Burger King used Facebook to drive provable, profitable restaurant sales (and so can you)

At first glance, Burger King's Whopper Sacrifice campaign looks like a simple coupon promotion. But consider the layers of qualitative value provided to Burger King and its customers. Now the program looks ground-breaking.

This short case study teaches restaurant owners and employees how to create real, prove-able results with social media tools like Facebook and Twitter.

Not "buzz" nor "conversation" nor "engagement" nor even preference. Sales.

In this 7 minute video I capture the essence of how they did it.


The short story: Burger King customers were given incentive to do something they already wanted to do – improve their Facebook experience. Burger King didn't need to convince them to anything remarkable. Just improve their experience... that they already wanted to do. In fact, the hamburger chain would bonus customers with a free premium sandwich –- a Whopper.

It was a win-win for customers -- far beyond novelty that is typical of social media "success" stories.

On the flip side, BK was able to use a cutting-edge social network to drive customers into its restaurants. In fact it could track a myriad of business metrics to prove return on investment. It could optimize the campaign to create more profitable outcomes. Coupon redemption, up-sell take rate (“would you like fries and a beverage with that?”), breakage.

In fact, actual profit for the campaign was tracked.

I hope to provide more case studies like this and look forward to your critical analysis -- and learning from the FohBoh community.

Views: 23

Tags: burger, facebook, king, marketing, media, social, video

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Comment by Jeffrey Molander on August 3, 2010 at 7:31pm
Hi, Emerald...
Thanks for sharing. I often wonder, though, about the opportunity digital marketing presents us with. Is it merely to discount? I do like Cheesecake's preview concept. That adds some excitement. If you know of other examples I'm all ears -- now or in the future. I'm working on a book and always looking for new cases to write (and speak) about.

Hi, Amanda...
Yes, double layers of value. And keying on what people already want to do. Fairly brilliant for such a dud of a brand, frankly. I have to wonder about their "branding" people (creepy King and all).
Comment by Amanda Brandon on August 2, 2010 at 2:41pm
I love the idea that they gave Facebook customers something they wanted "unfriending" and a reward. Brilliant use of social media!
Comment by Emerald Reilly on August 2, 2010 at 11:34am
Great example Jeffrey!

The Cheesecake Factory also gave us an example of using social media and tracking the ROI this past week. They offered FB fans a preview to their National Cheesecake Day, July 30th. By printing out a coupon from their FB page, fans were able to receive a slice of cheesecake for $1.50 on the 29th and have a preview to their new cheesecake. Cheesecake was able to track which sales were driven by these coupons and which fans actually used them.

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