Using A Guy In A Chicken Suit Instead Of Social Media?

man in chicken suitDo you think a worker dressed as a bird ‘hawking’ pizza will generate more store traffic than a well-crafted social media campaign  using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram ‘toppings’? Are you feeling ‘clucky’, well are you? Apparently the pizza shop in my neighborhood does. I have seen this slice of marketing strategy in my home town and it made me wonder if small businesses “get it” when it comes to the power and scale of social media.

It’s important for small businesses to drive foot traffic in the most efficient way possible. However, it’s not the 1970’s any more! Social media is the new “guy in a chicken costume”. Having a use case for driving last-minute traffic to your pizza shop or small business would help you jump into action. Ascend2 reports that over up to 67% small businesses believe that social media is somewhat to very effective. They also report 70% of small businesses can attribute sales to social media (are you seeing these stats as a ‘pizza’ pie chart?) With this social media sales success, this group of small businesses in is likely not relying on a funny costume to drive foot traffic. You should consider social media for your small business.

3 Social Media Traffic Drivers For Your Small Business

Remember, there is no one tactic that will drive a sustainable marketing strategy to help you meet your goals. You need an integrated approach to help with your success. Here are 3 quick social media ideas for small businesses to integrate into the day-to-day operations to drive foot traffic:

  • Twitter Please Retweet Campaign. Use the power of social media sharing to get your customers to work for you by passing on your message to their followers. Start your campaign on the day before your foot traffic-driving event. Send a series of differently worded tweets promoting the same sales message, a call to action, an ask for a retweet. You should also use a hashtag (e.g. #$5PizzaAtMac’s) to help you track the activity.  You will need to create 12-24 different tweets and send them every 30 minutes to 60 minutes over the course of the day. If you are creative and can tell a story with your tweets, you will not offend anyone with the volume of messaging! Lastly, offer a free item, like a pizza in this case, if you pick their retweet that uses your special hashtag.
  • Instagram Your Deal. If you are sold on dressing up as a chicken, then make your costume investment work a little harder! Take a picture of you in a chicken costume with s sign that has a clear call to action with your offer and store address. Post this picture to Instagram and use hashtags to help your geo-target find you. Ask people to like and share your picture.
  • Facebook Your Deal! This one’s a little harder, since only 5% or so of your organic posts make it through to your followers’ feeds. Usually with Facebook you need to pay to play. However, photos and videos have a higher chance to break through the feed. So, use a photo or short video with a “phrase that pays” promoting your deal and your address. Be directive and ask people to like and share your comment.

Now, for each of these campaigns you will have needed to build up your Twitter, Instagram and Facebook follower base and have engaged them with interesting and relevant.

Do you have a successful way that you have driven traffic to your store? If so, please share below. Or, contact me directly at or on Twitter @GerryMoran.

Looking for ways to get your business started on social media to start using it to help you build traffic? Check out these ideas to help you:

Some of these ideas may fail for you while others may be an instant success. You won’t know until you try. Whatever your results, your efforts scale better than hanging out in traffic in a chicken suit. Cluck, cluck, where are the bucks? By the way, I do love the chicken suit idea to generate awareness. I’ve done it myself! Kudos to all the on-the-street traffic drivers!

Please share this blog post with other small businesses who might be using a chicken suit strategy!


  1. Koach Kacie, CPC

    Great post. I really love the idea for Twitter. It is a simple, but effective method to drive traffic and create awareness regardless of what you sell (product or service).

    I will definitely be utilizing it in the near future. Excited to see the response!

    Live life to your full potential!

    Koach Kacie, CPC

  2. Dennis

    Hi Gerry,great post! sure the new guy is social media who has got no respect for boundaries.He can anyone across the global.Thanks once again for the tips!

  3. Brent White

    This article, for me, is long over due. I drive a nation chain pizza shop, located at the corner of two major roadways, and every time I go by they have a young man holding a plastic sign shaking it back and forth, as if that is going to entice me to stop everything and run inside to get one of their tasty pizzas because I just knew from the way that guy was shaking their sign, that it was the best pizza in town.
    What they don’t get, and that you point out so well in this article, is that the guy standing out there shaking the sign is probably talking to hundreds of his friends on his smart phone the second he gets off work, at least if he can get his hands to stop shaking long enough. That poor business owner is missing out no way more possible traffic and business if he simply hired that same guy and told him his job was to be on his phone the whole time sharing updates from the business, taking photos and passing them out to his friends, etc.
    As you said, IT’S NOT THE 70’S ANY MORE. Let’s move on from what you read in Marketing 101 back in Junior Achievements and get with it. Don’t make me come over there and shake you until you get it!
    Brent White
    Freelance Gigs For Digital Marketing

  4. Gerry Moran (Post author)

    Yes, you nailed it! We have to be be #FishingWhereTheFishAre and they are not reading signs, but on social media.

    Thanks for the input, Brent!

    Gerry Moran.

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