If you live in Chicago, you probably know Ramon De Leon. He’s the hugely successful owner of a half dozen Dominos Pizza franchises, in what is considered by many to be the pizza capital of the world.
So how does a pizza chain compete with some of the best deep dish pizzas in the world? Ramon shared his tips and stories at BlogWorld last weekend and made such a big impression, I wanted to share with you in return.
Ramon’s social media campaigns are not half-hearted attempts. He embraces the space and uses it to not only engage his customers, he truly makes them part of the experience.
If you want to succeed in business, take lessons from Ramon.
1. If you’re going to invite folks to your party, make sure you give them an address
Ramon showed examples taken from signs in Las Vegas and other parts of the world where businesses invited folks to follow them on Twitter and Facebook. The only problem is that they didn’t put an address. Really, you have to be pretty darn important for me to want to look up your Twitter to follow you. Don’t assume everyone can find your social media accounts. If you’re going to pay the expense of an ad to direct friends and fans to your social media accounts, provide an address.
2. If you give your customers a reason to come back for more, they’ll come back for more
Ramon’s pizza boxes are famous. Instead of having logos or ads from local businesses, Ramon’s boxes feature tweets from his customers. Some folks tweet to Ramon because they want to be on those boxes so bad. Many people frame their be-tweeted pizza boxes. Ramon found a way to reward his customers for their loyalty in a fun way. Ramon also has fun or special offers for his Twitter followers. Make no mistake, though. Most of his Tweets aren’t customer offers, they’re conversations with his community.
3. If you or someone who works for you effs up, make amends
Last week, one of Ramon’s customers had a negative experience and ended up missing half a football game because of a bad day at Domino. So Ramon made up for it by sending her to a football game the following weekend. He didn’t do it so everyone could tell cool stories about him, though. He did it because someone effed up at his shop and he wanted to make it right. Ramon also made a video apology (that went viral) to a customer who had a bad experience. He didn’t do these things to have other bloggers write about him or to become a case study on how to do social media right. He did it to turn a negative experience into a positive opportunity. Doing the right thing for others, made Ramon and his pizza stores even more popular.
4. It’s all in the branding
You’ll probably never see Ramon at an event without his Dominos shirt on. He’s known as the pizza guy, and he makes sure no one will ever miss him. There’s no ego here either. Ramon De Leon spends time with everyone, takes pictures and shares stories. People come to Ramon’s stores to take pictures with him and the people who work there. They take pictures of his walls and pictures of his restaurants. I ask you, could there be any better advertising? Ramon so rocked the Dominos brand that the next time I go to Chicago (which will be the first time I go to Chicago) I want to eat in one of Ramon’s stores.
Something else to note is that Ramon marks all his social media campaigns with the hashtag #RamonWOW. Knowing what is working and what isn’t is important for any business and keeping track of what’s happening on Twitter has been essential to Ramon’s success.
5. An upbeat personality is a win every time
Ramon De Leon was invited to speak at BlogWorld at the very last minute. Because of this, Ramon’s session didn’t make it to the schedule. The room wasn’t as packed as it could have been, but Ramon gave it his all. He made us laugh and his infectious spirit had us leaving the session on a high note. Everyone wanted a picture with him.
Folks remember Ramon. They don’t remember him for his Tweets or his pizza. They remember him for his positive, upbeat personality. Everything else that he does is sort of the pepperoni on the pizza. Expect to see more of Ramon at BlogWorld next year – and you can be sure it will be a packed room.