Who does not like ice cream? Dairy Queen is one of those companies that you would not think would profit from the use of social networking, but the reality is that they have done very well by social networking and building on a fan base to keep the customers coming in and getting tasty treats.
One of the biggest questions that companies have is how to use social networking, blogging, Facebook, and the plethora of other systems in a business to gain business advantage. The problem is that there are a plethora of “guru’s” out there who will tell you all about twitter, but quickly forget about everything else, like Facebook, social media, FriendFeed, and a ton of other services that companies need to pay attention to. This does not including blogging, companies need to pay attention to that as well, and with all the things to pay attention to, companies are going to be hard pressed to find anyone who can truly give them an effective social networking platform from which to work from.
One of my friends Michael Fruchter is a social networking guru who has worked on the recent Dairy Queen social networking campaign. This is one case study in using social media that is well worth following and keeping track of.
Dairy Queen, for those of you who are not familiar with the brand, is an ice cream company at heart. They have been around since 1940, and have established themselves as the leader in the soft serve and fast food restaurant industry. Fast forward 70 years, 5,600 + domestic store locations, and internationally are in more than 20 countries, the brand is a well recognized icon all over the globe. Dairy Queen by nature is a very social brand. Like many other major corporations they rely on and still use traditional media for advertising. In 2008 that all changed. They embarked in the world of social media and never looked back, thanks to my predecessor, Adam Singer, former Director of Digital Strategy at Pierson Grant PR, where I currently work. Source: Michael Fruchter
The interesting part about all this is that a brand that no one would equate with social media has been doing just fine by social media and how it is consumed. We have entered a brand new world of direct customer to consumer conversations with little but technology that binds them together. Companies have to be wise to the changing landscape in Public Relations and turn that into personal connections between groups, individuals, both inside and outside the company. Dairy Queen did it right, not just with free five dollar tasty treat give a ways, but by allowing people to become fans on Facebook. Again, who does not have a fond memory of DQ? Further increasing that fond memory by giving someone a five dollar card to relive something from childhood, and bring the family along is not a bad idea. Social networking kept the cost down, allowed many people to participate and put DQ back in people’s minds.
This is why it worked and why it was and remains a powerful approach in social media for fast food. We all remember when we were there last; the idea is to bring that desire for a treat or tasty food back into the forefront of people’s minds. Social media allows for that connection, and that is where its power lays, it is about the connections.
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(Cross-posted @ IT Toolbox)