Running head: DOMINO’S PIZZA SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN 1
EVALUATION OF DOMINO’S PIZZA
SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN
Katie L. Organ
Author is a graduate student at the Brian Lamb School of Communication, Purdue University.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to the department chair.
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Evaluation of Domino’s Pizza social media campaign
Brief history of Domino’s Pizza
In 1960, brother Tom and James Monaghan paid $900 to purchase and open the first
Domino’s, then called “DomiNick’s”, pizza in Ypsilanti, Michigan (www.biz.dominos.com,
2016). Tom became the sole owner in 1965 and in 1967 the first franchise store opened.
Towards the end of the 1980’s, Domino’s has over 5,000 stores. In the early 1990’s,
Domino’s began to expand its menu options by adding bread sticks, chicken wings, and
flavored pizza crusts. The 1990’s also saw Domino’s begin the “30-minute guarantee” and
the launch of Domino’s website in 1996. In 1999, the company announced record sales with
$3.36 billion (www.biz.dominos.com, 2016).
In 2007, Domino’s rolled out online and mobile ordering, and in 2008 the Domino’s
Tracker allowing customers to track their delivers online. At the end of the 2000’s,
Domino’s changed it 49-year-old pizza recipe after years of bad customer reviews. “Third
quarter revenues dropped 6.5% in 2009, missing analyst estimates, and its shares posted a
steeper-than-expected decline of 8%” (www.reuters.com, 2009). Additionally, Bain Capital
sold its interest in Domino’s in 2010. Domino’s order application (app) for iPhone is
launched in 2011 and Android in 2012.
With the launch of the Domino’s app in 2011 on the iOS platform, the beginning of
Domino’s brand image change can be felt. After years of negative reviews and press, particularly
when two employees were videotaped blatantly abusing the food product with bodily fluids,
Domino’s hired CEO Patrick Doyle in 2010, who knew it was time to take Domino’s into the
21st century. “The company spent eighteen months and millions of dollars to create a completely
new recipe for its pizzas, update its online ordering system to become more efficient and user-
DOMINO’S PIZZA SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN 3
friendly, and roll out a brutally honest and interactive ad campaign that actively utilized the
internet and technology” (Le & Pashut, n.d., p. 5).
Analysis of the current social media plan
Domino’s is currently using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr as their chosen
social media platforms. Today, Domino’s is enjoying over ten millions “likes” on Facebook, with
just under one million followers on Twitter and half a million on Instagram. Dennis Maloney was
named the vice president and chief digital officer for Domino’s in May of 2015. Previously,
Maloney was the vice president of multimedia marketing for Dominos, and had worked in e-
commerce for the Coca-Cola Company (LinkedIn Profile, 2016).
In May of 2015, Dominos launched its latest marketing campaign targeted at using social
media platforms directly for the purpose of ordering pizza. Customers can place an order via
Twitter, a mobile app, android smartwatches, Samsung smart TV’s, and even through Ford Sync
cars. How does it work? “With the Domino’s tweet-to-eat process, customers tweet #EasyOrder
or a pizza slice emoji to @Dominos. The Twitter purchases are designed to be quick and easy.
The customer must have previously created a Domino’s profile and the order must be identical to
the default order on file within that profile and it must go to the default address on file and it
must be paid by the default payment method. Consumers must also add their Twitter handle to
their profiles” (Shaw, 2015). Dominos aims to provide customers a streamlined way to order
food, while staying within the media they are currently using.
What makes the ‘tweet-to-eat’ campaign so uniquely brilliant is the public nature of the
platform being used to place the order; Twitter. “When a consumer uses any of the other means
of interacting with Domino's, it's private. But the very nature of a Twitter purchase is in-your-
face public, with each purchase a public shout-out for the chain, encouraging all of that person's
followers to do the same. The consumer needs to follow Domino's — and Domino's will follow
DOMINO’S PIZZA SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN 4
them back — to allow for the reciprocal direct messaging that is used to verify the purchase and
the delivery order. The fact that consumers are willing to trumpet that they are purchasing from a
specific retailer is arguably the best endorsement of that brand” (Schuman, 2015). The
methodology to place the order is simple, tweet the emoji, and the application parameters allows
Domino’s to capture customer information which may be use for additional marketing purposes.
