Sweet Tips on Social Media Marketing from Krispy Kreme®


Krispy Kreme is an exemplar of brand building success in the social media world in an industry facing significant challenges resulting from changing consumer attitudes and preferences.

According to Kelley O’Brien – Krispy Kreme’s Director of Social Media Marketing – the reason for Krispy Kreme’s success revolves around how the company chooses social media channels, engages customers, and stays relevant in a changing environment. O’Brien will share these strategies in detail at the upcoming AMA Tampa Bay luncheon this Thursday.

Deciding Which Social Media Channels are Appropriate
When deciding which social media channels are appropriate, Krispy Kreme identifies who their customers are, where they spend most of their time on social media, and what type of content is best for each platform. It’s also critical for companies to be honest with themselves about whether they have the resources to properly build a presence on all of the channels they’ve identified in their plans. This part is one that many companies miss.

Engaging consumers is social media is a relationship that needs continuous care. Once social media plans are in place, many realize that implementing and maintaining these plans takes much more time than anticipated. This is when many companies realize they’ve committed to more platforms than they can handle, and decide to settle for a mediocre social media presence. This can harm a growing brand and something that Krispy Kreme is careful to avoid.

Keep Customers Engaged in the Long Term
O’Brien stressed that the first step to keeping customers engaged on social media is realizing the purpose of social media. The primary goal of social media is to raise long-term brand awareness by building relationships with and engaging customers online – not to sell products primarily. Companies that understand this are well equipped to keep customers engaged. Why? They understand that social media “shares” should contain information that is interesting and useful to them (rather than just promotional material). Following this rule is half the battle when it comes to customer engagement.

O’Brien will emphasize that another part of engaging customers on social media is understanding that social media serves to build long-term brand awareness. Those who expect every dollar spent on social media to equate to over one dollar earned in the short term are likely to abandon social media once they realize this is not the case. Because of this, businesses are likely to miss out on the opportunity to reap the long-term benefits of engaging customers.

Those who are patient and understand the value of long-term awareness will invest more energy into social and will engage customers in a way that encourages brand loyalty.

Surprise and Delight
To be highly effective, “shares” should surprise and delight customers in addition to providing interesting and useful content. Hosting contests, enabling followers to win prizes, or just sending them tokens of gratitude keeps followers enthusiastic about a brand.

Stay Relevant During Algorithm Changes
Social media platforms frequently change algorithms to assure that only the most desired content gains customer visibility, which requires companies to constantly adjust their content and delivery methods. O’Brien said that part of being a Social Media Manager is learning to work around these changes. She’ll discuss how videos from businesses currently garner more engagement than text and photos.

Another part of staying up-to-date is being aware of algorithmic changes before they occur. Building solid relationships with social media companies and attending conferences regularly can help companies gain access to the very latest information… even before it hits the social media news. One great way for companies to build relationships with social media giants is to volunteer as data testers for their experiments.

O’Brien will also stress that it’s important to pay attention to the best times to post to reach a particular audience. Yes it does matter, and she’ll say why.

Stay Relevant Among Changing Customer Preferences
How does Krispy Kreme counteract with the evolution of customer preferences on social? According to O’Brien, Krispy Kreme uses social media to represent itself honestly and that its products are permissible to indulge in when used in moderation. Krispy Kreme does not try to claim that doughnuts are a health food or encourage followers to eat doughnuts every day. Fans and followers appreciate the authenticity, which is especially important in capturing the very health conscious millennial segment.

Join us this Thursday to get the full details on how a business bucking healthy eating trends remains successful by engaging their customers socially – and honestly.


By Chiara Tedone


Chiara has a passion for helping businesses grow by ensuring that they build solid and well-known brands, credible reputations, and lasting relationships with customers on the internet. She specializes in digital marketing and branding. Chiara works to develop branding and marketing strategies, and to execute them digitally from the ground up via website development, copywriting, content marketing, blogging, search engine marketing/SEO, online advertising, email marketing, and  social media marketing/management. She has served clients in the government, non-profit, defense, health, beauty, entertainment, and packaging industries.