Convenience stores know a thing or two about building strong social strategies, which is why we’re thrilled to release the updated rankings for the top convenience stores on social media.
We analyzed 70 convenience store chains across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok (new this year!) to find out what makes these roadside treasures stand out in the digital world.
From investing in video to tapping into niche communities, there were several trends that convenience stores explored to earn impressive engagement rates and stand out above the rest. Let’s dive into the rankings and find out what the top-performing c-stores are doing to succeed when it comes to social strategy.
Top Overall Convenience Stores on Social
Congrats to Kwik Trip for earning first place for the third consecutive year in a row and landing in the top three positions on all four of the channels we analyzed. The c-store out-performed the rest by staying true to its Midwest roots and stepping up its short-form video game. This year’s runner-up is Northeast-based chain, Stewart’s Shops whose signature ice cream stole the show, particularly on Facebook and TikTok.
Coming in close behind at 3rd and 4th place, respectively, are Kum & Go and QuikTrip. Both of these c-stores maintain a consistent presence across all channels each year, proving that each of them knows what works well for their audiences. Rounding out the top five convenience stores on social media this year is 7-Eleven, which saw major gains on Instagram, growing its following by more than 50%.
|Overall Rank||Convenience Stores||Rank||Rank||Rank||Rank|
|3||Kum & Go||5||2||32||1|
|7||Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores||16||12||11||9|
Top Convenience Store: Kwik Trip
Kwik Trip dominated the c-store landscape this year, coming in 1st place for the third year in a row. The Wisconsin-based chain ranked 3rd on Instagram, 2nd on Facebook, 3rd on Twitter, and 1st on TikTok.
It comes as no surprise that Kwik Trip earned the top spot on TikTok after the active year this c-store had on the channel. Kwik Trip published 35% more TikTok videos this year compared to the previous year, sharing videos about four times per week — which is 16 times more than the median for convenience stores on TikTok. The store’s increased posting frequency, along with other winning strategies, helped Kwik Trip gain more visibility on its videos. In total, their videos earned more than 16M views and the median video gets about 30K views, but several earned at least one million views on their own.
The brand clearly honed in on its short-form video skills this year as Reels were another standout post type for Kwik Trip. Reels made up their top four most engaging posts on Instagram this year and helped the brand earn seven times more engagement than the other posts it shared on Instagram during this reporting period.
Many of the c-store’s Reels were reposted from TikTok, which leads us to another winning strategy Kwik Trip used to earn impressive levels of engagement this year: cross-sharing content.
As the saying goes, work smarter not harder. Kwik Trip often reposted content that performed well on one channel, which is a great way to not only repurpose, but also test what works with audiences on different platforms. For example, Kwik Trip shared popular TikTok videos as Reels on Instagram as those channels likely have similar audiences. The c-store also reshared popular tweets on its Facebook page like the one below.
Not only did this Facebook post generate an engagement rate that’s seven times greater than the median for convenience stores on Facebook, but it also received nearly 500 shares which helped organically boost its visibility.
Let’s go over the strategies Kwik Trip and other stand-out c-stores used to drive engagement on social media this year.
Top Trend 1: Investing in video
Of all of the convenience stores we analyzed this year, 50% were on TikTok. This development shows that video is less of a trend and more of a direction that your brand should be heading as platforms start to prioritize the interactive format.
But TikTok isn’t the only place where c-stores are sharing videos. Convenience stores also published more Instagram Reels this year — and it’s paying off. Reels are the second most common post type on the channel, and the second most engaging after carousels (nothing beats a carousel these days).
Video isn’t going away anytime soon, so if you haven’t explored the format yet, now is the time to dive in.
Pro tip: If you haven’t already, grab your TikTok handle so you can secure your account before you choose to start posting there.
Top Trend 2: Showing face
If you scroll through Kwik Trip’s social media accounts, it doesn’t take long to recognize a familiar face. The convenience store’s social media supervisor, Paige Forde, is the face of the brand in a majority of its content. Using her as the on-screen talent undoubtedly helped drive the c-store’s engagement this year, positioning Kwik Trip more as more of a creator rather than a brand account.
