Dunkin’ Donuts Uses Social Media to Improve Customer Relationships and Experiences

Dunkin’ Brands is a customer-centric business and has earned a community of loyal supporters over the years. If “America runs on Dunkin’,” or if it is to continue to do so, the company must continue to earn the time, attention, and support of customers. As their behavior and preferences evolve, Dunkin’ to must rethink its customer approach to remain part of its customer’s daily routine.

Tyler Cyr, Web Communications Manager, Dunkin’ Brands shares how social media helps continue and improve the Dunkin’ experience and also shares how the company is learning and changing as a result.

Please take some time to watch the episode and share your thoughts with us…

This episode was recorded during the Salesforce Social Advisory Board meeting in San Francisco. Participants included brand managers from the likes of Disney, Livingsocial, P&G, Nissan, SunTrust, Dunkin Donuts, Get Satisfaction, and VW, we address the need for businesses to not only react to conversations but also lead them.

Season 2 – Episode 11

Season Two:

S2E1: How Mercedes Benz Successfully Uses Social Media to Engage
S2E2: Technorati’s Richard Jalichandra on the State and Future of Social Media
S2E3: Guy Kawasaki on the Art of Enchantment
S2E4: Adly CEO Arnie Gullov-Singh on the Social Era of Celebrity Endorsements
S2E5: Filmmaker and Webby Awards Founder Tiffany Shlain
S2E6: Jim Louderback, Revision3 CEO on the Future of Broadcast and Web Television – Part 1 of 2
S2E7: Jim Louderback, Revision3 CEO on the Future of Broadcast and Web Television – Part 2 of 2
S2E8: Marcel LeBrun of Salesforce Radian6 on the Future of Social Media Monitoring
S2E9: Our Digital Society in the Next 30 Years: An Interview with John Battelle
S2E10: How Social Customer Service is Changing the Culture at Comcast

Watch Season One on YouTube

Now on iTunes!

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  • http://twitter.com/misatoast Misato Mizuguchi

    It was interesting to hear how Dunkin Donuts use social media to engage to their customers. Now my concern is how can we pass on these communication knowledge when someone in charge of social media communications leave the organization. Who ever that is, (could be PR, marketing, digital comm…) as long as that person is in charge of communicating for the brand,  they should know a lot about both the brand (+organization) and the social media. Communication is pretty tied up with one’s personality, and personally I had difficulties maintaining the social presence for a brand when I had to leave that brand. I hope we can take a look in some examples where the transition has been done smoothly and learn from actual case studies.

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  • http://dool.in Dave Doolin

    Not surprising, from my experience. Dunkin is a great brand and I wish there were a few stores here in the East Bay. 4 million fans is *really* impressive.

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  • http://rankur.com Boris Kraychev

    That’s a remarkable interview, especially the fact that Dunkin’ Donuts has started their social media management team just three years ago… the area of social engagement is so young and I can’t imagine the number of businesses that will start to organize their SM presence in the next 3 years!

  • http://www.supremesoloads.com Mark McCulloch

    This certainly was interesting, I have been FULL TIME online for many years and its only in the last few that social media in my opinion has began to evolve into the trend that it is now fast becoming.

    To see how Dunkin Donuts is using it really opens my eyes to the fact that I should be using it. Thanks for the top quality writing.

    Mark

  • Marius Smit

    Very interesting!
    I don’t necessarily agree that fans are customers, that statement is debatable.
    Still a cool interview, regards.

  • http://www.facebook.com/josephdsweeney Joe Sweeney

    Buzzword bingo will be a hot new catch phrase in 6-12 months.  Mark my words and send any proficy credit or “I told you sos” to @thejoesweeney if I’m wrong :)

    Overall there is a lot of value here for individuals and businesses and this should help generate some ideas for those struggling with how to manage social media.  One of my biggest takeaways was the discussion about Google+ and it is reassuring to hear one of the leading online brands (from an engagement standpoint) admit they are in a “wait and see” holding pattern with Google+ as I’m still trying to navigate those waters myself as I know a lot of others reading this as well though that is obviously the “next frontier” in the evolving world of online relationships, customer engagement , branding, culture and building a sense of community for both businesses and individuals.

    I think the idea of building a community of fans based on engagement rather than constantly trying to sell, market and monetize the audience is where Dunkin differentiates itself for most businesses and brands.  There was an article in Bloomberg the magazine about the downfall of Myspace and one of my biggest takeaways from that article was when Myspace got bought by News Corp the corporate titans wanted to know the ROI for everything and see constant growth which after the $300m search deal Myspace reached with Google forced Myspace to pursue (questionable) advertising deals to increase revenues which were not in their best long term interest of the company and in time alienated the Myspace audience and lead to the downfall.  I consider myself tech aware and do not even have a Myspace account today.

    Planning to share this page and with my network.  Nicely done Brian!  Take care, Joe

    • http://www.briansolis.com briansolis

      Hello Joe! I don’t disbelieve you. Well said…and by the way, I love Mari!

  • http://twitter.com/ginamayala Gina Ayala

    Great example of a company utilizing social media to engage customers and make them feel part of the process. This definitely speaks loudly about the way that companies must stop trying to market and sell in the traditional manner and should instead focus on creating large loyal fan communities through social media platforms.

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    social media more and more people choose to connect the channel relationship, I also use social networks.

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  • http://twitter.com/HaleyCertified HaleyCertifiedCenter

    I wonder why, in this case anyway, big brands do not train the frontline employees in their retail stores about social media. I visit the same Dunkin’ Donut store every morning on the way to work for a cup of coffee. I recently became the “Mayor” of that location on Foursquare for checking in there so often. I was really excited and mentioned it to the cashier. She had no idea what I was talking about and merely asked me for my $2.09 for the coffee. Where is the socail media “engagement” in this example? There isnt any. It seems the measurement is how many Facebook fans or Twitter followers you can have.

  • http://twitter.com/HaleyCertified HaleyCertifiedCenter

    I wonder why, in this case anyway, big brands do not train the frontline employees in their retail stores about social media. I visit the same Dunkin’ Donut store every morning on the way to work for a cup of coffee. I recently became the “Mayor” of that location on Foursquare for checking in there so often. I was really excited and mentioned it to the cashier. She had no idea what I was talking about and merely asked me for my $2.09 for the coffee. Where is the socail media “engagement” in this example? There isnt any. It seems the measurement is how many Facebook fans or Twitter followers you can have.

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  • http://twitter.com/greggweiss Gregg Weiss

    @DunkinDonuts was amazing in their ability to react to my tweet earlier this year. Despite ordering a coffee with milk and no sugar, my coffee had a ton of sugar in it. Within 45 seconds of tweeting, I was DM’d by DD and they then called me and apologized and offered to conference in the store manager. They sent me a $10 gift card for my trouble. I’ve told the positive story to hundreds of people. +1!

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ABOUT ME

Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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