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Social-media case study: Dairy Queen

2 min read


This post is by Liz Perman, SmartBrief’s director of association relations.

Attendees of the NRA Show 2010 were hungry for case studies on how their fellow restaurateurs leverage social-media channels to benefit their businesses. Michael Keller, chief brand officer of American Dairy Queen, delivered on this in his session, “Renew Your Brand with Consumers the International Dairy Queen Way.”

The challenge that Keller and his team face is significant: How do you keep a brand such as Dairy Queen, which was founded in 1940, relevant over time?

Keller’s team members at Dairy Queen don’t rely on a single social-media channel. Instead, they have orchestrated a web of interwoven opportunities for consumers to interact with the brand, with DQ’s iconic Blizzard at the center. Here are a few of the tactics they employ:

  • The Blizzard Fan Club and the Blizzard Fan Club Blog. Both are accessible through the Dairy Queen website. Their fan club has almost 2.5 million members, and the blog incorporates multimedia, including photos and recaps from The Blizzard Mobile’s birthday tour (see below) and Michael Keller’s CBO Corner, an audio component.

  • The Blizzard Fan Club on Facebook. Because each Facebook user has an average of 130 connections — and a user’s network sees everything — DQ’s Facebook presence provides an essential opportunity for the amplification of their brand message.

  • My personal favorite, The Blizzard Mobile, lovingly known as BlizzMo. In celebration of the Blizzard’s 25th anniversary, BlizzMo is touring the U.S. and Canada — and giving out scores of free mini-Blizzards along the way. The Blizzmanns, a make-believe family, follow in pursuit of BlizzMo. Here’s a photo recap of the tour so far.

A critical aspect of Dairy Queen’s social-media strategy is that each component has several links to the other platforms. And DQ’s most widely recognized and loved brand — the Blizzard — is at the heart of all of these communications.

Has your restaurant utilized a web of social-media communications to build your brand or bolster the bottom line? Tell us about it below.

Photo via Dairy Queen