You are currently viewing How Dairy Queen Creates Social Engagement

How Dairy Queen Creates Social Engagement

What’s in this article:

  • How fast-food restaurant Dairy Queen uses its posts to interact with its online audience

There’s nothing sweeter than a cold treat — well, except for maybe the customer engagements those desserts help bring in for Dairy Queen. The fast-food restaurant is known for its Blizzards, and other ice cream treats, so naturally, those are the main focus of their posts across their social media accounts. Sprinkle in some fun surveys and fill-in-the-blank posts and top it with indulgent videos, and you have the recipe for a winning social strategy.

Dairy Queen averages about eight posts a month on each social media channel, and the posts are similar or the same across platforms. Here’s a breakdown of their social audience:

  • Facebook: 11.8 million
  • Instagram: 624K
  • Twitter: 516.8K

With the most followers by far, Facebook also garners the most engagement — but it’s the platform that the company has been on the longest. For comparison, DQ has more Facebook followers than competitors Burger King, Arby’s, Culver’s, and Wendy’s.

So, how does Dairy Queen attract and keep its audience engaged? We’ll break down what they post, how they respond to customers, and examples of their posts and campaigns.

Types of posts

The majority of their posts are short videos that highlight new flavors or menu items — whether that’s an up-close look at a specific dish or real people enjoying them. The brand gets a little more adventurous with their posts on Twitter, using surveys, word searches, and playful emojis to engage customers. Here’s an example of a survey they posted on Twitter for Father’s Day:

Sure, the post doesn’t directly advertise any of their menu items. But Dairy Queen did offer ice cream cakes for Father’s Day, so building up hype around the holiday was still in line with their marketing goals. Not every post needs to be a promotion for products — and it’s better if they aren’t. You want customers to form a personal relationship with your social accounts, so making the content sound more like it’s coming from a friend than being an advertisement is a must.

Another way the brand encourages engagement with their customers is by posting images that call for a response like this one shared on Instagram and Facebook:

Asking questions or for them to tag someone in their comments are great ways to boost interactions.

How Dairy Queen responds

To engage with customers, a brand has to actually, well, engage. That means responding to comments, both the good and bad ones. Not only does that let the customer who commented know the brand cares about them, but those interactions also help build relationships with the audience as a whole.

Dairy Queen gives a variety of responses across their channels, ranging from emojis to fun one-liners like in this example from Twitter.

Offering a variety of comments makes the brand seem more human and not like the messages are automated. You can’t schedule responses so people know they are real. They also keep the same voice throughout, driving home the branding.

Acknowledging the not-so-great comments is often more important than commenting on the good ones. Dairy Queen typically responds to complaints or other negative posts by letting the customer know they’re sorry about their experience, as well as by giving them information on how to resolve the issue.

Examples across channels

Dairy Queen maintains a consistent voice, branding, and imagery across its channels. From using the exact same image or video to making minor tweaks, their posts all focus on the same message and are shared within days of each other on all of their pages. Here’s an example of a post from their campaign on the new Blizzard flavor of the month that was shared on all of their channels:

Who’s that knocking? It’s the NEW Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie BLIZZARD Treat inviting you to your favorite DQ location. Tag the neighbor you’re sharing this treat with below. #HappyTastesGood

Not only does this post work to engage customers, but the brand also encourages them to tag someone they’d like to share the treat with — helping Dairy Queen broaden its audience. This is the equivalent of a referral from a friend.

To keep the featured flavor fresh in customers’ minds, the brand also made a cover photo for Facebook to highlight it throughout the month. The main difference with this image is the background color, but it’s still a cohesive part of the campaign.

As an added bonus, here’s what the image from the brand’s email marketing campaign looked like:

Campaign case study

As with any other marketing effort, it’s important for brands to have a goal or purpose for each campaign. With Blizzards being a main staple of Dairy Queen, finding a way to boost interest in those made perfect sense.

To drive awareness of its “Upside Down or Free” promotion and increase its Blizzard sales, Dairy Queen created a series of posts on Instagram that would also build brand awareness. The idea behind the campaign was to tell customers that their Blizzard treats were free if not served to them upside down, like in this post:

Check out some stats from the campaign:

  • 20 million people reached
  • 18-point lift in ad recall among 25- to 34-year olds
  • 8-point lift in awareness of their “Upside Down or Free” promotion
  • 3-point lift in purchase intent

The post featured hashtags for both Blizzard flavors featured — #ApplePieBlizzard and #PumpkinPieBlizzard. Creating hashtags for a campaign encourages users to incorporate them in their own related posts or comments, like choosing a side in the Blizzard pie battle featured.

Focus on your brand’s sweet spot

Every brand has something it’s known for or does best. If you aren’t sure what that is, look at sales or talk with customers. Then, highlight that product or service on social media with posts that match your brand’s voice and style. Dairy Queen is a great example of a company that knows what it is and uses that persona to engage current and future customers.

The post How Dairy Queen Creates Social Engagement appeared first on Post Funnel.