5 tips from Domino’s Ramon De Leon on how to engage in online conversations about your brand

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Ramon De Leon is the pizza guy to know in Chicago. He’s the marketing mind behind six Domino’s franchises in the city, and he’s phenomenal at engaging in the online conversation about his brand.

Ramon is speaking at our upcoming Word of Mouth Crash Course in Austin on May 10 (learn more about the event here), and as a preview we’re sharing a bunch of his big ideas from our last word of mouth event.

His tips for engaging fans:

1. Promote your customers, not yourself
2. Focus on the conversations that matter
3. Do something spectacular
4. It’s not always about the pizza
5. Always be ready to share great content
6. Watch Ramon’s video

1. Promote your customers, not yourself

When it comes to social media, 90% of Ramon’s time is spent promoting his customers, not himself. He replies, retweets, and features them. He does it offline too: He puts their tweets and comments on his marketing materials. He even gives his Foursquare mayors in-store authority and puts their pictures on pizza boxes. When you start focusing less on yourself and more on your fans and customers, the conversations get much better (and much more frequent).

2. Focus on the conversations that matter

The more conversations there are about you and your brand, the more you need to be able to focus on the ones that matter. Ramon gets help from Monitter, an online tool that helps him filter Twitter conversations based on zip codes. This way, Ramon is able to focus on the conversations where he can contribute and make a real difference.

3. Do something spectacular

Ramon shared the example of how he once recorded and replied with a video when a customer tweeted that her pizza arrived late (and when it finally showed up, was the wrong pizza). In the video, Ramon makes a sincere apology and promises to make it up to her. The video has since been embedded more than 125,000 times. People were blown away that a big brand like Domino’s was willing to get in front of a camera, apologize for a mistake, and commit to fixing the problem.

4. It’s not always about the pizza

Once a fan tweeted about how expensive cooking classes were — so Ramon responded by inviting them to come in for complimentary pizza cooking classes. Another fan quickly jumped in and said it would make for an awesome Tweetup. A search for “Domino’s” wouldn’t have found an opportunity like this. This takes real participation, creativity, and a commitment to connect with fans.

5. Always be ready to share great content

Ramon is the kind of guy who’s always carrying a camera with him. He’s constantly interviewing customers, uploading videos from his restaurants, and meeting people when he’s at events and conferences. Sure, not every video, tweet, or post is a hit. But some are — and he wouldn’t find nearly as many if he wasn’t always on the lookout for great stuff to share.

6. Watch Ramon’s video

Watch Ramon’s video below. To see more incredible presentations like it live, check out the lineup for our upcoming Word of Mouth Crash Course conference.

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