Domino’s Pizza: The (Almost) Social Media Pizza King

This is the final report for my IST 486 class at SU. Please feel free to read through an extensive analysis of Domino’s Pizza and its multiple social media platforms!

Executive Summary

Domino’s Pizza is well known for being one of the top leaders in the in the pizza category. On top of that, one of the brand’s biggest strengths is the fact that it’s so well known for its easy online ordering process. Moving beyond its homepage where customers place orders, Domino’s continues to bring its unique and engaging voice onto its social media platforms. The Facebook and Twitter pages are especially strong, however the Google + page is severely lacking. In addition, there are only a few missed opportunities for the Facebook and Twitter pages, but nothing detrimental to the brand’s presence. Overall, Domino’s Pizza has a set strategy and goal for its social media platforms and they represent the brand well in the social media world. Just a few adjustments here and there will help to solidify Domino’s Pizza’s social media presence into a truly unforgettable example of great social media usage.

Social media analysis

After observing Domino’s Pizza for 2 weeks (November 12th – November 26th) on a variety of social networks, a set number of messaging goals became clear. I observed Domino’s on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus for the two-week period. In order to successful analyze what was going on in each platform for the week, I took notes on each post. I made note on the level of engagement (shares, comments, likes) as well as the types of audience reactions to each post. Additionally, I made note of the total amount of followers that changed on each platform for the two-week period.

Domino’s Facebook page  provided a solid variety of posts and content. It provided everything from standard pictures of pizza, presumably to catch hungry people at the right time, to more timely and relevant posts referencing current events. Some of the posts played off new trends in technology or other events that had happened in the news or pop culture. For instance, this post reflected on the new obsession with smart watches that has been taking the technology industry by storm as of late. Another example would be this post citing a reference to Dumb and Dumber, presumably with the anticipation of the sequel that came out that very same day. Also instead of just simply posting a picture, Domino’s also made sure to use corresponding hashtags that may result in the discovery of the post when people see what has been trending that day. In addition to posts about current events, it also took to the platform to promote for non-profit causes such as a fundraiser for St. Jude’s.

Looking next to Domino’s Twitter page, I began to see some overlap in the types of messaging that was present on Facebook. To start, the same type of announcement that had been made for the Domino’s application for the Pebble Watch on Facebook had been replicated on Twitter. Though there were some repeating posts such as that across Facebook and Twitter, not all of the content that was shared on Twitter was simply a repeated version from Facebook. The Domino’s Twitter platform played to what Twitter does best: short and sweet posts. For example, this post, which played off the landing of a probe onto a comet was short and made reference to a timely event. Or another post that was simply just a quick line or two that might’ve ended up as a retweet for pizza lovers.

Finally, I took a look at what seems to be the only other form of social media that Domino’s uses, Google +. For the entire two week period, Domino’s only posted twice on its Google + page. The first post on its Google + page was merely a picture of some pizzas with a deal advertising a special price. At the time of looking at it, the engagement rate was relatively low with only 44 likes, 4 comments and 4 shares. The other post seemed to have the same goal of driving a special sale, as it was also picture of pizza advertising a special price. There was a relatively similar amount of engagement on the post with 50 likes, 1 share and 8 comments.

It’s clear to see how Domino’s strives to be a creator in the social media sphere. When looking at Li and Berdoff’s “Ladder of Engagement” we can see how Domino’s fits the role of a creator with the content that it provides as. The brand aims to provide a means to engage with its audience. As stated in my previous post, Domino’s is aiming to bring many of its followers up from simply being spectators to being critics and creators themselves. This same strategy is extended well to its Twitter presence, but sadly not to the Domino’s G+ page.

Social_technographics_ladder

Facebook Strengths and Weaknesses

Domino’s seemed to play to the strengths of Facebook pretty well. The company usually only shared once, sometimes twice, a day. This is important because the more you throw out there into someone’s already cluttered newsfeed, the more likely you’ll get some annoyed followers who will quickly unfollow the page. The moderate number of posts is just enough to keep interest but not annoy followers. In addition, all of the posts had some type of visual media accompaniment that helped to make the posts stand out. The page shared engaging content that wasn’t a repetitive mess of sales pitches for pizza deals. These factors all combined to create some great strengths for Domino’s Facebook page. In contrast, many of the comments on the posts were from upset customers who wanted to have their voices heard. Obviously, these are not the types of responses that Domino’s was probably aiming for with its messaging. Because of those responses, many of the posts showcased some weaknesses for Domino’s in terms of food quality and delivery services. However, it is important to note that customer service representatives were relatively quick in responding to unpleasant comments.

