My eyes lit up the other day when I saw a Crust Pizza outlet was among the stores at a new shopping centre in my neighbourhood. I’d never had a pizza from Crust before, but I am familiar with the brand courtesy of Twitter.
An end of the week certainty, apart from Follow Friday, is #crustfreepizzafriday where scores of tweeps mention the company in the hope of scoring a free meal. It’s one of those initiatives that takes a while to get going. However there’s no denying it’s been an effective, yet incredibly cost-effective, way to get the chain’s brand out there. There are several pizza shops in my immediate area and Crust Pizza is not the closest. But the consumer animal and pizza fiend in me will most certainly see me walk through their doors to satisfy my curiosity, whether or not I score a free pizza. This is what Crust Pizza CEO Costa Anastasiadis had in mind when he turned to Twitter and Facebook to promote his stores.
In an interview with Smart Company, Anastasiadis said he knew the pizza giveaway campaign was working by the sheer amount of conversation being generated.
“We saw the recruitment rate rise, in terms of people on our pages, and we found people were not only commenting on the competition but on the business in general and we have continued to converse with them. It’s gone beyond the competition,” he said.
Using social media for brand awareness is becoming an increasingly effective marketing tool for big and small businesses and has proven to lead to an increase in sales. Multinationals like Sony and Dell have attributed social media campaigns to increased sales topping the million dollar mark. Smaller companies like Canadian shoemaker John Fluevog Boots & Shoes Ltd, reported a 40 per cent increase in sales after starting its own social marketing campaign in 2009.