Social Media Success Story

Social Media Success Story


i Fratelli, a DFW-based pizza brand, was preparing to celebrate their 25th anniversary in July 2012. During those 25 years, the brand made contributions, both financial and in-kind.

In efforts to emphasize and increase awareness of their continuous community involvement, i Fratelli volunteered to create a program that would help offset the lack of fundraising dollars available for DFW charities and organizations.

Engage consumers on an emotional level in efforts to drive increased levels of engagement.

Create a social- and viral-only community fundraiser that relied on DFW residents to spread the word.


Create a Name for the Program:
Considering the program was created to establish an army of individuals tasked to achieve the objective of spreading the word and raising funds, the name “Pizza DoughNation” was selected.

Get Fans Excited:
“The Sauce,” a consumer-facing blog was created for fans to nominate the organizations and charities of their choice ( Upon selection, nominator and nominee were given the tools and recommendations on how best to spread the word.

It Take a Village:
With the assistance of the brand’s social community, weekly content, photos and videos were deployed reminding fans to mention that week’s charity or organization during a phone order.

Consumers on Twitter were contextually targeted during pizza purchase occasions and notified that their pizza purchase could benefit their local community should they chose to order i Fratelli.

Additionally, key influencers both in and out of the social media industry were leveraged to increase viral/shared impressions, which ultimately drove awareness, web, social/blog traffic and overall participation.

Tying Success Back to Social:
Consumers were provided with “code words” to mention during their phone orders. Operations tracked these to determine how many sales were generated from their usage.

Show the Love:
Once the results were calculated, the founders of i Fratelli personally delivered a check to the organization. Photo opps were scheduled and seeded on social media, which increased impressions, positive brand sentiment, viral shares and word-of-mouth.

Tools Leveraged:
i Fratelli only utilized a mix of their OWNED media:

Served as the platform to communicate the program overview, accept nominations, provide best practices and tips for organizations, and view past results.

Served as the platform to deploy immediate communications and reminders of the program. Also served as the tool to geo-target contextual conversations regarding pizza occasions. This dayparting approach was focused from 11-2 and 4-8 to capitalize on lunch and dinner. Twitter was then utilized to cross-promote to Facebook, then to the blog. Twitter allowed the brand to identify key influencers to propel the success of the program.

Served as the platform to document and house the brand’s “giving back” story. Also leveraged to develop relationships with both local and national chapters of the charities and organizations. The brand also capitalized on the Facebook EdgeRank Algorithm by focusing on News Feed Optimization, or…developing content that was relevant, timely and shareable.

Analytical Tools Leveraged:
Facebook Analytics
Twitter Counter
Google Analytics

From the inception of the program in February 2012, the success highlights include:

Increased Traffic to “The Sauce”
The brand’s blog witnessed roughly 3,000 unique visits for nominations of which 86% were leads driven by social media and 14% were driven directly (manual URL entry).

Increased Social Engagement “Beyond the Like”
The amount of impressions and reach garnered were disproportionate to the number of total LIKES and FOLLOWS the brand received.

With only a network of 4,000 fans, i Fratelli received an increase of average
impressions from 40K/month to 125K/month. The brand also reached an additional 12K uniques strictly from an aggressive news feed optimization strategy.

With only a network of 300+ followers, i Fratelli increased their RT rate from
0 to 19.4%. Program expanded the brand’s reach beyond DFW and received
broad exposure including pickups by one of Forbes’ Top 20 Social Media
Icons, as well as international exposure.

Via positive word-of-mouth, the brand was selected to participate in Dallas’ first walking culinary tour. The tour and i Fratelli were featured on Good Morning Texas, which drove EARNED media impressions into the millions.

The Greatest Result: Making a Difference
The following organizations received a check via i Fratelli’s Pizza DoughNation Program:

American Cancer Society
Boy Scouts of America
Chabad of Plano
Colleyville Heritage High School
Community Partners of Dallas
Coppell Bible Fellowship
Coppell High School
Coppell Family YMCA
Coppell Lacrosse Association
Cottonwood Creek Elementary
Dallas Center for Architecture
Dalmation Rescue
DFW Humane Society
Early Childhood Development Center
Flower Mound Marcus High School
Flower Mound High School
Friends of the Bath House Cultural Center
Friends of White Rock Lake Dog Park
Frisco Cares
Grapevine High School
Irving MacArthur High School
Irving Symphony League
Kingdom Come
Leukemia/Lymphomas Society
Lonestar Building Club
Mckinney Arts Contemporary
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Texas Trees Foundation
Water is Basic
Woodhaven Presbyterian
Young Life

Social Media results are not just for big brands. If done right, small- to medium-sized businesses can leverage social media to accomplish many objectives whether attitudinal, behavioral or financial.

In this instance, the i Fratelli operations staff was performing at high productivity and consumer satisfaction levels. Because their opps team was on-the-ball, it made the focus and communication of Pizza DoughNation simple and easy. When considering a community-based social media execution, make sure that the consumer experience is correct – FIRST. Perfection before progression.

Macro and micro measurement is crucial for social media success. Having the ability view high-level impact among HR, Operations, Marketing, Finance makes all stakeholders in organizations place a higher value on Social Media. However, the ability understand the consumer behavior will only make future social programs a greater success.

With the Pizza DoughNation program being generous-based, fans, followers and influencers were asked to help spread the word. Without fail, about 99% of them either created new content or curated content around the program.

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