Social Media Pizza War: Domino's vs. Pizza Hut

Morgan J. Arnold

Posted on May 30th 2012

Social Media Pizza War: Domino's vs. Pizza Hut

In the fight for market share, the top pizza brands have launched a social media blitz  attempting to capture audience and deepen customer engagement. But, who will be king? Track Social has analyzed pizza brands across hundreds of social media metrics.  We found two brands significantly dominate the competition and are locked in a heated battle for the top spot.

This can only mean one thing: Social Media Pizza War!

The Rules:

The competition has come down to the two pizza powerhouses: Domino’s Pizza and Pizza Hut.  They will go head-to-head in four rounds based on the Track Social’s Pillars of Social Media – Audience, Presence, Engagement and Buzz.  May the best brand win!

Round 1: Audience

Audience measures the total number of relationships a brand has formed with consumers through LIKES and FOLLOWS.

 Total AudienceNew Likes Per Day on Facebook PageNew Twitter Followers per Day
Domino’s6.8 million4,93694
Pizza Hut7.5 million2,388142

Winner: Pizza Hut

With an overall greater number of total relationships across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, this first round goes to Pizza Hut.  While these are impressive numbers, even for a national brand, Pizza Hut’s number one spot might not hold for long given Domino’s ability to generate more new Likes per day. In fact, some recent promotions have helped boost numbers for Domino’s.  A recent giveaway of 80,000 new Artisan Pizzas for Facebook Fans (first in mid April and again in early May) resulted in two significant bumps for Domino’s Facebook audience including a gain of over 200,000 new fans between April 11th and April 14th.

Round 2: Presence

Presence measures a brand’s visibility online, how well established, complete, and active it is on social media platforms.  

 Facebook Posts Per DayFacebook TabsTweets Per Day
Domino’s2.01012.7
Pizza Hut1.2828.7


Winner: Domino’s

Domino’s claims the prize for Presence by establishing a dynamic and multi-faceted online footprint. For example, Domino’s makes good use of Facebook Tabs, creating special apps designed to engage consumers in different ways.  Here’s a couple of our favorites:

Play Today is a pizza topping themed twist on the 80′s classic matching game Puzzle Bobble. Each time a player wins level 4, Pizza Hut donates to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospitals.  Finally a time waster that’s actually good for the world.

Ideas Welcome is an innovative app designed to solicit ideas for product and service improvements from Domino’s own Facebook Fans. Using a crowd sourcing model, Domino’s allows users to vote on their favorite submissions, elevating those ideas the online community felt had merit and giving consumers the opportunity to interact with Domino’s in a positive – and possibly profitable – way.

One of the top vote getters (and one of our favorites) suggested giving players of the popular video game “Grand Theft Auto” the ability to drive (in the game) to a virtual Domino’s Pizza and place an order (in the game) for a real pizza delivery so players wouldn’t have to leave their game to order food.  We’ll look for that innovation in the next version of the game!

And one app we expect to see in the future? A Facebook Online Ordering App Domino’s is already testing in Australia. Soon enough, we’ll be able to order dinner without missing a single status update!

Round 3: Engagement

Engagement is about how successful a brand’s social media interactions are with consumers. When a brand posts or Tweets, do fans respond with comments, likes, and Retweets? 

 Comments Per Day Per PostLikes Per Day Per Post
Domino’s66758
Pizza Hut1951794


Winner: Pizza Hut

With more users responding to each Facebook Post than Domino’s, Pizza Hut is getting more bang for it’s engagement buck.  They consistently deliver clever, fun and creative posts that encourage users to hit the Like button or share them with their friends.  As a rule, when it comes to inline posts, short and simple is better – but we did like this rather complicated flow chart highlighting the dilemma of who gets the last slice.

We’re also fans of Pizza Hut’s series of “cartoon characters” (launched on April 23rd) called the Cheesy Bites Gang.  In this creative effort to publicize their new Cheesy Bites Pizza, personified cheesy bites star in a series of humorous – and even cheeky – posts that have been generating some impressive numbers of likes, shares, and comments.  Though it’s interesting to note that video posts of “real life” cheesy bites (an actor in a cheesy bites mascot costume performing goofy stunts) have faired less well.

Engagement can also be about more than clever posts, cool apps or fun promos.  It can also exhibit how well a brand uses technology to reach out to consumers to respond to a PR debacle.

Which is why we have to give credit to Domino’s for creatively employing social media to respond to a damaging (and false) rumor that they were a financial supporter of the “Rush Limbaugh Show” during the notorious Sandra Fluke controversy.

Using individual Tweets, emails and phone calls, Domino’s employees reached out to over 3,500 people who had complained to the company about Domino’s alleged sponsorship. Sometimes staying engaged means interacting with consumers at the micro level.

Round 4: Buzz

Buzz is a measure of how much people are talking with, at, and about a brand in the Social Media Universe.

 User Comments Per Day on Facebook
Mentions Per Day On Twitter
Twitter Lists
Domino’s1857221,806
Pizza Hut675372,247


Winner: Domino’s 

When it comes to Buzz, Domino’s takes the lead, exceeding Pizza Hut in both Facebook User Comments Per Day and Twitter Mentions Per Day.  In many ways, a brand’s Buzz score reflects the cumulative result of a brand’s success (or failure) in the other three categories.  How much other people are talking about your brand is a measure of your online relevance and a verdict on how well your overall strategy is working.

And the winner is…Domino’s!

Although it was a close call, Domino’s got the higher Overall Performance ranking on our Track Social Leaderboard because of a better performance across the board in individual metrics.  Both brands deserve recognition for their success in harnessing social media to build and engage active online audiences. We’re sure this rivalry will see many more twists and turns.

For all the latest on what Domino’s, Pizza Hut and more than 12,000 other brands are up to on social media, sign up for a free Track Social account here!

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Track Social is the most sophisticated social media benchmarking, analytics, publishing, optimization and campaign management system on the market today. Track Social monitors 12,000+ brands across hundreds of social media metrics in near real-time. Click here for a list of features.

Morgan J. Arnold

Morgan J. Arnold

CEO, Track Social

Morgan J. Arnold is a marketing entrepreneur with a PhD in Engineering. Morgan is CEO of Track Social, the leader in Engagement Optimization.

Track Social monitors, aggregates and analyzes the Social Media accounts of thousands of businesses across multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Track Social provides a self-serve Analytics Platform as well as Professional Reporting, Social Advertising and Enterprise Consulting services.

Morgan is also CEO of Sprokkit, The Smart Marketing Agency.

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