Social Media Case Study: Dairy Queen

Dairy-Queen-Grill-and-Chill

——–

It’s no surprise that in this digital age corporations are actively engaging their customer base through social media. I can list hundreds of companies who successfully quote on quote “get it“. I thought I would focus on one, Dairy Queen.

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. Adam was the catalyst and driving force behind Dairy Queen’s involvement in social media.  I’m simply running with the torch that Adam lit.

—-

While I can’t speak for other companies, I can speak for Dairy Queen. Everyone in their corporation starting from their CEO, John Gainor, down to their Chief Brand Officer, Michael Keller, understand the impact of social media and truly embrace it. Their motives are pure and transparent and they are truly excited to be engaging their potential and existing customer base and beyond in this medium. They understand the implications of social media and how it affects their brand, that speaks volumes in and of itself.

—-

How is Dairy Queen using social media?

1) Dairy Queen Blog:

dairy queen blog

Dairy Queen launched the Official Dairy Queen Blog in February 2009. They realized it was a great way to humanize their brand and connect with their customers. The blog is written by Dairy Queen employees. The goal of their blog is to ignite conversation and have fun with a brand that has been around for more than 70 years. The blog is used for anything and everything DQ related which includes:  stories, news, products, events, promotions and advertising in the community, and around the world. It’s important to note that their blog is NOT used as a mechanism to post press releases. All to often corporations start up a blog solely to post and re-post press releases. Blogs are not a PR robot. DQ has clearly demonstrated a successful formula for their corporate blog.

Key takeaway:

Fun facts:

  • Blog officially launched in Febuaray 2009
  • Blog has had more than 50,000 visitors since it launched
  • Blog has more than 560 comments since it launched

2) Podcasting:

dairy queen podcast

Dairy Queen’s Chief Brand Officer is a very articulate speaker. He is a powerful, brand story teller, so what better way to convey that than through a podcast. Vocals as well as visuals often can convey a story better than text. Listen to Michael Keller share his insights about the Dairy Queen brand in the digital space and you will see what I mean.

3) Facebook:

dairy queen facebook

—-

Dairy Queen launched the Official Dairy Queen Facebook Fan Page in May 2008. Dairy Queen realized that establishing a Facebook Fan Page was not an option, but a necessity. Facebook is an essential platform for Dairy Queen consumer engagement and also serves as a content aggregator for all things Dairy Queen.  In just over one year, Dairy Queen fans responded to the tune of 100,000 + fans. The Fan Page continues to grow at more than several hundred new fans a day.

Fun facts:

  • Fan Page at the time of this writing this has 158,707
  • 62% of their fans are female
  • 54% of their fans are ages 18-44

4) Twitter:

——

dairy queen twitter-screen

——-

Dairy Queen launched the official Dairy Queen Twitter account in February of 2009. This was an obstacle at first because a name squatter was using the Dairy Queen name. It took a few months of contacting Twitter through the appropriate channels for Dairy Queen to get the name back. Success came in late May when the name was given back to the Dairy Queen corporation. The Dairy Queen Twitter account is run by Jamie Guse, Web Site Manager for Dairy Queen’s digital assets.

How is Dairy Queen using Twitter?

—-

  • Reputation monitoring
  • Customer service
  • Platform for promotion for all things Dairy Queen
  • Identifying and rewarding brand endorsers and evangelists
  • Re-tweeting Dairy Queen follower’s tweets
  • Follows back Dairy Queen customers on Twitter

Fun fact:

  • Dairy Queen Twitter account has 1,657 followers at the time of writing this.

5) Embracing Mobile:

dairy queen mobile applications

——-

Dairy Queen is well aware of the growing and emerging mobile market. They know their customers are increasingly on the go, therfore using a mobile device to locate a Dairy Queen store is quite beneficial. Realizing this, they created a  DQ store locater application for iPhone & iPod users soon to be avaible in the iTunes app store.

—–

6) What else is on the horizion for Dairy Queen in social media?

—–

dairy queen friendfeed

FriendFeed is next on deck. FriendFeed is more then just a powerful social media content aggregator. It’s a passionate community of users who conversate around the content. FriendFeeders are also Dairy Queen customers, so it’s only fitting that Dairy Queen joins the conversation.

——

Being a diligent Digital Strategist, I would never reveal my full deck of cards. Did you think I would? Dairy Queen has quite a few interesting initiatives coming to the horizon in the digital space. I’m positive you will be hearing about a few of them later this year, and coming first quarter of 2010.

I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into the social media world of Dairy Queen. They are just one corporation of many who understand how to leverage social media and understand how it impacts their brand. They got off to a late start with social media, but that’s irrelevant, what’s relevant is that they recognized it, embraced it, understand it and use it.

(Disclaimer:  DQ is a current client of the firm I work for. I advise DQ on Digital Strategies)



-- Download Social Media Case Study: Dairy Queen as PDF --


  • http://www.digitalcapitalism.com Kbodnar32

    Well done Mike. Thanks for letting us know what DQ is doing. Hmmm Now I want a blizzard….

  • http://socialmediab2b.com KBodnar32

    Well done Mike. Thanks for letting us know what DQ is doing. Hmmm Now I want a blizzard….

