Today, I sold myself out for some lasagna: I shamelessly plugged another company, and pimped out my Twitter account, for the potential of winning $100 in Italian food.
And yes, it was worth it.
While surfing the Web today, a Maggiano’s Little Italy Twitter promotion caught my eye…and appetite. If you tweeted “Follow @Maggianos by 5pm CST to be entered to win $100 in Maggiano’s gift certificates” by that deadline, you would be eligible to win $100 in mouthwatering angel hair with Joey Z’s Pomodoro sauce, gnocchi with tomato-vodka sauce, or any other concoction that suited your taste.
So why was turning my own Twitter account into an advert for another company worth it? As social media news site Mashable says, the potential reward for spending five seconds advertising for the restaurant far outweighed the cost of sending a tweet. Which, of course, was zero.
In case you’re wondering, I didn’t win. But I am craving Italian food right now. I bet others who participated are too.
And that’s a win for Maggiano’s. The restaurant has 2,396 followers as of this writing. I checked the Twitter account of a restaurant chain that has a near cult-like following–@Five-Guys (a burger joint)–and it has only 352 followers. Imagine if they were offering one year of free meals? Five Guys followers would come out of the woodwork.
So, for simply the cost of the time spent managing a social media campaign and $200 in free food, Maggiano’s got thousands of people talking…and probably eating. Now, for the record, I’m a little peeved that only two diners won–@IssueTrak and @sheabeck. (Maggiano’s didn’t make the number of winners clear from the get-go). And I also think there are more creative things you can do on Twitter than just have people re-tweet something.
But every restaurant–and every furniture store and online retailer for that matter–should be testing innovative social media campaigns like this one right now to get people out of their bunkers and spending money on the economy once again.