Ice cream has always been social. But Cold Stone Creamery has found a way to make it even more so—with Facebook.
The American ice cream retailer, known for pounding and slapping customized creations on a “cold stone,” has long been a favorite of ice cream lovers – enthusiasm that has helped churn out 1,459 locations in the U.S. and 16 countries.
Like many retailers, the company long relied on traditional advertising to spread the word. But a YouTube video contest in 2005 set the company on a social media course.
Today, Cold Stone continues to innovate outside the kitchen, recently releasing what may be the first eGift feature on Facebook, and running contests that get thousands engaged even more deeply with the brand.
The payoff goes well beyond greater customer engagement; Cold Stone’s promotions add to the bottom line by moving people from their computers to physical stores.
Organization: Cold Stone Creamery
Social Media Handles Stats:
Twitter: 2,460 followers
Facebook: 830,478 fans
YouTube: 26,251 views since channel created in June
- A new eGift Facebook feature added $10,000 in incremental sales to franchisees in just a month and a half.
- With social media, Cold Stone averages a cost of about 39 cents per coupon redeemed compared to $3.60 per redemption with print advertising.
- The company added 66,000 new fans over about an 8-week period with a flavors contest.
- A Facebook coupon increased sales 1 to 1.2%.
- 14% redeemed the coupon compared to .02% in the past.
$10,000 from eGift Sales
If you’re on Facebook, you’ve likely either given or received a virtual “gift” or widget from a friend, an icon such as a birthday cake or heart. These virtual tokens of affection allow friends to express their care.
This July, Cold Stone made eGifting more tangible. Now you can send Facebook friends a code for an actual ice cream creation eGift, ranging from $5 to $7, right from the Cold Stone Facebook fan page for delivery via Facebook or email. Like a gift certificate, recipients can instantly redeem the gift at any of the retailer’s American locations by showing a printout or the code on their mobile phones.
For a viral effect, the eGift shows up in the recipient’s News