Interview With Jamie Guse of American Dairy Queen Corporation

Jamie Guse

Dairy Queen, an iconic American brand that will be celebrating its 70th birthday this year, is no stranger to social media. Dairy Queen like most major corporations utilizes social media to connect with its global customer base. The man responsible for maintaining all of Dairy Queens digital assets, including social media, is Jamie Guse. Jamie is the Web Site Manager for American Dairy Queen Corporation. I sat down with Jamie for a brief Q & A session.

Mike: How long have you been with Dairy Queen and what’s your official role there?

Jamie: I’ve been with Dairy Queen since September of 2008 and my current title is Web Site Manager which includes managing a majority of our .com properties along with all of our social media properties and anything else considered digital.

Mike: What’s the best thing about working at Dairy Queen and what has changed the most about your role there?

Jamie: This is actually a very tough question because I really love my job and love what I get to do on a daily basis. But what I really love the most is that I get to share the love that people have for this brand through our social media channels. Also, I love that I directly effect what visitors to see.

Mike: How is Dairy Queen using social media?

Jamie: Currently we are using several social media channels; a Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed, YouTube and Flickr. The way that we are using social media is to share all the wonderful stories that this brand has built over the past 70 years. Also, Dairy Queen is a very social brand and every time I mention where I work everyone has a smile and a story to share with me. So, what we are doing is bringing this conversation to the people and allowing them to talk directly to the brand.

Mike: How much time do you spend monitoring and engaging in social media for Dairy Queen? Take us through an average day for you.

Jamie: Typically every morning I pull up CoTweet which at this time is one of my favorite application to help in monitoring Twitter and see if I need to respond to anything and next I pull up Facebook and the Blog to see if anything needs attention. Then, I examine my daily Google alerts along with checking Filterbox which is a social media monitoring tool to see if anything is out there that I can share or need to respond to.  I would estimate that I spend on average of 60 minutes per day monitoring and engaging our fans on social media. The biggest thing is our communications team is helping with the blog and Facebook which helps reduce the amount of time I spend focused on it.

Mike: You wear many hats at Dairy Queen and one of them could be described as a Community Manager. How important is listening and responding to Dairy Queen consumers online?

Jamie: It’s a huge part of what we are doing within the social media landscape and whenever I’m unable to answer the questions or comments, I always pull in our consumer relations team to help.

Mike: How, if at all, has social media impacted the Dairy Queen brand? Any negatives or positives?

Jamie: The impact on the Dairy Queen brand has been very positive! Our consumers were already having conversations about DQ. Now we get to join in the conversation. We’ve gotten a ton of positive feedback from our consumers regarding the fact that we are engaging them in the social media landscape.

Mike: What experiences over your career has prepared you for your current role at Dairy Queen?

Jamie: Several key elements have played a significant role in what I do for DQ. When I graduated from college the web was just about to explode. So about 10 years ago I was given the opportunity to work on the website of a local radio station in Minneapolis and I found that this was something I really loved and enjoyed, so began my career in the web world. It’s been my real world web experience over the past 10 years that has given me the experience needed to manage all of our digital assets. Regarding the work with social media, it has seemed to come rather naturally and I believe that is due to my educational background which was in communications. This, along with my love and passion for the web, has made the social media work an exciting adventure this past year.

Mike: Can you share with us any plans or news that Dairy Queen has for 2010? What’s your role in these plans?

Jamie: In 2010 the DQ system will be celebrating the Blizzard Treat’s 25th birthday.  Although I can’t yet reveal all of the fun stuff we have planned,  I can tell you that we are launching a special menu in January called the “25 flavors for 25 years” Blizzard menu. This menu is a celebration of our best selling and favorite flavors from the past 25 years. In support of the new Blizzard menu, I will be conducting a tour – trying and rating all 25 flavors over the next 12 months, so make sure you join me on this tour and check out our Blog for video updates throughout the year. Also, you can check out our Facebook, Twitter and site to see what’s next in the celebration of the Blizzard’s 25th Birthday.

Mike: What’s the best part of your job?

Jamie: I love the fact that I get to make an immediate impact on what is communicated to our consumers through our social media channels. I also get to make an impact on by designing, developing and managing the content on the site which is has been seen by more that 7 million visitors this year.

Mike: Dairy Queen is all about smiles and stories.  What’s your favorite Dairy Queen story?

Jamie: I have many!! When I was in Little League baseball we would always hit the local DQ after the game. But my favorite is this, if you were to ask my four year old what her Dad does at DQ she will tell you “Makes Blizzards”. So after about a 30 minute discussion telling her what I really do (yes, I know she’s four!). I asked her again “what does Daddy do at DQ” and she yelled “MAKES BLIZZARDS”. She thinks I’m pretty cool because I work for Dairy Queen and well make Blizzards! FYI, don’t tell her otherwise she will soon find out on her own that I don’t make Blizzards and I’m not that cool.

Mike: Bonus question: What’s your favorite Blizzard Treat?

Jamie: Cookie Dough, but I just tried the Double Fudge Cookie Dough Blizzard it was out of this world!