How Business Brands Use Social Media: Dunkin Donuts
Dunkin Brands has been hugely successful at navigating social media. As of February 2012, they had over 5 million Facebook fans and nearly 128,000 Twitter followers. Brian Solis, an internationally-known author, digital analyst in emerging media and the host of Revolution, a video series, recently sat down with Tyler Cyr, web communications manager for Dunkin Brands.
Tyler said that while many business brands struggle to carve out a presence in social media, many fail because they haven’t taken the time to develop a persona and a voice. People don’t want to interact with a brand. They want to interact with a friend, he said.
So what does a successful business brand’s persona look like? For Dunkin, it’s hometown and local. “We started locally just outside Boston,” said Tyler. From the beginning, the brand tried to be part of everyone’s day. Part of that included having great products, but the rest was about relationships. They’ve managed to keep that small community feel even though they’re now an international corporation.
How? By engaging. “Dunkin has the most engaged brand in the industry,” Tyler explained. “We’re not pushing products all the time. We’re trying to be engaging.”
A quick tour around the company’s Facebook page reveals sweepstakes and contests, photos of the “fan of the week,” pictures of their products (and of fans enjoying them), and a wall covered with user-posted pictures, comments and other material.
“This is not our space,” Tyler said. “It’s their space.”
The mega-brand also actively reaches out to customers who post complaints, and does what it can to help.
Dunkin’s cross-functional team focuses on communications, PR, marketing and interaction. The team has grown organically since they got into social media, but remains grassroots-sized. They’ve only recently begun hiring people with “social media” in their job titles.
Dunkin’s success proves that business brands don’t have to push their products through social media. They focus on building community, and the sales grow naturally. It’s a good lesson for companies struggling to find their way in the online world.