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Denny’s Instagram gift card sweepstakes jump-starts sales for new burgers

Casual diner chain Denny’s is rolling out a new line of burgers as well as a social media sweepstakes that promotes sales of the new menu items with gift card giveaways and Instagram engagement.

The diner brand is attempting to kick start sales of the products through user-generated content and gift card giveaways, leveraging that many customers end up spending more than the allotted amount. Instagram users are sharing pictures of their burgers for a chance to win gift cards to Denny’s location, and in the process generating hype for the products.

“As the saying goes, a picture speaks a thousand words,” said Michael Becker, co-founder and managing partner, mCordis, Sunnyvale, CA. “Pictures are extremely important when it comes to social media.

“In fact, Guy Kawasaki, a stalwart Silicon Valley icon, lists the inclusion of pictures as one of the top five best practices for social media and asking people to include pictures as part of their participation in your marketing program is incredibly important,” he said. “Pictures in social media have consistently been found to drive increased engagement.

“Asking people to use their own pictures gives them a voice and opportunity to co-create with the brand. Moreover, the pictures are real, real pictures provide an authenticity that a brand product shot could rarely, if ever, achieve.”

Burger hype
Denny’s unveiled a new menu update recently with multiple new burgers, being offered for a limited time. The brand is emulating a party-type celebration to really kick-start sales while the products are available, and is starting the festivities off with social media contest.

Many retailers are cognizant that the most trusted form of recommendations come from peer reviews, and social media is the driving source behind that. Numerous social media and mobile users take to these to see what friends, family and followers have to say regarding a product.

Instagram users sharing photos of the new burgers act, essentially as a recommendation for other followers. Many times this even drives impulse sales, as consumers will get a craving for the product and purchase shortly after seeing the post.

Users share photos of their Denny’s burgers through Instagram with the hashtags #BigBurgerBash and #Sweepstakes to enter for a chance to win a $50 gift card. Denny’s will be giving away multiple gift cards, which can drive sales by bringing customers into its stores with the cards, who are likely to spend more than its worth.

Social sweeps
Similarly, National convenience store chain 7-Eleven has rolled out the Slurpee All Access Chill sweepstakes contest, which incorporates the retailer’s mobile application to drive summer sales for limited-edition flavor Mtn Dew Solar Flare as well as app engagement (see more).

Also, A Denny’s executive at the 2015 Mobile Marketing Association Forum New York revealed that location-based messages and advertisements have resulted in ramping up the restaurant brand’s in-store visits, proving that targeted data is imperative for food and beverage marketers to drive sales (see more).

“There are a ton of details that a brand must consider when launching a sweeps program,” Mr. Becker said. “First and foremost the marketer should take care and ensure the program is aligned with the brand equity, is entertaining and offers an adequate incentive for the person to take the effort to get involved.

“These are the table stakes,” he said. “Marketers should also make sure the media and promotional vehicle does not erect barriers to engagement, that the triggers are clear and the consumer has the ability to engage, this includes making sure that the social media channel selected speaks to the brand’s aspired target persona as well as to the real day to day brand buyer, they can often be different.

“Finally, the brand must be sure to heed local, state and federal regulations and the rules of the specific media platform. Sweeps are run on a state by state basis and can vary significantly from one to the other, as can media platform terms of service.”

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily