Why is IHOP pulling a burger stunt again? Because its social media is stalling
Just when you thought IHOP ($NYSE:DIN) was slowing its attempts to reinvent the breakfast wheel, it's back again with another burger-related PR campaign.
Last year, the Dine Brands Global-owned diner chain turned heads with its infamous "IHOB" promotion that had consumers believing the chain was changing its brand to be more burger-focused. Now, in a callback to that, it is putting a pancake inside of a burger.
Why? Well, just look at its Twitter following over time:
The only big period of growth that IHOP saw over the past three years was during its IHOB phase. It gained around 60,000 followers in the month it became the International House of Burgers... Then from July up until today, it only gained 9,000 followers.
The company is hoping that this promotion reinvigorates interest in the brand during the summer, where families are out and about on vacations to places that will (most likely) have an IHOP nearby. But, according to Facebook "Talking About" data, which tracks brand mentions on Facebook daily, the IHOB promotion pales in comparison to chatter about 59 cent pancakes back when it had its 59th anniversary in 2017... And practically every July for its annual celebration.
Charting this metric over time reveals that IHOP mentions are down overall year-over-year, which further makes the decision putting a pancake inside of a burger more than just a hungry college kid's 3 a.m. snack dream; it's a hail mary to keep it relevant on social media.