don't have to be overwhelming, charity campaigns are a great way to generate positive buzz about your business and should become a part of your marketing plan.
"It takes strategy and interaction for a social media campaign to effectively boost your brand and contribute your community."
The easiest way to include social responsibility into your marketing agenda is to use the power of the Internet. Almost 80 percent of the United States population is on the Internet making it quicker and easier to market your product. It takes strategy and interaction for a social media campaign to boost your brand and contribute to your community.
As an example, HotOperator launched a new Facebook campaign on behalf of Kosh Kosher American Bistro in Stamford, Conn. The goal was to increase the restaurant’s social media buzz by creating a promotion using local charities and Facebook “likes” and “shares.” Beginning with the local humane society, HotOperator created a simple post to engage Kosh’s current following:
After posting throughout the week, the campaign generated buzz in the Stamford on-line community. As Kosh followers shared the post on their Facebook walls, new people were “liking” the Kosh page. Consumers were engaged with helping the humane society and creating a buzz for the restaurant. The humane society promotion will end on Sunday and so far Kosh’s following has shared it almost 30 times and attracted 125 new followers. A new charity will be launched for another 10 days in hopes to create even more buzz.
The idea was simple and strategic. Not only was there social responsibility for the new restaurant, Kosh benefited by interacting and attracting new followers from the Stamford community. Now it’s all about maintenance of social interaction to encourage them to come in and get the Kosh experience.