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Results from Cinnabon’s Cause-Powered Location-Based Social-Media Campaign

Last year Cinnabon wanted to straighten out the mess of location venues listed on Foursquare and Facebook Places, and cause marketing helped the company achieve excellent results.

Cinnabon was active on both Foursquare and Facebook Places, but the venue listings were something of a mess. Cinnabon makes cinnamon rolls and other sweet-smelling treats meant to tempt as you walk through the mall, airport concourse, or other high-traffic locales. That's one of their pecan-caramel tempters at the left.

Because of duplicates or bad GPS coordinates many Cinnabon locations showed poorly in Foursquare search results. To correct that, the company determined to undertake ‘venue optimization.’

“Venue optimization creates one location that would be checked into most often, and that increases your visibility on Foursquare,” Cinnabon’s corporate communications manager Rachel Hadley told the Nation’s Restaurant News earlier this month. “If there are 10 other venues for that location with a few check-ins, they’ll all be lower in the search results.”

Cinnabon started the process in April 2011. The optimization was completed in July 2011 and by October Cinnabon was ready to take the shiny-new system out for a test run.

So Cinnabon tried an agressive cause marketing offer every bit as tempting as their treats. For every Foursquare check-in at 250 participating locations during the month, Cinnabon made a fat $1 donation to Operation Gratitude up to $10,000. The cause sends care packages to American military personnel deployed overseas.

The results were gratifying for Operation Gratitude and Cinnabon both. Cinnabon wrote a check for $10,000 to Operation Gratitude. Another $40,000 was raised in the stores. Cinnabon’s location-based social media also enjoyed a huge uptick.

Foursquare check-ins increased 122 percent and tweets went up 113 percent, thanks to the Operation Gratitude promotion. This after Cinnabon had already recorded dramatic improvements in both Facebook Places and Foursquare check-ins due to the venue optimization efforts.

As I’ve pointed out before, but we don’t often get too see the results of cause marketing efforts from a company’s point of view. So thanks to Cinnabon and Nation’s Restaurant News for sharing.

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