  • http://socialmediasoapbox.wordpress.com/ Stephen Rothman

    Thanks for sharing. Listened to DQ's CBO and agree. His warmth and honesty makes him highly effective in the social media space. Look forward to watching DQ's social media future.

  • http://socialmediasoapbox.wordpress.com/ Stephen Rothman

    Thanks for sharing. Listened to DQ’s CBO and agree. His warmth and honesty makes him highly effective in the social media space. Look forward to watching DQ’s social media future.

  • http://thefuturebuzz.com/ Adam Singer

    Great case study Mike, you nailed this. Thanks for the kudos, you honor me. A lot of the credit goes to Jamie Guse and Dean Peters @ DQ as well, and of course the whole PG team.

  • Pingback: Links To Checkout For 7.21.09

  • http://thefuturebuzz.com/ Adam Singer

    Great case study Mike, you nailed this. Thanks for the kudos, you honor me. A lot of the credit goes to Jamie Guse and Dean Peters @ DQ as well, and of course the whole PG team.

  • http://www.profiles-connectdirector.com/ global personal networking

    Great post!!
    Thanks for sharing.

    Stay connected with friends at global personal networking.

  • Pingback: links for 2009-07-22 | burningCat

  • http://www.profiles-connectdirector.com/ global personal networking

    Great post!!
    Thanks for sharing.

    Stay connected with friends at global personal networking.

  • http://GetANewBrowser.com abrudtkuhl

    Great case study Mike – this can be used as a great blueprint for other companies of this size that want to jump into social media.

    Can't wait to see what they do with FriendFeed :-)

  • http://YouMetAndy.com abrudtkuhl

    Great case study Mike – this can be used as a great blueprint for other companies of this size that want to jump into social media.

    Can’t wait to see what they do with FriendFeed :-)

    • http://mikefruchter.me Mike Fruchter

      Andy, thanks for stopping by. I hope to make the official announcement soon enough. In the mean time feel free to join the room :-) http://friendfeed.com/dairyqueen

  • stephengiusti

    Great strategy! I especially like how Dairy Queen has a blog that all its employees can post on. I think that is a great way to keep the workers happy as well as attract new ones. This post really opened my eyes to the many outlets that companies have through social media. With all the great content about Dairy Queen posted by followers, friends, and employees, aren't you afraid of some negative feedback or comments?

  • stephengiusti

    Great strategy! I especially like how Dairy Queen has a blog that all its employees can post on. I think that is a great way to keep the workers happy as well as attract new ones. This post really opened my eyes to the many outlets that companies have through social media. With all the great content about Dairy Queen posted by followers, friends, and employees, aren’t you afraid of some negative feedback or comments?

    • http://mikefruchter.me Mike Fruchter

      Stephen,

      It goes with the territory unfortunately. For the most part the majority of the content abut DQ has been positive. The great thing about authentic negative chatter is it gives DQ a public forum to respond if necessary. You got to take the good with the bad and balance it.

  • marybunnell

    Thanks for sharing this case study on Dairy Queen. It's fun to read about the successes of social media at a basic marketing level. And it sounds like they've established a great customer experience in the digital world as well as the real world – eating ice cream!

  • marybunnell

    Thanks for sharing this case study on Dairy Queen. It’s fun to read about the successes of social media at a basic marketing level. And it sounds like they’ve established a great customer experience in the digital world as well as the real world – eating ice cream!

  • karynfleeting

    Really impressive, particularly the popularity of the blog within a relatively short space of time. Nice one, guys!

  • karynfleeting

    Really impressive, particularly the popularity of the blog within a relatively short space of time. Nice one, guys!

  • http://michaelfruchter.com/blog mfruchter

    Andy, thanks for stopping by. I hope to make the official announcement soon enough. In the mean time feel free to join the room :-) http://friendfeed.com/dairyqueen

  • http://michaelfruchter.com/blog mfruchter

    Stephen,

    It goes with the territory unfortunately. For the most part the majority of the content abut DQ has been positive. The great thing about authentic negative chatter is it gives DQ a public forum to respond if necessary. You got to take the good with the bad and balance it.

  • Pingback: Social Media Marketing» Blog Archive » Case Study2 – Dairy Queen

  • Pingback: Using Social Networking in Your Business. Case Study: Dairy Queen | CloudAve

  • Pingback: Social Media & Marketing Quickstart | Jason Hobbs, LLC

  • Pingback: Social Media & Marketing Quickstart

  • Pingback: Interview With Jamie Guse of American Dairy Queen Corporation | Social Media Marketing Strategies

  • Pingback: How to Sell Social Media to Your Boss - Elite Web Marketing

  • Pingback: Part 4 | Four Is Here | Jason Hobbs, LLC

  • Pingback: Social Media, a tactic for branding and participation | Rhuey46

  • Pingback: B2b Social Media Case Studies | Top Social Media Optimization

  • Pingback: Digging through the crates « Mike Fruchter

  • Pingback: lincawebsolutions.com » The Two Lessons Dairy Queen Learned About Social Media And Customer Service

  • http://webhostingw.com/ webhostingwatch

    I am so grateful for your blog. Much thanks. Really great post!

  • Pingback: Case Study on Dairy Queen Ice cream | CaseStudy.co.in