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From the 11th Annual Shorty Awards

Noble Roman's: Hand-Crafting A Pizzeria’s Recipe For Social Media Success

Finalist in Restaurants


As the name implies, Noble Roman's Craft Pizza & Pub features hand-crafted, made-from-scratch pizzas and a variety of craft beers and wines to choose from.

The concept was new, but the brand was not. Noble Roman's (OTCQB: NROM) has been in the pizza-making game for a long time—since 1972—with locations across the United States. When they launched Craft Pizza & Pub as the company's new-generation, stand-alone pizzeria, they wanted a fresh social media marketing approach to match the fresh new concept they were rolling out.

Noble Roman's approached Firebelly about helping them achieve two primary goals:

1. Raising awareness of their new restaurants: what the new concept is, what they offer and where they are located.
2. Ensuring people have the same "WOW!" experience on their social channels that they aim to provide in their restaurants.

Based on these goals, we helped Noble Roman's define a number of social media marketing objectives (along with associated success metrics for each), including:

1. Growing the audience sizes on their social media channels
2. Raising brand visibility (reach and impressions)
3. Increasing engagement with fans and followers
4. Improving online response rates and times with guests

Strategy and Execution

Before diving straight in to the work, Firebelly conducted an audit of Noble Roman's Craft Pizza & Pub's social media channels so we could first establish benchmarks for audience growth, brand visibility and engagement.

The audit also allowed us to identify what they were already doing well and what areas for improvement or opportunity existed. We defined brand voice and developed protocols for addressing guest complaints—something every restaurant brand is bound to receive no matter how amazing its food or customer service.

And finally, we looked at what similar brands were doing on their social media channels to identify any lessons that could potentially be learned there.


The findings from the audit led to recommendations that, after approval, led to implementation. Firebelly provided, and continues to provide, a variety of social media marketing services, including:

Social Media Management: Monthly Content Calendars, Community Management, Video Production & Reporting
Social Ad Management: Facebook (Page Likes & Offers) Instagram (Awareness & Website Traffic), Snapchat (Sponsored Filters)
Influencer Marketing: Influencer Identification & Outreach, Relationship Nurturing, Campaign Assessment & Analysis

How did we raise brand and restaurant awareness?

Our approach for supporting the brand's first goal of raising awareness of their new concept and restaurants involved running a variety of different ad types (from audience growth to engagement to website traffic), identifying optimal publishing days/times and posting consistently to their social channels, identifying and incorporating the appropriate hashtags to use on Instagram and Twitter, as well as identifying area foodie influencers and inviting them to attend special events so their captive audiences would be introduced to the brand via a trusted source.

How did we ensure fans and followers had a "WOW!" experience on social media?

Our approach for supporting the brand's second goal of ensuring fans and followers had the same "WOW!" experience on their social channels that they aim to provide in the restaurant involved identifying the kinds of content their audience was most responsive to (and posting more of that), running a variety of cross-channel contests and promotions (free pizzas, gift card giveaways, etc.), responding to all messages, questions and reviews in a timely manner, as well as proactively monitoring for, and engaging with, brand mentions and photos posted by guests.

Creating social media experiences in the restaurants

In addition to social media being used to promote the restaurants, the restaurants were used to promote Noble Roman's Craft Pizza & Pub's social media channels—URLs and usernames were added to menus and various displays so guests would be encouraged to follow the brand online.

It was also important that social media experiences be woven into the restaurants themselves. We ran Snapchat Sponsored Geofilter ads in all locations that changed monthly and were a hit with the younger crowd, designated "Selfie Spots" were installed throughout the restaurants to encourage visitors to take and share photos with the brand's #CarpePizza hashtag, and "Instagram walls" were also added to all restaurants to showcase and show appreciation for guest photos.


So how did all of these social media marketing efforts move the needle? Have a look below!

660% growth in social media audience size

3x greater average engagement rate on posts

16 foodie influencers promoting the brand

<1 hour average response time (down from >1 day)

100% average response rate (up from 65%)

This work also caught the attention of Sprout Social who awarded it their Cultivate Award for "social media excellence" in late 2018.


Video for Noble Roman's: Hand-Crafting A Pizzeria’s Recipe For Social Media Success

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Firebelly, Noble Roman's, Inc.


Entry Credits