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Online marketing and social media tips for business from Shannon Belew, best-selling author of "Starting an Online Business For Dummies, All-in-One"

After 12-12-12: the Deals and Social Media Winner

Krispy-Kreme-DonutsBrands big and small decided to try and cash in on the intrigue of 12-12-12, using the day to offer deals and promos to bring customers in the door. But which brand did the best job with their online 12-12-12 promotion?

The day, December 12, 2012, is rumored to be a lucky day and marked as the last time in this century that this type of sequential date would occur, based on the Gregorian or Christian calendar.  Naturally, many businesses, online and off, took advantage of the trending topic in the spirit of such high-energy promo days as Black Thursday and Cyber Monday. And, many were successful in attracting the extra attention (and customers) to their brand with “once in a lifetime” type offers.

Among the bigger names offering deals were Macy’s, Starbucks, and Jack-in-the-Box. But, hands down, the winner for best 12-12-12 social media promotion is Krispy Kreme Donuts.

The king of sugary goodness launched the promo on its Facebook Page at the end of November with a tantalizing offer: Should the brand get an additional 12,000 Likes for their Page by 12-12-12, Krispy Kreme promised that everyone would receive a special reward.


Within four days of starting the Facebook challenge, Krispy Kreme had exceeded the additional 12,000 Likes. The company announced that fans had hit the target, and, as promised, a special deal would be unleashed at 12:01 a.m. on 12-12-12.

When the deal popped up on their Facebook page, what was it? Free donuts for everyone? Almost. Instead, Krispy Kreme offered a BOGO coupon – buy one dozen glazed donuts, get one dozen glazed donuts free. Depending on where you live, that’s about a $7 value. There was one more catch. The coupon was good for one day only, 12-12-12.

While a few fans complained about the BOGO-style promo on Krispy Kreme’s Facebook Page, overall their devoted fans seemed quite excited about the deal. So, here are the reasons why Krispy Kreme won the 12-12-12 promotion:

1. More Likes: The company used social media not only to promote the offer, but took the opportunity to increase their brand awareness and add to their number of fans for their Facebook Page.

2. Extended excitement: Even though the company hit their “Likes” target quickly, they kept the suspense building by not revealing the offer until 12-12-12, which meant they received even more Likes by the time the coupon was revealed to fans of the Facebook Page.


3. Sharing is good: Like any good social media promo or contest, when people Liked the Krispy Kreme Page, they were encouraged to share the 12-12-12 special message with their Facebook friends – and they did! The offer passed around Facebook very successfully, spreading plenty of extra brand awareness for Krispy Kreme.

4. Cross-promoted: Krispy Kreme also promoted the offer via Twitter. In fact, they used the hashtag #DayoftheDozens to peak interest and rally conversations around the specific promo. It worked. On 12-12-12, #DayoftheDozens Tweets so plenty of “Thank you for the donuts!” style messages from fans, along with Twitpics of people chowing down on the donuts.

5. The deal: One of the most clever parts of the 12-12-12 promotion was that the actual deal was good for the company, as well as the fans. First, the offer was limited to a single day, seemingly to help control costs and drive increased traffic that stores could plan for (both in staffing and product availability).  The promo required that you bring a printed coupon into the store, customers, new and old, probably bought other stuff while they were there, such as coffee or more donuts. (Of course, having donuts delivered isn’t an option, so by default customers would have to go into a store.) But, the great thing for Krispy Kreme is that to get the offer, customers HAD to buy the product. Even with a BOGO (free) offer, that had to help sales for the donut store chain.

6. Chatter and good will: Finally, the offer got talked about a good bit and, overall, customers seemed stoked about both the deal and Krispy Kreme, in general. That makes for a winning promotion any day of the year.

If there’s one thing the brand could have done differently or better, it would be to add a mobile element to the promo. At the very least, allow customers to flash the coupon via their mobile phone instead of having to print out a paper coupon. Otherwise, this promo was truly a good deal for everyone who participated, but especially for Krispy Kreme.


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This entry was posted on 2012 by in News & Events, Social Media and tagged , , , .

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