Q&A: DoorDash's Social Media Manager shares his Twitter tips

By Marissa Window

One brand that stands out with their playful tone of voice and engaging Tweets is DoorDash, a technology company that powers door-to-door food delivery. We chatted with Ryan Ochsner, Social Media Manager at @DoorDash, to learn more about their Twitter strategy.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Ryan Ochsner (@ryanochsner), and I oversee social media for DoorDash. I grew up in Colorado, then moved to Nashville for college where I actually began my career as a guitar player for country music stars. After years of touring and life on the road, I settled down to focus on a second passion: food. I went to work for Whole Foods Market, sharing their mission-driven initiatives through social media.

While doing that, I became really interested in the intersection of food and technology — and how the marriage of the two was changing the world. This brought me to San Francisco, and in 2017 I joined DoorDash — a company positioned at that same crossroads of food and tech, with a dynamic platform connecting people with endless possibilities.

Tell us a bit about DoorDash.

DoorDash was launched in 2013, but back then it was called “Palo Alto Delivery,” and there were only eight menus to choose from. Today, we connect customers with their favorite local and national restaurants in more than 600 cities across the United States and Canada — but that’s just part of the story behind what we do. The company was initially started to help local businesses. One of our co-founders (and CEO), Tony Xu (@t_xu), grew up watching his mom work in her own restaurant in order to save enough money to start a medical clinic and return to her roots as a doctor.

There are countless stories from similar local business owners. So DoorDash really exists to transform local communities and to enable new ways of working, earning, and living. We believe in delivering good by connecting people and possibility. Our latest initiative, Project DASH, takes the idea of delivering good to the next level — we’ve partnered with Feeding America® to help fight hunger and address the problem of food waste.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

There aren’t many moments throughout the day that I’m not online and connected. I start and end each day by checking brand mentions and trending topics/hashtags across our social channels. I actually block my calendar every morning to engage with our followers. It’s important that we join in the conversation with people — not just talk at them.

I also spend a lot of time building out our social media calendar and ensuring all major campaigns and initiatives come to life through each of our channels. I work closely with our art director and copywriter to curate assets, draft copy, and schedule posts. I’m lucky to work with such a talented creative team who help make it all come together.

I also work closely with our customer service team to ensure our customer experience and brand voice are cohesive across social.

Lastly, I’m a huge analytics nerd. I love seeing how posts perform, who interacted with them, and what made them successful. There’s always something new to learn and apply to the next campaign — and at a data-driven company, people love seeing the numbers.

How does Twitter fit into your marketing mix?

Twitter is one of our primary marketing channels. I tell everyone that our Twitter profile is a virtual brick-and-mortar of DoorDash, and it’s a place where people can interact with and experience the personality of our brand. Inspired by a Twitter Business blog post, we try to organize our content strategy around pillars. For us, those pillars include our brand missionmerchant partnershipsDasher storiesconsumer moments, and then there’s always room for ad-hoc content on trending topics.

What are a few Tweet examples that you think really capture the brand?  

These Tweets really showcase our brand identity and mission of #DeliveringGood:

Polls are a great way for us to engage with our followers and allow them to weigh in:

We also love Retweeting content when our followers are excited about DoorDash:

Lastly, we’re really proud of our merchant partnerships — both local and national — and love sharing co-branded content whenever we can:

What’s something you’ve tested on Twitter recently that you’re proud of? How did you go about it and what were your learnings?

It’s important to try new strategies and tactics. Not all will work, but you don’t know unless you try. With the launch of our #DeliveringGood initiative, we’ve really put forth an effort to amplify our mission-driven message on Twitter. We’re seeing that it resonates with people, and it’s yielded us some of the highest engagement we’ve ever seen. Mission-driven initiatives resonate with our customers and followers. I think when a brand tries to do good in the world, followers want to support and be a part of that.

How do you use Twitter Ads to amplify your marketing efforts?

Twitter Ads play a crucial role in our marketing strategy. We use them to reach people more meaningfully and intentionally. We recently launched our new visual identity and renewed mission of #DeliveringGood, and we built out a Twitter campaign around this to reach more of our current and potential users. We’ve seen some really positive results so far.

For each ad campaign we run, we always discover something new — whether it’s a user-interest group we were unaware of or a spike in engagement from people in an unexpected geo-location. This is really valuable information.

How do you plan and create Twitter Ads that will resonate with your target audience?

I really enjoy building out Twitter Ad campaigns. The Ads Editor tool is great for fine-tuning each campaign and ad group. I always make sure we’re placing our ads in specific geo-locations to ensure people are seeing our content where DoorDash is available. It’s also important that the creative aligns with the audience we want to reach.

I’ll often experiment with campaign types — such as testing the same creative via an engagement campaign and reach campaign and comparing the results.

What results have you seen with Twitter Ads?

There’s a lot of noise out there, and it can be challenging for brands to stand out. Breaking through the noise on Twitter requires a well-defined brand voice and an understanding of the audience you want to reach. Twitter Ads have helped us reach more of our customers in a meaningful way and allowed us to increase engagement as much 6x. Twitter Ads have also helped new followers discover us and keep up to date with everything happening at DoorDash.

Any final tips for brands on Twitter? 

Twitter is where your brand can shine and show its personality. It’s also a unique place where people can interact directly with a brand. Have fun, be part of the community, and engage with your followers. Authenticity is key. Everything else will fall into place.

Know a brand doing interesting things on Twitter? Tweet us @TwitterBusiness.

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