Two Cousins’ Pizza Co. knows Facebook like few others as they have grown to almost 10,000 likes in two years.
Bill Konves, one of two cousins who own the pizzeria, shared with us his secrets from his home in Powell, Ohio.
Q: When and why did you join Facebook?
A: We joined Facebook six months before our first location opened in 2011. We now have three locations. We used Facebook heavily before opening so that we could generate interest and build a customer base. That digital preparation paid off and the opening of each of our stores created tremendous buzz both online and off.
Q: How the heck did you get so many followers? What is the population of your town?
A: We are closing in on 10,000 “real” Facebook likes and the combined population of the three cities we are located in is 58,000 (Mansfield, Lexington and Ontario, Ohio). We have obtained so many likes through paid Facebook advertising and through fun and unique contests that engage users by asking them to share, like and comment on our posts. We run weekly contests for free food and that drives a ton of traffic and engagement with our page.
Q: We have found only about 50% of pizzerias have a presence on social media. What advice do you have for pizzerias in terms of social media?
A: For established pizza shops, if you want to grow, there is no easier or more cost-effective way to target your customers or your potential customers than through social media, in particular Facebook. For those thinking about breaking into the business, we opened all three of our restaurants through social media marketing – and that’s all. Without Facebook, we would not have a business today.
Q: What you have found to be the most effective posts on Facebook?
A: Our “free food” contests generate the most engagement and subsequent business. Every Friday and then one through the week, we come up with something to get people talking. We tweak every single word we put into these free food contests to elicit the best response. We even look at the best time of day to send these out. We always boost these posts as well through Facebook paid advertising. A new contest we did last week asked people to post pictures of their food and it was extremely successful. Our page was filled with pictures of our food. We then gave $5 gift certificates to all those that posted. As you know, all of those posts also landed on the news feeds of those that posted, so all of their friends saw it, got hungry and called us. Our sales shot through the roof the week we did this promotion.
Our promotion that went viral the fastest is below. We posted this at 6 a.m. on a Saturday before a local football game. The game was just six hours later. These stats are amazing for a town of 58,000.
Q: What is the key to success with social media for any pizzeria?
A: Dedicate time to it every single day. If you open a Facebook page, it is a commitment. If you are not on it for an hour a day, you will frustrate your customers. Customers want to leave messages, ask questions and get answers back quickly. If you put the time in, the results will come.
Also, commit to using the Facebook insights. You will learn what is working, what is not and also a lot about your audience. Just like traditional marketing, if you don’t measure your return on investment, you will get frustrated with all the options and just give up. It’s important to focus on content and performance equally. Facebook is real time marketing. Take advantage of it.
Q: What is unique to your restaurant that you try to highlight on social media?
A: Our ties to the community are what make us unique. We are actively involved in our community through many different fundraisers. We even open for 24 hours on Christmas Day to feed all safety forces in our county. This program has been huge on social media. Without Facebook, we wouldn't be able to be the community-focused business we are today and we wouldn't be able to share that brand and value position with our customers. For us, we developed our brand on Facebook instead of developing the brand first then creating a Facebook page.