Boston Market Uses Facebook to Sell Holiday Gift Cards

bostonmarketBoston Market is in the midst of a month-long holidays campaign on Facebook, where it is pitching electronic gift cards for meals. The self-described “fast-casual” restaurant chain is running ads through Jan. 1 to push the virtual cards, which can be delivered to gift recipients via Facebook or e-mail.

Its Facebook.com ad headline reads: “Gift a Meal, Be the Hero.” (See image on the left.) The main ad copy: “Instantly give your Facebook friends and family a home-style meal from Boston Market this holiday season. Click for details.”

People who click through the ad are taken to an app letting them buy gift cards for amounts ranging from $5 to $100. While the app is powered by technology firm eGift Social, the Facebook.com ads were purchased in the name of Boston Market by IPG Shopper Sciences.

Matt Schueller, senior director of consumer insights for Golden, CO-based Boston Market, didn’t comment specifically on how sales were going so far. Schueller said his brand’s Facebook “likes” number has increased from 11,500 to 17,600 in the first three weeks of the campaign. Outside the Facebook elements, he said, the only other marketing component involves e-mail messages to the restaurant chain’s subscribers.

Schueller said gift cards for meals are popular because they help people save time during the hectic holidays. “Our food is very much in sync with what people eat and crave around the holidays, and our guests already bring Boston Market offerings to friends and family, to parties, etc. this time of year,” he explained.

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