Beyond spreading the word about the company and the products, social media can, and
is, used to entice customers to make a purchase. Coupons and exclusive online only deals are
often shared on Domino’s social media platforms. “More people follow brands via social media
to receive promotions and deals than for any other reason. Domino’s understands this and
successfully runs promotions to increase trial and sales of its products” (Swallow, 2012).
Suggestions for improvement
Domino’s has worked diligently to improve corporate image and interface more
effectively with their customers and publics. However, there is always room for improvement.
One main area for improvement comes to mind when reviewing the efforts and applications
already undertaken. The improvement suggestion is centered on connectivity with the negative
input received via Twitter, and secondarily via Facebook. Twitter is the main vehicle used to
order pizza through social media, so the level of interaction is greatly through this channel.
The very public and interactive nature of social media and the Twitter platform provides a
unique opportunity for Domino’s. As stated, each and every order that is tweeted to the pizza
giant is an endorsement of the product to ever user following that tweeter. However, when an
ordering experience is less than satisfactory, there is a built-in, and almost instant, opportunity
for customers to reach negatively. The images below are a few recent examples of customer
tweeting their disappointment with Domino’s. Note that there are no responses from Domino’s to
one of the three customers (however, other Tweets during the same timeframe do have
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responses). Additionally, the Domino’s Instagram page receives a large quantity of customer
service complaints in the comments section of photos the company posts.
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Domino’s needs to make more concessions for their online public relations and marketing
campaigns. Active management of public relations is even more critical when a company or
organization is opening inviting its customers to rate and review them in the social space. “The
most common problem for individuals and companies is the distribution of a social media
message without thinking it through and filtering it in terms of PR strategic planning and goals”
(Lipschultz, 2015, p.84). Domino’s social media strategy cannot be limited to posting for
posting’s sake. There must be direction and purpose behind each activity logged for the brand.
Otherwise, any negative customer service experiences could be linked to a post that was meant to
launch a new online coupon deal or service. Engagement on and through social media is defined
as “the collective experiences that readers or viewers have with a media brand” (Lipschultz,
2015, p. 16)
Domino’s must deploy public relations activities into their social media plan.
“…Academics and practitioners share frustration that PR ‘activities are often equated with spin,
stonewalling, distortion, manipulation, or lying’ (Coombs and Holladay, 2007, p.1). In response,
modern definitions emphasize ‘public interest,’ a ‘management function,’ ‘mutually beneficial
relationships,’ and ‘relationships with stakeholders’ (Coombs and Holladay, 2007, p. 22-23)”
(Lipschultz, 2015, p. 14). It behooves Domino’s to create a level of trust with its public(s), in
order to maintain a level of customer satisfaction whenever an error or incident may occur.
Furthermore, creating trust may, eventually, lead to a decrease in negative engagement
The social media strategy should cover the following aspects of actively monitoring the
social media streams. First, assigning a portion of the public relations team to regularly review
the social media feeds to look for negative interactions and/or comments regarding customer
services. Second, create a matrix of severity which evaluates the types and frequencies of
potential negative comments. This matrix can then be used to assess the response required. Third,
DOMINO’S PIZZA SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN 7
once a severity metric has been assigned, engaged with either the individual, if the issue is
singular, or with the group of individuals who may have engaged with the company from the
original negative post. The engagement response should be genuine and thoughtful, and make
reference to the issue directly quoted from the customer(s). And finally, the PR team member
who is response to the customers should be empowered to make any decisions regarding
compensation or reimbursement, based on the severity matrix. Empowering the team to make the
customer delighted with the interaction with the company should provide for a higher level of
job satisfaction within the team and a quicker resolution time with the customer.
Expected outcomes of improvements
By deploying the suggestions for improvement, as described above, Domino’s may enjoy
varying degrees of improvement in areas such as number of people tweeting about the
company/product, the level of positive engagement versus negative engagement shifting, and in
turn an increase in new and repeat sales. Ultimately, the goal of any social media strategy and
subsequent supporting campaigns is to increase sales and the bottom line for any company. For
this reason, many companies include social media responsibilities within the marketing
department. Marketing and public relations have a long and lustrous history of working together
to accomplish corporate goals.
