How Dunkin’ Donuts Uses Social Media

SocialTimes recently caught up with Kevin Vine, interactive marketing manager at Dunkin’ Brands, to discuss Dunkin’ Donuts’ social media strategy, which platforms it uses, its most successful social media campaigns and more.

Question: In what year did Dunkin’ Donuts start using social media, and what platform did it start out on?

Answer: Dunkin’ Donuts started using social media with the creation of its Facebook brand page and Twitter account in late 2008.

Q: What is Dunkin’ Donuts’ overall social media strategy and more specific objectives?

A: We always like to say that we don’t own our social media channels, our fans do. As a result, our social media strategy is aimed at growing and maintaining a highly engaged global community of Dunkin’ Donuts fans. We work to consistently provide meaningful content and promote a two-way dialogue between the brand and our passionate fans. We’re a fun brand, and our guests who rely on us for coffee and donuts expect a little fun from us by making Dunkin’ Donuts part of their daily lives, either through status updates with pictures or questions or with fun challenges and sweepstakes tied to our marketing calendar initiatives.

Locally, building brand awareness and engaging guests in new markets, both domestic and international, has also been a key objective of our social media channels. We enlist regional and international partners to hyper-localize social media efforts and connect with local communities within our larger follower base who run on Dunkin’ and want to know about what is happening at Dunkin’ Donuts in their hometowns.

Q: How many DD and/or agency folks are dedicated to working on social media for DD?

A: The Dunkin’ Donuts social media team consists of nearly a dozen people working out of “The DD Mothership,” the social media team’s nickname for Dunkin’ Donuts’ headquarters in Canton, Massachusetts. We also bring in public relations agencies for support in local markets and brainstorming for sweepstakes and promotions on our Facebook pages and Twitter handles.

Q: Which social media platforms do Dunkin’ Donuts use?

A: Currently, Dunkin’ Donuts has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Q: What is the most recent social media platform Dunkin’ Donuts has launched on, and how does it use it?

A: Dunkin’ Donuts recently launched Pinterest and Instagram pages this spring. On Pinterest and Instagram, we’re creating and sharing content based on how Dunkin’ Donuts fans are already engaging with the brand on these channels as our way of celebrating what makes them special and keeps them running. We also want to surprise and delight them with unique Dunkin’ Donuts content through special images and boards dedicated to what’s going on in our office, or by sharing special, one-of-a-kind donuts at our restaurants around the world.

Q: What other platforms are DD looking at?

A: We’re always evaluating new social media platforms where we can engage with our fans and celebrate how they’re running on Dunkin’. We have recently ventured into various mobile and location-based promotions, and they will continue to be an important part of our social media efforts in the future. We understand our busy guests are always on the go and are therefore becoming increasingly more dependent on their smartphones to keep them running. It is important that our team continuously develop mobile programs to allow our guests to connect with the brand even more. These programs, like our Foursquare application, are very exciting as they not only drive traffic to our restaurants, but they also encourage our guests to engage with the brand while actually inside a Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant.

In the past, we’ve conducted multiple highly engaging mobile and location-based social media programs via outlets such as Facebook, Foursquare and Scvngr. We plan to continue to surprise our fans with exciting new programs moving forward.