"This was our first year testing a 12-Days of Christmas promotion," said Jeannie Amerson, advertising and loyalty manager at the Jones Co./Flash Foods.
"In the last few years, vendors have become a lot more approachable and supportive regarding these types of promotions online versus just in-store promotions than they were in the past, so it's easier to get products and promotional items donated for that," Amerson
has seen firsthand that social media engagement drops if the chain is just promoting as opposed to offering exciting ways to interact with fans, so the chain now focuses on keeping the fun going.
"For us, social media is about building our brand and relationships with our customers so they visit our stores.
We're not promoting constantly because nobody wants to be sold to 24/7, but we do try to find the balance between posting promotions and having fun," she
The two promotions that created the most engagement with fans centered around a guessing game.
In 2012, the chain featured a jellybean guessing game where fans guessed how many jellybeans were in the container.
Due to its success, Flash Foods repeated the promotion this year around Halloween using candy corn.
"We had over 35,000 impressions and over 1,200 comments," Amerson
But for Flash Foods, engaging with the right fans is even more important than just gaining likes, shares and followers.
"Engaging with a man in California doesn't help us because our stores are in Georgia and Florida.
We've worked hard to do things that specifically resonate with our local customer base," Amerson