I’d like to introduce you to Ramon De Leon of Domino’s in Chicago. How I met Ramon is quite simple: Twitter. This morning I tweeted out Tom Martin’s latest post “Is Pizza Hut’s Twintern Job Post Ethical” and I got the following response from @DPZRAMON: “Could be just a publicity stunt for Pizza Hut. Why advertise in NYT? @tommartin is rt- that shows they don’t get it.”
By clicking on DPZRAMON’s Twitter bio I could see that he was with Domino’s in Chicago. So, I asked him the obvious question: “Hi there! As a Domino’s owner, how are you dealing with what happened? Is it affecting business at all locally? (Agree, PH stunt)”
“The effect was minimized b/c since Tues(4.14) I went after the Chgo convo’s about this.Did not hide;made myself extremely visible.”
“I used monitter.com and joined as many Chicago Tweets on this issue as poss;I started answering B4 ppl were asking.Tks 4 asking”
Obviously, from a social media perspective, I was intrigued and wanted to learn more about Mr. De Leon. Ramon honored me with a phone call so I could get the scoop on how he uses social media to connect with customers. What I found out was indeed quite interesting!
Ramon De Leon (aka DPZRAMON) – King of Online Sales
Ramon has been engaged in online sales of Domino’s pizza since 1999 and has been engaged in social media since 2005 (long before the term it’s known by now). Ramon has long been a Facebook member and has connected with students for the past 4 years. His Facebook strategy is simple: Connect with local university/college students, give them the best service & pizza ever, and develop relationships that will last beyond their college years (as in delivering pizza to their place of business). According to Ramon, “it’s a social cycle.”
Social media, potholes and pizza
What do these three uncommon things have in common? Ramon, of course. When Ramon heard that CBS2 was doing a story on potholes, he reached out to them to share his collection of pothole videos (made with 12seconds.tv). Why potholes? Well, Ramon has 75 drivers who encounter these potholes often while delivery pizza all over Chicago. Apparently, if hit just the right way, potholes can really mess up the quality/appearance of a pizza, thus affecting customer service. Ramon was featured in nearly half of CBS2′s 3 minute story…all while wearing his Domino’s shirt.
Turning the camera on CBS 2
When I was checking out Ramon’s blog (before I learned his back story) I found something that amazed me. Ramon was able to turn the cameras on TWO CBS2 reporters and interview them (be sure to take a look at the two videos) after they interviewed him for their potholes story. I don’t know about you, but it’s the first time I’ve ever seen that happen. But here’s a hint: the only way that it happens is if you develop a relationship with reporters by giving them something newsworthy to begin with!
But wait, there’s more!
Not only does Ramon use social media for customer service, video blogging and public relations, he also monitors what customers are saying and when necessary uses social media to apologize.
A passion for pizza and social media.
If you speak with Ramon it is so obvious that he is passionate about Domino’s, customers, and social media. In fact, he constantly monitors social sites for mentions of his stores and he provides a flyer that includes all his social sites on a flyer, which is taped to all Domino’s pizza boxes leaving his stores just to make sure customers can find him online. He also attends a lot of social media conferences to keep up on the latest social media best practices. If you don’t believe me when I say Ramon is passionate, maybe you’ll believe Gary Vaynerchuk.
The million dollar question(s)
So Ramon, we all want to know…is all this social media stuff increasing your bottomline? Ramon’s answer: YES!
And, of course, we are all wondering…why isn’t corporate taking some lesson’s from Ramon? Well, it appears they are, but let’s give them some time to wrap their heads around it, okay?
- Monitor conversations
- Engage customers on & offline
- Provide quality
- Relationships are job #1
- Reporters can be your friends
- Be honest
- Be passionate
- Have fun!
DPZRAMON is the pizza guy to know in Chicago! Thanks Ramon for your time and sharing your story with us!