Restaurants' social-media strategies in 2012

For growing franchise brands, 2011 was an educational year in terms of adopting social media into the marketing and recruiting mix. As brands of all sizes — from the nearly 800-unit Checkers Drive In to the three-unit upstart tre’za — look back on best practices learned last year, officials are making bigger plans for social-media strategies in 2012.

Nation’s Restaurant News spoke with several chains to discuss which social-media platforms can complement Facebook’s dominance for restaurant marketing, and which new applications, mobile or otherwise, are open to growing brands.

Creating a one-stop shop on Facebook
Gary Occhiogrosso, chief development officer, Trufoods LLC

We launched a social-media contest for our Ritter’s Frozen Custard chain, and the analytics were through the roof. So one goal for next year is to get our remaining brands — Pudgie’s Famous Chicken, Wall St. Deli and Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips — up to speed. We already use social media to engage in conversation with guests and address their questions, but the piece we want to move into is a data capture effort.