Krispy Kreme©: Using Social Media to Create Joyous Moments Around the Globe

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By Erin Hardy

AMA Tampa Bay welcomed Kelley O’Brien, Krispy Kreme’s Director of Social Media Marketing (@KelleyOB) as the guest speaker on Thursday, August 18. Approximately 100 attendees enjoyed O’Brien’s insights on branded social media marketing during the Chapter’s monthly luncheon.

While O’Brien’s audience kept an eye on the table of donuts that would be soon be served as dessert, they soaked up some great ideas and best practices when it comes to using social media marketing to build a company’s brand.

Don’t Be Afraid to Channel Surf, but Be Relevant

Krispy Kreme has a very active and targeted social content strategy. It’s not just about filling in a calendar and posting on Twitter or Facebook every day. It’s about finding the right content for the right audience—and using the right channel to reach that audience. For Krispy Kreme, their social strategies are customized by country, since their mission is to create joy around the globe.

While Krispy Kreme uses everything from Twitter and SnapChat to YouTube and Facebook Live, O’Brien cautioned on confusing quantity with quality. She stressed the importance of knowing what channels your customers are using and how often they want to hear from you. Then, serve them relevant, fresh content that will inspire them to connect and share. Building connections builds the brand.

The Power of User Generated Content (UGC)

Never underestimate the power of user-generated content (UGC). Sharing customers’ images, blogs, videos, tweets and more is yet another way to connect with customers and expose your brand to new customers.

For example, if Krispy Kreme shares a video of a woman’s dog that gets very excited about Krispy Kreme donuts, she is going to feel very special—and let everyone she knows that an international company like Krispy Kreme noticed and shared her video with 8.5 million people. That customer will use her social networks to promote her herself (and her dog), which promotes Krispy Kreme. Sharing the share can expose a brand to potential new customers, and strengthen relationships with current customers.

Internet Trolls, Bots & the Power of Customer Service

With Krispy Kreme’s active international social strategy, they open themselves up for the most frustrating part of marketing in the modern world: trolls. Trolling isn’t new. It comes with the territory when you have any online presence. Trolls are annoying, they take up too much space on your social feeds and can drive other customers away. During the Q&A portion of O’Brien’s presentation, she shared some of her thoughts on how to deal with trolls—and customers who have legitimate complaints.

Many times trolls are just bots, spewing venom and usually getting reactions from real people who just want to share their thoughts and feelings online. While companies should keep an open and honest dialogue with their customers, when it comes to trolls or even just angry people who are using abusive and offensive language, O’Brien agrees that it’s okay to ban users.

When you have customers posting about what they feel is a legitimate complaint, you deal with the problem openly and honestly. O’Brien noted that Krispy Kreme has a process in place where they respond to the customer and then let their professional Customer Service Associates take care of the rest. They recognize the customer’s grievance and immediately start the process to resolve it. If your company is doing its job well and the customer’s problem is handled the right way, they just might make a follow-up post about your awesome customer service.

And Then There Were Donuts…

I’m not going to lie—I looked forward to this event for more than just professional reasons. Kelley O’Brien did not disappoint as our guest speaker, but I couldn’t stop thinking about those delicious donuts. When I sank my teeth into that classic, sweet glazed donut, it immediately took me back to my childhood. And then I was even more impressed with Krispy Kreme. They’ve managed to turn donuts to dollars since 1937 and are still going strong.

At next month’s luncheon on September 27, Santiago Corrada wants to help you #unlocktampabay. The CEO of Visit Tampa Bay is going to share how his company is becoming the top travel resource for an area rife with tourist competition. Learn more now by following @VisitTampaBay.


Erin Hardy

Erin Hardy has been a writer and content specialist for more than 20 years, creating messaging for multi-billion dollar corporations like the HSN and Eckerd Corporation to boutique ad agencies and start-ups. Today, as Well Planned Web’s Editorial Lead, Erin transforms complex topics into meaningful content that resonates with clients’ customers.

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