It’s really not rocket science. As I said in a previous blog post, Twitter is absolutely essential for any company’s social media strategy. From the small-league players to the higher brow companies are involved with Social Media, and quite understandably.
Starbucks, as a big ‘conglom’ company, has one amazingly large brand presence online, and for many reasons! They may have quite a big bank account, but that isn’t to say that they’ve spent that much on their marketing. Anyone claiming to be ‘online’ and has a love for coffee is sure to have seen one of Starbucks’ social profiles. The messages safely stay consistent across social channels, yet different (for Duplicate Content reasons, of course).
Their Facebook page has grown its Facebook following from a figure in the 200,000’s to over 35 million likes, since its launch in 2008. So what makes them so successful?
Firstly, they interact with their customers. Just by taking one look at their Twitter page, anyone can see that they actively interact with their customers, as well as posting corporate stats and other marketing materials, as companies do. A lesson that each and every one of us can take from this, is that it’s important to appear ‘human’ on these posts, instead of some companies that give off a ‘corporate drone’ effect, whereby they ignore customer interactions. Take care of your customers, and your customers will take care of you.
Their Social Media Campaigns are another spectacle. On both Twitter and Facebook, Starbucks have definitely taken the lead. Having worked their strategy around their company website, including layout, and utilising almost every social platform to complete success, it’s certainly safe to say that they’ve built on their current relationships with customers. For instance, Starbucks will take a photo and post it to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pin it to Pinterest, and even post it to YouTube – clearly where the customers hang out. I don’t know about you readers, but I’m ashamed to say that I’m one of the statistics that sits in Starbucks on my MacBook, or my iThingy (not writing a novel, and certainly not on my own). The point is, their occasional promotions such as ‘buy one, get one’ have accrued such a massive social media engagement through likes, shares, retweets etc. Take a second and think back to the last time you posted (on any social platform) that you were in Starbucks – and you don’t have to be a teenage girl. I’m right, am I not?
Some of the best examples I can find are as follows:
“Jan 11th – @Starbucks “Think our coffee is too dark? You haven’t tried Blonde Roast – and now you can. Get a free cup at Rockefeller Center.”
This free now product giveaway had a massive influence on the promoting awareness of their new coffee, and at one of their busiest flagship New York locations. Ingenious.
Instagram! Starbucks’ behind-the-scenes view is something that we can all take note from. If you are under the impression that your business is suited to all social networks except from Instagram, then you need to read on.
Businesses everywhere can harness photo-sharing tools to interact with clients, and to promote a human nature to the business’ face. In Starbucks’ case, it’s used as part of a brilliant branding tool. As a really successful brand with a massive following (if you didn’t already know), they don’t need to fall back on competitions, Hashtags or any other such gimmicks. Posting coffee beans from the source, or of seasonal product drinks (PSL – and any other Starbucks lover will know exactly what I’m talking about). They simply post, and people react. They do reach out to fans, requesting photos of their Starbucks experience, showing off its coffee cups in different locations. This, if anything, is a lesson for us all in creating a closer relationship with customers, and softening up our corporate image to show a thought and respect to the working hands behind the products.
So, what does this all mean to you? Well, a lot of businesses today really don’t spend the time, effort and sometimes money on the outreach to consumers, creating a true human online presence. Don’t forget, readers, that it’s not all about forcing your content into your customer’s faces. If you want a response, take a look at Starbucks’ social profiles and strategies, and take note of how other brand giants have engaged with their online communities.
By not adding a value to your fans, certainly won’t work if you don’t take the time, care and effort to do so, and it has to be done on a daily basis – to give fans the chance to want to engage with you on a daily basis. Implement some of these tactics into your own social media strategy and campaigns, and build on your online presence today. SEO is one thing, but connecting with the customer is another.