In Monday’s post, I decried Walgreens’ use of “sponsored conversations” to promote an agenda related to its prescription benefits plan, stating that I felt it lacked authenticity. Today, i want to highlight The Cheesecake Factory’s use of Twitter in a manner that, while promotional, is more consistent with social media best practices.

The Cheesecake Factory is leveraging Twitter to draw attention to its new “SkinnyLicious” under 500 calorie menu. During the month of January, the company is giving away everything from gift cards to running shoes in an effort to help people achieve their New Year’s resolution of getting healthy.

In addition to the giveaways, the company is encouraging its customers to use the hashtag “#SKINNYLICOUS” in Twitter posts where they state their resolution.

“It’s all to celebrate our ‘how-did-they-come-up-with-a-menu-so-tasty-
that’s-still-under-590-calories!'”

Unlike Walgreens, the campaign does not appear to use Promoted Tweets. The Cheesecake Factory is simply encouraging customers to share their resolutions associating them with the hashtag.

The campaign incorporates three simple steps:

  1. Follow TCF on Twitter;
  2. Tweet your New Year’s Resolution using the #SKINNYLICIOUS hashtag;
  3. Be on the lookout for “Skinnylicious” surprises to help you reach your goal.

People are responding in droves, with hashtag-related tweets being posted at least every few minutes. And, unlike the negative, even snarky reaction from Twitter users experienced by Walgreens, these posts appear to be sincere.

In addition to Twitter, TCF is using Facebook to add context around the campaign and is directing users to a website where the under 500 calorie menu is listed.

Quizzically, Arby’s has a Promoted Tweet tied to its own under 500 calorie menu that appears at the top of the Twitter stream for the #skinnylicious hashtag.

Skinnylicious Twitter hashtag posts

Faceboook updates about Skinnylicious campaign

The Cheesecake Factory Skinnylicious website