I asked the same question of Dunkin’ Donuts last year, and frankly it was an easy one to answer.
Dunkin’ Donuts has been doing excellent work since it landed on social six years ago, with great personal interaction on Twitter, mouth-watering video content on Vine and dangerously tempting images posted on Instagram.
However for complete transparency, in this office we are Krispy Kreme fiends.
There are only a handful of Dunkin’ Donuts stores in London, and despite ambitious expansion plans it still has under 100 stores in the UK.
Krispy Kreme however has more than 550 stores, concessions and all-too-easily frequented cabinets in Tesco stores.
Dunkin’ Donuts has already pulled out of the UK market once, whereas Krispy Kreme snuck in later but just at the right time when our appetite for US sweet treats began to take hold.
So Krispy Kreme has ubiquity and timing on its side, does its social media channels compare as favourably to those of Dunkin’ Donuts?
Krispy Kreme’s Tumblr is a sorry looking place…
This is about the minimum amount of effort one can put into the micro-blogging platform. An image sourced from its other social media channels uploaded at a rate of once a week, on to a Tumblr with a design taken straight out of the box.
There’s no thought to differentiation, customization or engagement, as reflected by the zero shares on nearly every post.
The description for the page is bemusing at best, and the outdated link to ‘Talk Like a Pirate Day 2013’ reveals a page where nothing has been posted.
There are many reasons why your brand should be on Tumblr, but for Krispy Kreme in particular the fact that most of Tumblr’s audience is under 34 years old means this is a key demographic for the doughnut maker to target.
Dunkin’ Donuts has a winning reputation on Vine, regularly appearing in our round-ups of the best Vines of the month with a creative sense of humour and a well-executed flair for agile marketing.
Krispy Kreme has had a couple of sporadic attempts at Vine, once for a few months in 2013 and again for one month last year.
In that time it managed to pick up almost 8,000 followers and a fairly decent amount of shares, however it’s obvious to say these figures would be a lot more impressive if it had a better commitment to the platform.
For a start the description for its channel is so copied and pasted that whoever did it forgot to delete ‘Twitter’ and replace with ‘Vine’.
The Vines themselves are of the most basic variety, featuring the bare amount of imagination and technique.
It’s difficult for a brand to compete when your rivals are hiring Vine megastars like Zach King or Batdad to create their content for them, Viners whose own personal followings far outstrip those of most brands.
But you shouldn’t give up, there is an audience out there for branded social video content, and there are plenty of other up-and-coming Viners desperate for a break, who you can partner with to make equally compelling and shareable work.
Krispy Kreme shows an equal commitment to tweeting its own content, as it does retweeting its users’ images and comments, and providing customer service.
On its main US based Twitter page there are many examples posted every day where the company has joined in on conversations, either to reply to compliements…
@AshfordAlex1 Thanks for the sweet tweet 🙂
— krispykreme (@krispykreme) February 27, 2015
Or to offer help…
@shamanalix Hi, here’s our schedule: Thur: (Noon – 6pm), Fri (8am – 1:00pm) & (4pm – Midnight), Sat: (9am – Midnight), Sun: (9am-1:00pm)
— krispykreme (@krispykreme) March 2, 2015
Or to offer frequent random acts of kindness…
@kavapova So sorry you couldn’t join us. Will you DM us your address to ship a piece of the celebration to you?
— krispykreme (@krispykreme) February 24, 2015
And when dealing with customer service issues from across the Atlantic, the account contacts the UK Twitter team, which then in turns replies with the relevant information.
The UK team is also just as conscientious at replying throughout the day.
Both UK and US channels however do have an over-reliance on asking that customers DM or email details of complaints instead of sorting them out in public.
Although some complaints need to be handled sensitively and in greater detail than the Twitter character limit allows, it would be great to see resolution in action live on the channel as this will only improve the brand’s reputation.
For more information on social customer service, check out the 13 ways you may be doing social customer service wrong.
I’m a big fan of Krispy Kreme’s Pinterest page, it has a nice varied selection of images based on many themes and products.
It does only have a modest following of under 6,000 though. This could be improved by regularly populating its most popular boards with pinned content.
There are only a handful of pins in each board. A shame because food related imagery, retro leaning advertising and 80s genre movies are Pinterest’s bread and butter.
Perhaps as well as uploading its own content, Krispy Kreme could repin relevant content from other users, as this is a good way to develop an engaged and loyal community.
This is one of Krispy Kreme’s most popular channels outside of Twitter and it’s easy to see why.
No doughnut brand is ever going to go broke posting repeated attractive images of its own products. Thankfully there is a bit more going on here than flagrant self-promotion.
There are many examples of reposting other users’ images, which is great for community building.
It’s also great to see content on a channel that isn’t featured elsewhere.
Perhaps one of the only improvements that could be made is in carrying on experimenting with video content. Much like on Vine, Krispy Kreme made a couple of videos and stopped last year.
Social video is fast becoming a key way for brands to differentiate themselves from rivals, and video itself has become one of the most engaging and shareable forms of content.
Sure Dunkin’ Donuts already has a dominant presence in this field, but there’s no reason why there can’t be room for two players.