Maybe money can’t buy you love, but it can get you a lot of “likes.” According to Chicago-based social-benchmarking company Unmetric’s Fast Food Report, released July 14, McDonald’s is “the most astute fast-food chain in social media,” with Taco Bell a close second.
That McDonald’s is most effective in using both Facebook and Twitter, according to Unmetric’s algorithms, may be the least surprising finding in the study, given that the chain spent $963 million on advertising in the U.S. alone last year, according to Kantar Media. It has a dedicated corporate Twitter staff of a half-dozen people. In addition, regional/local franchise groups staff their own Twitter pages. That’s not to say the chain doesn’t use those dollars smartly, of course. Unmetric ranks it among the five fast-growing chains on both Facebook and Twitter.
The company compiled data on what it deemed the “top 16” quick-service chains from Jan. 1 to April 30, 2012. The company defines its proprietary Unmetric Score as “a scientific blend of 24 qualitative and quantitative social-media metrics, weighted and balanced to produce a single benchmarkable numbers. Those numbers for Facebook and Twitter are:
Top Unmetric Scores on Facebook
1. McDonald’s (86)
2. Taco Bell (81)
3. Subway (77)
4. Dunkin’ Donuts (65)
5. Baskin-Robbins (63)
Top Unmetric Scores on Twitter
1. McDonald’s (97)
2. Taco Bell (92)
3. Subway (77)
4. Pizza Hut (76)
5. Dunkin’ Donuts (74)
Among the other interesting findings in Unmetric’s Fast Food Report:
◙ Quick-service chains post on Facebook most often on Thursdays. More tweets appear between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. than any other three-hour span (i.e. when dinner decisions are being made).
◙ In-N-Out is one of the least astute users of Twitter and Facebook, but it doesn’t matter. It has fewer than 400 tweets to its credit in total and it rarely responds to fans’ Facebook posts. Yet its “cult-like engagement from fans” who respond to its every message gives it the highest overall engagement score (54).
◙ Burger King, which really became active in social media less than a year ago, ranks as the fastest-growing chain on Facebook, with a 105% increase in fans between January and April. Sonic–which brought back its popular—Pete and T.J. ad spokesmen this spring—saw a 60% increase over that period.
◙ Chipotle tops the list of most tweets (15,002) and scores a survey-best 100% on replies to tweets.
◙ McDonald’s has the fastest average reply time on Twitter (29 minutes) with Chipotle second fastest (37 minutes). Burger King is the slowest of all chains measured (60 hours, 29 minutes), followed by Carl’s Jr. (14 hours, 53 minutes).
◙ Baskin-Robbins has the highest percentage of women (80%) among its Facebook fan; Carl’s Jr. has the most male-dominated (53%) Facebook fans.
Click here for the full (compressed) infographic providing additional data from Unmetric’s study.