An expected outcome of improving Domino’s social media presence and strategy by
assigning a portion of the public relations team to regularly review the social media feeds to look
for negative interactions and/or comments regarding customer services may be improved levels
of customer satisfaction. Domino’s could attempt to measure customer satisfaction over a period
of time through the use of surveys on their social media platforms. The PR professional would
then have a baseline measurement to draw from in order to measure any increases or decreases
after the installation of the public relations team monitoring the social media feeds. Surveys may
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need to include monetary incentives to participate, in order to obtain a statistically significant
number of participants. Domino’s should be cautioned when incentivizing survey participants as
bias may be introduced. Statisticians could advise Domino’s how to account for any level of bias
if incentives end up being required.
Another expected outcome of improving Domino’s social media presence and strategy by
creating a matrix of severity which evaluates the types and frequencies of potential negative
comments could be an improvement of the overall brand perception. With the PR team actively
monitoring the social media feeds and being tasked with engaging the public in customer service
issues, having a matrix for those PR team members to understand what level of response is
required and appropriate could drive more consistency to customer complaints. This could lead
to a more positive overall perception of the brand. Domino’s could then measure the overall
brand perception by using social media analytics.
One online analytics tool recommended for Domino’s to use is Klout. Klout uses
algorithms to measure influence across a brand’s social media network, which is then translated
in to a score. “The Klout Score is a number between 1-100 that represents your [brand]
influence. The more influential you are, the higher your Klout Score. Influence is the ability to
drive action. When you share something on social media or in real life and people respond, that’s
influence. The more influential you are, the higher your Klout Score” (www.klout.com, 2016).
By using Klout, along with other analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Domino’s will be able
to track any changes in brand perception due to the suggested improvements. Additionally,
monitoring the brand via analytics will also expose any improvement or activities that fail to
realize increased brand perception, and ultimately increased sales.
Lastly, and some may argue most importantly, empowering the PR team to handle
customer service issues as they see fit may result in increased customer satisfaction and
DOMINO’S PIZZA SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN 9
ultimately more trust in the brand. “Trust is a relational dimension that may be connected with
social interaction and shared values that motivate site usage” (Lipschultz, 2015, p. 14). When the
PR team handles situations that may arise quickly and genuinely, then customers are more likely
to connect with the brand through that social interaction, elevating the brand trust that was
present at only the basic level when the initial purchase was made.
“The Domino's Twitter system is strong evidence that Domino's understands social media
marketing and truly gets its customers. Social media is so much more than posting lots of
meaningful, informational and useful updates and responding to customers when they post
complaints — although those are both essential. People post to share with friends and they
choose what they want to say. The act of posting reflects pride and sometimes even passion”
(Shuman, 2015). Domino’s is experiencing great success as a result of its continued and targeted
marketing efforts through social media. “Domino's shares soared as much as 10.4 percent to a
record high of $129.90 on Thursday, before easing to trade up 9 percent at $128.32. Sales at
Domino's U.S. company-owned and franchised restaurants open at least a year rose 10.7 percent
in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 3” (Ramakrishnan, 2016).
However, while the sales increase may be directly attributed to the social media
campaigns, there remains room for improvement in the customer service experience Domino’s
offers. By actively monitoring and engaging with the public relations team, with an empowered
workforce ready to make the experience ‘right’ for the customer, Domino’s can continue the
upward trend in brand popularity and association with quality.
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Dennis Maloney. (n.d.) LinkedIn [Profile page]. Retrieved February 20. 2016, from
Domino's shares slide as revenue falls short. (2009, October 13). In Reuters. Retrieved
Klout. (2016, February 8). In Klout. Retrieved from https://klout.com/corp/score
Le, T., & Pashut, T. (n.d.). Domino's The Turnaround: How DominNO's became DominYES
(Master's thesis). Retrieved from http://www.econ.ucla.edu/sboard/teaching/tech/Dominos.pdf
Lipschultz, J. H. (2015). Social Media Communications: Concepts, practices, data, law
and ethics (First ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Percy, Larry and Rosenbaum-Elliott, Richard (2012). Strategic Advertising
Management (Fourth Edition).
Ramakrishnan, S. (2016, February 25). Domino's profit boosted as demand holds up
in U.S. pizza price war. In Reuters. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/us-
Schuman, E. (2015, May 21). Domino's tweet-to-eat campaign is sneaky social media at
its best. In Computerworld. Retrieved from
Shaw, M. (2015, June 9). Domino’s Tweet-To-Eat Social Media Campaign. In Consumer
Insight Group, Inc. Retrieved from
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Swallow, E. (2012, January 30). The Content Strategist. In Contently. Retrieved from
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