Twitter Strengths and Weaknesses

Once again, Domino’s did a pretty decent job on its Twitter platform. It provided a few more posts per day, averaging around 2 – 3 per day. Domino’s provided short, succinct messages that had a possibility to resonate with its consumers. These messages were entertaining and informative and provided opportunities for followers to engage with the brand. On top of that, most of the comments made on the posts were usually positive. Users didn’t flock to its Twitter page to make complaints about the product or brand. This could be in part due to the nature of the platform and the followers. Domino’s also appropriately responded to certain posts and made sure to create a dialogue when the opportunity presented itself. The combination of all of these factors lead to some pretty solid strengths for Domino’s on Twitter. In terms of weaknesses, its Twitter platform didn’t seem to have too many missed opportunities. Domino’s is doing an exceptional job on Twitter.

Google + Strengths and Weaknesses

After examining the two posts on Domino’s Google + page, I scrolled through some of the older posts to see if the messaging for the page was consistently the same. It turned out that it was. Almost every single post on the Google + page was a picture of a pizza(s) with a deal accompanying it. There was no clever or timely messaging that was found on top on the Facebook or Twitter platforms. Instead, it was all sales driven. It’s hard to tell why the brand would put so much effort into its other two social media platforms and leave so much to be desired on its Google + page. Maybe it’s because of the smaller amount of followers on Google + (about 20,000 at the time of the writing of this post)? It’d be hard to tell why this is the case, but no matter what the reason, it’s a huge weakness for Domino’s overall social media strategy. If they can simply incorporate some of the same practices they are using on other forms of social media and continue to play to the strengths and weaknesses of Google + in specifically, then they would be able to fully polish off their social media presences as a whole.

Target Audience

After analyzing the messaging across the various social media platforms that Domino’s utilizes, it became clear that they were going after a certain target audience. As stated in the first analysis that I conducted on Domino’s, the brand is clearly trying to reach people who are up to date with current events. These people are interested in pop-culture media, like that of the new Dumb and Dumber movie, or other events tech oriented events like new smart watch technologies. In addition, they are also appealing to pizza fans in general. Many of the Twitter posts were targeted towards pizza lovers with hopes that they would in turn share that pizza content with their followers. Ultimately, a majority of the content was targeted towards trying to engage and connect with an audience that loves the brand to begin with. By creating strong bonds with this audience, Domino’s can strengthen the consumer to brand connection and help to ultimately make more sales or longer lasting connections with its consumers.

The overall approach of the many Domino’s social media platforms is to reach people who are easily influenced to engage with their content. Again, this would probably be people who think favorably of the brand to begin with. By posting certain content that is shareable and user-friendly, Domino’s can use a strategy outlined in The Social Media MBA by Christer Holloman. The strategy implies that it’s more important to reach the easily influenced audience when compared to the highly influential. This is because the people that are easily reached are essentially low hanging fruit. Why spend time and money trying to reach the largely unidentified, highly influential few, when there are plenty of other people ready and willing to disseminate your message throughout their social circles? Domino’s does a great job at reaching this highly valuable target segment.

Another practice that Domino’s does well is that of listening to its target audience. Outlined in Holloman’s book once again, in chapter 17, Malden Nicolaus of Kodak points out that it’s essential to have a real voice and to interact with customers on a personal basis. A variety of the content that Domino’s produces is in a perfect voice that is conversational and entertaining. The more “real” that the posts from a Domino’s social media account is, the responding comments and interactions will be more valuable and genuine.

Metrics

Since the start of the 2-week analysis, I kept track of the total number of followers for each account. Its Facebook rose in its total number of followers by a little over 60,000 in the two-week span. In addition, its total number of Twitter followers increased by almost 15,000. Its Google + following only had a slight increase of a few hundred. This isn’t surprising due to the low number of followers the brand has on G+ to begin with (about 20,000 at the time of writing this post). Obviously, because of the larger number of followers on Facebook, there was a much higher level of interaction (likes, shares, comments) when compared to the other two platforms. The average number of likes on a typical Facebook post ranged from a few hundred to a few thousand, depending on the post. In addition, there were usually a small number of shares (within 100) and a small number of comments (within 100). In contrast, the Twitter platform had a slightly smaller amount of favorites (averaging about 40 – 60 per post) and retweets (averaging 20 – 50 per post), with a few exceptions. The G+ page averaged about 50 – 100 likes per post and usually about 5 shares. So, with no surprise, the more followers a certain platform had, the more engagement there usually was.

Evaluation

Throughout all of the platforms used, Domino’s has somewhat of a mixed strategy. To start, on its Facebook and Twitter pages, the messaging is consistent. It’s a solid mix of compelling content, an effort to engage with users and an effort to further the sales of Domino’s products. On the other hand, the Google + page is completely sales driven with no content for the audience to engage with. It’s still unclear to me as to why this is, but it makes absolutely no sense. Obviously it would be unwise to plaster each page with the same exact posts, but consistency is key across the various platforms. Domino’s already caters well to the strengths of Facebook and Twitter, why not G+? Even if it came down to the fact that the strengths of G+ are similar to Facebook, don’t just treat it like the dumping ground for pathetic sales pitches. Domino’s as a brand is already in a great spot in terms of its digital presence. If they were to just simply clean up a few minor missed opportunities here and there, they’d have an impeccable social media presence that would be enviable of almost any brand.

– Drew

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