When we see a question like the one above (“What’s the most popular fast food restaurant in the world”), the answer can be quite varied.
If you’re talking about the most popular in terms of “french fries”, you’re likely going to be talking about McDonald’s.
If you’re talking about most popular in terms of number of US outlets, then Subway has almost twice as many as the next nearest chain.
No, today we’re going to look at this in a slightly different way — using the power of social marketing and community engagement, Web Watch is going to determine the Most Popular Fast Food Chain, based on the number of Facebook Likes. (the list of Top Fifty Fast Food Restaurants provided by QSR magazine)
|22||Einstein Bros Bagels||676,964|
|26||Five Guys Burgers||563,441|
|28||Jack in the Box||442,021|
|35||Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen||189,537|
|38||Qdoba Mexican Grill||98,960|
|40||Papa Murphy’s Pizza||85,196|
|41||Checker’s / Rally’s||82,659|
|42||Steak N Shake||75,836|
|44||Long John Silvers||55,720|
|45||El Pollo Loco||54,993|
(Data pulled from Facebook the week of Aug 31, 2011)
What can we conclude from this quick little research project?
Well, to be popular on Facebook does not necessarily mean that you’re the most popular in terms of sales or number of locations. Nor does it have to do with the food. Web Watch knows many people who enjoy Boston Market and Jason’s Deli immensely, regardless of what the number of Facebook Likes have to do with anything. As others have said, “just because they use those services [like Twitter, Facebook], doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing.”
What it comes down to is whether these fast food restaurants are doing two things: meeting and exceeding customers’ expectations to the point where you have created a street team of sorts of evangalistic customers… and also being sure to have a social media strategy that you can execute and stick with. On this list, KFC was the only chain that required you to be logged into your Facebook account to view their page. It obviously doesn’t hurt their current Facebook numbers, but you have to wonder if they would have had more simply by opening up their page’s security settings to let non-logged-in users view what KFC had to say. Having a social media strategy that excludes is not every social.
It’s all about engaging the customer. You may be doing it absolutely perfectly fine in the storefront… but sometimes the battlefield needs to extend a little farther. Because if you let your guard down online, you may end up losing potential customers just because you don’t want to be their friend.
So what should you do? For starters, try these 13 Best Practices for Restaurants on Facebook. Even if you just implement one of these suggestions, it can’t be any worse than what you’re doing now.