On Thursday, September 29, 2011, America celebrated National Coffee Day with some exciting steals and deals at popular shops. The convenience store and gas station 7-Eleven offered free medium coffees, cappuccinos, and lattes from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m, or until coffee supplies held out. Thornton’s gave away a free coffee, cappuccino, or hot chocolate until 2 p.m.
Didn’t pass any of these on your way to work? The popular coffee chain Caribou Coffee offered two coffees for the price of one. The once-unstoppable doughnut chain Krispy Kreme offered a free 12-ounce cup of its new Signature House Blend coffee. Those four national brands were the only places that celebrated National Coffee Day, or at least I thought.
This particular Thursday morning I had stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts early for breakfast and coffee for myself and a coworker. I prepared myself for a mad house but instead was greeted with an empty drive-thru. Score! I shrugged my shoulders, ordered my breakfast and the coffees, and off I drove to QLP.
A few minutes later, when I logged into my Twitter account, I saw @DunkinChicago (they represent the independent franchisee group that operates the almost 500 Dunkin’ Donuts in and around the Chicagoland area) had a new tweet:
What a cool idea! Even though they weren’t participating in National Coffee Day by giving away free coffee in their stores, they still provided an incentive to customers. They saved money by not offering (and advertising) everyone and their brother a free cup of coffee, but instead just their true fans who follow them on Twitter. I immediately grabbed my phone and took a picture of our mascot, Bubba, chilling with my cup of Dunkin’ coffee and sent it off (see right). Within a few minutes, I got a direct message thanking me for my tweet and picture and asking me to send my address for my $4 DD card.
Customer for life? You betcha!
I’m not sure why they only gave away $4 cards and not $5 or a coupon for a free medium sized drink), but I’m just excited they did something at all. This gift card is enough to cover one and a half medium coffees on a cloudy October morning. I also appreciated the fact that I didn’t have to wait in a ridiculous long line on my way to work for a discounted cup of joe. Nope, this was the best way to celebrate and promote your brand, something which every company could appreciate doing.
How you can mimic Dunkin’ Donuts’ successful Twitter promotion:
- Ask a simple question on your Twitter account or ask for your followers to post a picture of your product. This will engage your customers and make them feel more connected to your brand and company. Plus, it gives your brand a human voice instead of just being an inanimate presence on-line.
When I checked my personal Facebook account later that day, I stumbled upon the Dunkin’ Chicago Facebook page and saw that they were giving away a DD gift card to one lucky fan every hour until 6 p.m for the day:
All you had to do was tell them in your status why you love DD and tag @Dunkin’Chicago in your post. Talk about easy!
How you can enjoy an equally successful Facebook promotion:
- Let your customers and fans be your brand’s advocates by giving them an incentive to share with their friends why they love your brand or product. Their friends and followers will read their status on their top stories and you could have a whole new market and demographic clamoring for your company.
Don’t let social media marketing scare you or make you feel uneasy. It’s a great way to increase your brand’s awareness and increase a potential and untapped customer base!
Have you ever participated in a Facebook or Twitter promotion like this? Have your friends? Were you intrigued to learn more about the company? Sound off below!