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Dunkin, McDonald's Use Twitter Hashtags for St. Patrick's Day

  |  March 16, 2012   |  Comments

Quick-serve chains spread the green via #GooDDLuck and #Shamrocked.

shamrockingTwo quick-serve chains are using Twitter hashtags to spread the luck of the Irish this year, along with related promos for limited-time food items.

For the week leading up to St. Patrick's Day, Dunkin' Donuts has held what it is calling the "GooDD Luck Twitter Sweepstakes," in which its 134,000 Twitter followers can share what brings them luck using the hashtag #GooDDLuck. And McDonald's is promoting the annual return of the Shamrock Shake with a #Shamrocking meme seeded on BuzzFeed.

Seven $50 Dunkin' Donuts gift cards have been up for grabs for random respondents throughout the week. Dunkin' announces one winner at the end of each day, says Jessica Gioglio, public relations and social media manager at Dunkin' Brands. Today it will name three winners, bringing the total to a "Lucky 7."

Responses range from what people wear, such as pink argyle socks, to lucky chains and favorite baseball hats. The brand's followers have also talked about things they do for luck, such as shaving their heads or wishing on eyelashes. Many say Dunkin' coffee brings them luck, Gioglio notes.

The effort is similar to a Valentine's Day promotion that used the hashtag #CupiDDsChoice. "This type of dialogue keeps us running on Twitter, but running occasional contents and sweepstakes is also a great opportunity for us to celebrate our fans," Gioglio says.

In the spirit of the holiday, Dunkin' is also offering two St. Patrick's Day-inspired donuts: the Lucky Mint Donut and the Green Shamrock Donut.

McDonald's, meanwhile, is trying to invent an Internet meme - in part with the help of a #Shamrocking hashtag. Shamrocking, as the company would have it in a BuzzFeed post, is the act of posing for a photo in the middle of an Irish jig with a Shamrock Shake in hand. It's attempting to duplicate other recent noun-to-verb crazes such as Planking, Owling, and Stocking.

"Given the nature of the shake, Shamrockers are tending to veer towards celebration through a fun dance in honor of St. Patrick's Day," a McDonald's rep says. "However, we love every expression of joy, so #Shamrocking is really the celebration of the Shamrock Shake in any way someone feels compelled to express themselves."

Jon Steinberg, president of BuzzFeed, says McDonald's is a social advertiser on BuzzFeed. The content is posted in a McDonald's social channel on BuzzFeed and promoted in its native, in-stream story units.

It's hard to tell how many people have #Shamrocked so far – and McDonald's does not provide figures on the number of Shamrock Shakes available each year. McDonald's says the fast food chain partnered with BuzzFeed because it has seen fans and followers turn to social media to share their excitement about the shake's return in previous years.

"We wanted to provide more reasons to celebrate this year," the rep says.


Lisa Lacy

In addition to ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, Lisa's work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.

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