Social media was a driving force behind Krispy Kreme’s launch in India this past Saturday. The doughnut chain worked to drive up likes on Facebook, handing out free boxes of doughnuts at malls and schools and announcing special deals on the social platform.
The Krispy Kreme India Facebook page grew from 3,000 to over 21,000 likes from December through the store opening on January 19th. In addition to frequent postings, the brand used special deals to lure customers in, offering a free one-month supply of doughnuts for the 4th-100th customers. The Facebook page also posted a coupon offering an additional free dozen for the 100th-200th customers to buy a dozen doughnuts on opening day.
According to Nilofer D’Souza at Forbes India, the brand overcame low awareness through doughnut giveaways at malls, and new Facebook followers began to watch where the brand would appear next, “driving across the city for their free doughnuts” and spreading the word among friends.
Krispy Kreme also targeted a younger audience, giving away free doughnuts at popular schools in Bangalore – and hoping kids would pass their excitement about the product to parents. Forbes reported that one 12-year-old boy convinced his parents to get to the store opening at 5am, in hopes of winning a year’s free supply of doughnuts.
The results of all this buzz, generated through giveaways and social media? In addition to the impressive rise in Facebook likes, excitement led many customers to sleep outside the store before opening day, or to wait in line for an hour or more. Forbes reported that people were lining up outside the store at 8pm in anticipation of the doors opening for the first time the following morning.
Now – will Krispy Kreme’s Facebook savvy keep customers coming in, after the initial buzz dies down and the freebies are over?