Small Biz Twitter Smackdown: The Pizza Wars

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Small businesses all over the world are trying to figure out how to cash in on social media. Some are figuring it out, while others just don’t get it. Let’s look at two examples to how to do it right and how to do it really wrong.

The first is from New orleans’ Naked Pizza, a neighborhood pizza place that reported 20% of revenue coming directly from twitter with spikes as high as 69% on days where they hit twitter with a serious campaign. Here’s a sample from their tweet-stream…


Notice a few things:

  • One, it’s a person, not a robot.
  • Two, that person is ENGAGING in conversations nonstop.
  • Three, they’re not just pimping pizza.
  • Four, they have a personality.
  • Five, every once in a while, they sneak in a playful promo that revolved around the community.

Fun stuff. Then, when you click on over to their website, one of the first things you notice is it’s built to proactively built community through social media, with Facebook and twitter buttons and the Share This app above the fold.


Next up, Rascal House Pizza. Dunno what their percentage of pizza sales from twitter is, but I’m guessing it’s not even enough to measure.

Here’s a sampling from their twitter stream…


This same stream is repeated with little variation all day, every day. It’s about as spammy as it gets. It’s using its twitter accounts not to build community, but to hock what appear to be completely unrelated affiliate products (FYI – the iPhone offer they promote all day doesn’t even connect to a live link). And, scrolling back 10 days, there was way not a single “@.” Translation – All spam, no engagement!

And, everyone knows spam doesn’t taste good on pizza.

Similarly, when you click on over to their website, it’s devoid of any type of social media driven community building efforts.


Funny thing is, Rascal House is actually a much larger franchise operation that can afford to invest way more in doing it right in 2.o. And, they make in fact make great pizza and have great service. But, if that’s true, then there’s a massive disconnect between the message they’re sending through social media and the product or service they’re giving customers, face to face.

Where does this leave us?

If you’re a local biz, before writing off social media as just another time-wasting fad, you might be better advised to embrace it and figure out how to turn engagement into income. And, when you do, take a bit of time to learn how to do it right. Because if you don’t…your competition will.


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10 responses

10 responses to “Small Biz Twitter Smackdown: The Pizza Wars”

  1. Andy Hayes says:

    Hard to believe these people think spam like that tastes good on pizza! *shakes head*

  2. Naomi Niles says:

    I’ve mentioned to several people that Twitter isn’t a broadcast tool like a newsletter is, but some haven’t quite got it yet. I guess it’ll take time until they figure out that it’s not working for them. Personally, I feel overwhelmed with spammy people on twitter lately. Sometimes it makes you feel like unfollowing everyone and starting from scratch.

  3. Paul Sabaj says:

    Great article. This site is one I truly look forward to. Love the feed back of every one as I am a soon to be start up. . I can only hope that other marketers take notice and the advice. Have a great week

  4. Nate says:

    Thank you for posting this! It’s an awesome example of real world application of some social media strategies we all are so familiar with.

  5. Dude, great stuff as always. I really appreciate you using real examples of both sides.

    I keep waiting for Rascal House to show up and defend themselves, but it looks like their social media campaign has not yet expanded to the advanced levels of setting up a Google Alert.

    Keep speaking the truth!

  6. Gladys says:

    What a great example of how – and how not – to use Twitter for your business. I’m trying to help a couple of people get going on Twitter, and I may use Naked Pizza as an example of what can be done.

  7. John Bardos says:

    That is a great comparison.

    It is not only larger companies that are getting social media wrong. There are so many smaller one person business and bloggers that make the same mistakes.

    People will send a direct message on Twitter or post a comment on my blog pretending to be my best friend, then I never hear from them again. The days of mass-broadcasting ads are dead. The future of business is about connecting with people as friends and colleagues.

    You don’t invite people to your house for dinner and then try to up-sell them to a higher quality meal. Why do so many people think that will work online?

  8. Kim Randall says:

    AWESOME article!!! Something I try to stress to people so many times. I hate spammers, auto tweets and people that do not tweet to engage. Love it love it love it…. Two thumbs up!

  9. Fun post. What your example illustrates is that success for businesses using Twitter should be fun. Great case study.

    By the way, loved your manifesto which I read last night

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