Kwik Trip isn’t the only one showcasing the people behind the account. Many convenience stores on social media use real people and team members to create more relatable content, especially on Instagram and TikTok.
Social media managers today have gone from being in charge of developing a brand voice to being the actual face of the brand — and it works. This video from Wawa earned an 11.1% engagement rate by view, which is nearly four times better than the median for convenience stores on TikTok.
Having a team member be the face of the brand humanizes your c-store and helps your audience connect on a more personal level. Not to mention, followers get used to seeing the same person or group of people and feel like they’re following along with that person rather than the brand itself.
Top Trend 3: Know your audience
Convenience stores may fall into a niche category, but their fans are enthusiastic and loyal. Audiences are quick to support content about the c-store and its products (think seasonal product releases or insider knowledge that only a regular customer would have). But the top-performing stores prove that you also have to tap into your audience’s wider interests in order to succeed on social.
Convenience stores across all channels found ways to relate to their followers while still weaving in their products or store. Case in point: Kwik Trip leans into Midwest jokes, 7-Eleven highlights car culture, and Weigel’s supports its local college sports teams. In fact, Weigel’s most-engaging tweets referenced UT Knoxville’s sports teams (the convenience store chain is based in the Knoxville area) and generated 25 times more engagement than their other tweets during the reporting period.
To explore this strategy, dig into your followers’ interests and pay attention to what they’re talking about. If you have a community manager on your social team, have them look at comments on your latest posts, check out the content you’re tagged or mentioned in, and keep tabs on trending topics or conversations within your industry to align with your audience on a deeper level.
Top Convenience Stores on Instagram
The top convenience stores on Instagram had a median engagement rate of 2.54%. This rate is nearly three times higher than the average c-store which has a median engagement rate of 0.92%.
These high-performing stores were also more active on the channel, posting 4.18 times per week while the average c-stores had a posting frequency of 2.51 posts per week.
|Rank||Convenience Stores||Total Engagement||Engagement Rate|
|4||Kum & Go||106,976||1.48%|
Buc-ees earned the top spot on Instagram this year, making its first appearance in our c-store rankings. Coming in second is 7-Eleven who hit a major growth milestone by reaching almost one million followers this year. Our overall winner Kwik Trip rounds out the top three performers on Instagram, leaning on video to drive its engagement.
Featured convenience store: 7-Eleven
This year’s runner-up on Instagram, 7-Eleven dominated the channel for a few reasons. First, the convenience store increased its following by over 50% ending the reporting period with nearly 900K total followers.
The convenience store also saw major gains in engagement. 7-Eleven received a 3.21% engagement rate on Instagram, which is 3.4 times higher than the median Instagram engagement rate for convenience stores.
A strategy that 7-Eleven focused on this year that helped drive engagement is to post a recurring series highlighting cars seen at the convenience stores using the aptly named hashtag #CarsOf7Eleven. Each week, 7-Eleven shared a carousel that featured multiple car snaps that they were tagged in, giving their followers something fun to scroll through and participate in.
This campaign worked for a couple of reasons. First, we know that carousels are a highly engaging post type since they serve those images to followers multiple times, so this was a smart way to curate those images and get the most engagement out of them.
Second, the campaign also encouraged participation by asking followers to tag them in their car pictures to be featured. Car culture is huge on Instagram ( the hashtag #CarsOfInstagram has been used by over 33 million posts) and 7-Eleven tapped into that enthusiastic community to create a sub-community of its own. And people clearly wanted to be featured as 7-Eleven’s hashtag has been used in over 26K posts on Instagram.
Compare your performance with the top convenience stores.Explore Live C-Store Benchmarks
Top Convenience Stores on TikTok
As more convenience stores join TikTok, the industry is on its way to reaching all-industry levels of engagement, but it still has some catching up to do. The median engagement rate by view for convenience stores is 2.09%. However, the top-performing c-stores on TikTok had a much higher rate of 6.50%.
