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Jessica Gioglio on how Dunkin’ Brands puts the spotlight on their fans in social

This is a post from my company,’s blog. Check it out for more profiles and stories about the people running social at really big brands.

This story features tips and advice from Dunkin’ Brands Social Media Manager Jessica Gioglio. You can check out her full presentation at’s Member Meeting in Boston here.

“I like to joke that Dunkin’ is a brand made for social,” says Jessica Gioglio, the Social Media Manager for Dunkin’ Brands, in her presentation at our Member Meeting in Boston.

She explained how Dunkin’ will receive tons of photos on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook from their fans every day.

After all, photos of coffee and delicious donuts are no strangers to social media. What might be surprising though, is Dunkin’s ability to stay engaged with their fans throughout the day — not just during the breakfast rush.

They celebrate their fans to keep people coming back for more.

“You spend a lot of time getting to know your fans, you might as well put the spotlight on them,” Jessica says.

A big part of their content strategy is repurposing the love they get from their customers. For example, they feature a photo of the “Fan of the Week” on their Facebook page.

“We got the inspiration from a girl with a Dunkin’ tattoo. If someone’s going to tattoo your brand, you should figure out a way to celebrate that,” she says.

This customer-centric approach is also a part of their team’s mantra: “We don’t own our social media channels — our fans do.”

They find ways to stoke that fire with surprise and delight.

Instead of just sharing all of the great feedback they get from fans internally, Dunkin’s team says “thank you” back. They send handwritten thank-you notes and swag to people every day — and Jessica says it’s worth the effort.

“Nine times out of ten, without being asked, people will take a picture of our letters and share that with their social graph,” Jessica says.

She suggests taking a lot of care into how you package surprise and delight gifts and how you write these handwritten notes. People will take a photo of them, and you want it to look nice.

Dunkin’s cross-functional approach helps them keep content fresh and interesting.

Jessica explains that four cross-functional teams support their approach to social: interactive marketing, digital media, public relations, and legal. These teams handle content, promotions, mobile, community management, advertising, and strategic partnerships.

That approach helped Dunkin’ become the first brand to debut a TV commercial made entirely of Vine videos. They’ve also featured tweets and other social fan submissions in their traditional ads.

Jessica says, “Part of being a brand that caters to its fans is figuring out new channels to engage with them that are fun, but also a good fit.”

Dunkin’ also “goes local” with their social strategy to build fan relationships.

With independent franchises across the country, they allow stores to share their story on a local level with geo-targeting and local Twitter accounts.

“It’s a great way to increase your connection to the brand because we’re showing that we care about you locally, not just from a national content perspective,” Jessica explains.

For example, each year they ask social media fans to dress up their coffee cups for Halloween and send in their photos.

“There’s often a kind of tactical and insensitive approach to contests when you’re trying to promote a product or get it out there. But we always try to say, ‘What would be fun for the fans?'”

She says that while these higher-level contests may get fewer submissions, they bring out the best user-generated content you can repurpose over and over again.

“At the end of the day, if it’s not fun for your community, they’re not going to be inspired to participate,” Jessica says.

Follow Jessica on Twitter and ask about her co-authored book, “The Power of Visual Storytelling.”

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