Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Building brand awareness with the Your Pie year long Facebook campaign

The winner of 2012’s “Pie of the Year” was Kelly Brooks from Watkinsville, Ga., whose
“The Aloha” pizza creation earned the top honor.
Your Pie is really about customer choice and having fun. So, their year long Facebook campaign was designed to highlight exactly that.

The Year of Pie began as a smaller monthly campaign when the first store opened in Athens, Georgia in 2008. In 2012, they expanded it to a year-long campaign with a Your Pie annual winner.

“The concept was built on choice and the customers decide what they get,” founder Drew French said. “The “What’s Your Pie promotion (the monthly contest) spun out of that. We were already asking them to do this anyway so we asked them to submit their combinations and the winner we honored for a month. Then we decided to take the monthly winners and pit them against each other.”

In 2012 the winner had their pie added to the menu and received free pizza for a year. This year, French decided to step it up with the winner receiving a trip to Ischia, Italy.

“We wanted to make it even bigger so we added the trip to Ischia,” French said. “It is a cool island and I am excited to send someone there so they can experience the beauty and culture of it. My wife’s family is from there and that is where we went on our honeymoon.”

Ischia is also where French cemented his plans on what Your Pie would be by adding brick oven pizzas and more Italian-style personal pizzas including fresh, local ingredients. In fact, their margherita style pizza is even named the Ischia.

While customers share their best pizza concepts on Facebook, Your Pie receives a combination of more likes and more talk on their page.

“It helps build that awareness,” French said. “I think by letting our customers create the combinations and then feature them, it helps people understand what we do and why.It is a social media driver.”

French said that customers do not have to buy to vote. All they must do is like the Facebook page and then they can vote daily for their favorite customer-created pie.

“It is about thanking our customers for being creative,” French said.

Your Pie began on Facebook when it opened and then a national page was created after they expanded to more than one store.

French suggests that if pizzerias are going to be on Facebook, then they must be active.

“A lot of people are just on it to be on it,” French said. “What we tell our franchisees is if you are going to be active on it than it is a great tool to engage with customers on an active level and to show some behind the scenes or show what you are as a brand. It is a great tool to connect with your customers and do have something worth talking about. If you are not going to be active than I recommend you don’t have a local page and let the national page do the work for them.”

French said he advises that for one-store pizzerias that joining Facebook is a great way to connect locally with customers and helps add brand awareness.

“To me it’s a no brainer, but it’s not for everybody,” French said.

French said that for Your Pie, they highlight how with fast-casual and personal size pizza, you don’t have to settle anymore when choosing a pizza. They also highlight their quality ingredients and who they are as a brand.

“We are a fun innovative brand and have fun and show people our personality,” French said.

French said he tries all of the pizzas that win. As far as his regular choices at Your Pie, French said he has two top pizza choices. When in a more traditional mood he eats the Ischia which is their version of margherita pizza but he adds some marinara sauce, garlic, pepperonis and jalapenos. When in a non-Italian mood he prefers spicy toppings. His favorite is a barbecue and hot sauce mix with mozzarella, chicken, cilantro, jalapenos and pineapple.

Voting for the “Pie of the Year” begins at 12 p.m. ET on Thursday, January 2, and will end at 12 p.m. ET on Monday, January 20, on Your Pie’s Facebook page and visit the Your Pie (www.yourpie.com) website to learn more about the company.

The creator of the “Pie of the Year” will receive a grand-prize package that includes a flight to Italy with four nights lodging, transportation to Ischia from Rome, and a $700 spending card.

The 12 finalists represent a cross-section of Your Pie’s 18 locations, and their creations include colorful names such as the “Bulldawg Bite,” “Hearts On Fire” and “Mama Walker’s Mediterranean Madness.”

The winner of 2012’s “Pie of the Year” was Kelly Brooks from Watkinsville, Ga., whose “The Aloha” pizza creation earned the top honor. The 2013 winner will be announced on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014.

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