The top c-stores also posted about one video per week, which is a little more often than the average store. The median convenience store’s posting frequency was 0.23 videos per week.
|Rank||Convenience Stores||Total Engagement||Engagement Rate|
|2||Kum & Go||1,186,121||8.66%|
Overall winner Kwik Trip out-performed the competition on TikTok and earned first place. Coming in second place is Kum & Go, which was an early adopter of the platform but let its posting frequency drop towards the end of the year. In third place is the Tennessee-based convenience store Mapco.
Featured convenience store: Kwik Trip
Kwik Trip dominated all channels, but TikTok remains its primary domain. The c-store earned a 5.5% engagement rate by view and posted way more frequently than the average convenience store on TikTok at 3.27 videos per week, which is 14 times more than the average.
As one of the first convenience stores to actively post on TikTok, Kwik Trip has leaned into short-form video and laid the groundwork for other convenience stores that want to make a name for themselves on the video app. The c-store stays on top of the latest audio trends on the app and leans into its Midwest roots with quippy humor that only fellow Midwesterns — and Kwik Trip enthusiasts — would understand.
One of the brand’s top-performing posts generated over one million views and earned a 12.2% engagement rate by view, which is 5.8x higher than the average convenience store on TikTok.
C-stores that want to follow Kwik Trip’s strategy for success should start by experimenting with different video styles to see what resonates most with their audience. In general, people turn to TikTok to be entertained, so humor is always a great place to start. Stay on top of the trending sounds and screen effects and figure out how to incorporate your c-store. From there, you’ll discover your audience’s sense of humor and can tailor your videos and voice from there.
Top Convenience Stores on Facebook
When it comes to Facebook, the top convenience stores perform three times better than the average c-store on the channel. The top stores generated a median engagement rate of 0.54% while the median engagement rate for all stores we analyzed for this report is 0.18%.
The top c-stores also have a higher posting frequency than the rest, posting about 4.63 times per week — the average convenience store posts 2.8 times per week.
|Rank||Convenience Stores||Total Engagement||Engagement Rate|
|1||The Pilot Co.||407,490||1.07%|
|6||High’s Dairy Store||17,794||0.59%|
|8||Pak A Sak||32,655||0.48%|
|10||TravelCenters of America||26,251||0.44%|
Our first place winner goes to The Pilot Co. who found success from showing appreciation for pro drivers and military members. Coming in second place is our overall winner Kwik Trip who performed above the rest on all channels. In third place is Buc-ees who stepped up its overall social game this year, earning the sixth spot overall.
Featured convenience store: The Pilot Co.
Though The Pilot Co. didn’t make it into the top 10 overall, the convenience store led the way on Facebook this year. The Pilot Co. has a 1.07% engagement rate on Facebook, which is 5.9 times higher than the median engagement rate on Facebook for convenience stores. The c-store also posted 2.9 times per week, which is in line with the average posting frequency.
It’s worth noting that Pilot leveraged boosted posts, which is likely the reason for its high engagement rates. Boosting your posts — especially ones that have performed well organically — is worth considering if you have the budget and want to increase your visibility on a channel that has seen a decrease in organic reach over the last several years.
Boosting aside, Pilot also succeeded with tried and true strategies including giveaways and posts about holidays. The post below combined the two engagement strategies by running a giveaway to celebrate National Road Trip Day.
Giveaways and holidays continue to be a smart way to drive engagement across channels like Facebook and Instagram. But if you really want your posts to stand out among so many holidays and giveaway opportunities, hone in on a specific holiday — like National Road Trip Day — and make the prize something your audience can’t turn down.
Top Convenience Stores on Twitter
On Twitter, the top convenience stores had a median engagement rate of 0.86%, which is 8.6 times higher than the 0.10% median rate for all c-stores we analyzed.
