Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint opened new restaurant locations last week in Dunwoody, Ga., and Charlotte, N.C., raising the total number of open franchises to nine throughout the Southeast.

By the end of fall this year, 20 more restaurants will open, including locations in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee, and there will be 100 more stores in development.

Before doors opened at the Charlotte location Feb. 15, 300 people were in line to receive a free 9-inch pizza. The location gave away a total of 500 pizzas by 2 p.m. When the Dunwoody, restaurant opened Feb. 16, 120 people were in line for their chance to receive the signature "First 100" giveaway prize, which is free Uncle Maddio's pizza for a year for the first 100 customers.

Uncle Maddio's credits these turnouts to its social media marketing campaigns. The brand has an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Yelp, Foursquare and Urbanspoon.

"We reach out daily to our audience through social media," said Cindy Wahl, Uncle Maddio's marketing director. "It's a way to connect with our customers on a deeper level, and it gives us confirmation that Uncle Maddio's resonates with today's culture of diners."

The brand's next openings will be in March in the Edgewood neighborhood of Atlanta, and at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.

Read more about franchising and growth.

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