When it comes to tweet frequency, the top-performing convenience stores are much more active than the average store on the channel, posting 6.06 tweets per week. The median posting frequency for the average c-store is 1.67 posts per week — which means stepping up that posting frequency could help boost engagement.
|Rank||Convenience Stores||Total Engagement||Engagement Rate|
|1||Kum & Go||272,308||1.56%|
|4||TravelCenters of America||21,834||0.78%|
|9||Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores||14,000||0.23%|
Kum & Go earned the top spot on Twitter this year. Coming in second place is Weigel’s, who saw impressive engagement rates and posting frequency. In third place is our overall winner Kwik Trip, proving that there isn’t a channel they don’t know how to navigate.
Featured convenience store: Weigel’s
The Tennessee-based convenience store rounded out the overall rankings and came in second on Twitter with an engagement rate of 6.75%, which is a whopping 67.5 times higher than the median engagement rate for convenience stores on Twitter.
The store has a smaller audience than its c-store counterparts at about 4.6K followers, but it’s very active and engaged with that audience. Weigel’s tweets about eight times per week which is 4.7 times more than the median convenience store on Twitter.
A strategy that’s proved to be successful for Weigel’s is aligning with its follower’s wider interests — such as the local college sports teams — and always finding a way to reference their store in the process.
One of the store’s top tweets was a photo taken from a UT Knoxville football game with the call to action being to run to the nearest Weigel’s to grab some of their signature egg nog. The tweet clearly landed with followers, earning an engagement rate of 60.6%, which is 606 times better than the median rate for convenience stores on Twitter.
Another one of Weigel’s successful tweets was a photo that celebrates a Vols’ basketball win against the University of Kentucky Wildcats while, again, referencing the store’s signature milk. This clever tweet received an impressive engagement rate by follower of 164% and an engagement rate lift that was 621 times better than the rest of the c-store’s tweets during the reporting period. Plus, the retweets alone made up 22% of the engagement total which means it definitely resonated with people.
Once you understand what your audience engages with, whether it’s sports humor or inside jokes, lean into it to start conversations and spark engagement on Twitter.
How is my convenience store performing on social media?
Comparing your convenience store’s social performance has never been easier. Browse our Live Convenience Stores Social Media Benchmarks for a real-time look at top Convenience Store posts, engagement rates, high-performing hashtags, and tons more. You can even add these benchmarks directly into your Rival IQ account for always-on monitoring of these top stores.
Need even more competitive analytics? Go head-to-head with a free report on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to see how you stack up against your top competition. See what makes your competitors tick with key insights and actionable advice you can start using now to come out on top.
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We looked at over 70 convenience store chains on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok between the dates of November 1, 2021 and October 31, 2022. Using this data and a weighted formula, we generated an overall engagement ranking for each store. The top-ranked convenience stores on social media have high engagement rates with average or better audience size and posting volumes.
We define engagement as measurable interaction on social media posts, including likes, comments, favorites, retweets, shares, and reactions. We used engagement rate by follower to measure engagement on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, which is defined as the total engagement divided by the number of followers. We used engagement rate by view to measure engagement on TikTok, which is defined as the total engagement divided by the number of views.
Please note: If you haven’t grabbed your c-store’s TikTok handle yet, consider doing so now even if you’re not ready to post there yet. There are a ton of imposters on TikTok snapping up handles, and we’d hate to see you struggle for a handle that matches your convenience store’s brand by waiting too long.
The case for benchmarking
Why benchmark instead of just measuring how your convenience store’s individual performance changes over time? Because social success is relative. Benchmarking means figuring out what’s working (and what isn’t) in your industry and measuring your success against that.
It’s crucial to go beyond likes and favorites because audience size is hugely important: 100 likes is great engagement for a c-store with 1,000 followers but is a drop in the bucket to a store with 100,000 followers. Engagement rate helps us take audience size into account to see who’s really reaching the highest percentage of their fans and followers with their social posts, which are the c-stores you need to beat.
Wrapping it up
And there you have it! Convenience stores on social media are anything but boring. These top c-stores are proving that you can build highly engaged audiences across channels by leaning into what fans really want to see when they follow their local gas station on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Congrats to all the convenience stores for a dynamic year, and we can’t wait to see what happens in the year ahead.
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