Thursday, May 21, 2009

Starbucks uses Twitter in their online/offline Social Media Campaign

Since I’m on a roll with Starbucks and coffee, (I had my double cappuccino this morning with non-fat milk-see last blog), I thought I would research how Starbucks Coffee Company is using social media.

Starbucks already has a strong presence in social media. You can visit their Facebook, or if you are a Twitter fanatic you can find them there. Starbucks Twitter account has over 185,000 followers and the Facebook page has nearly 1.5 million fans.

Starbucks has recently launched “the biggest marketing effort it has undertaken,” according to the New York Times. The coffee company is displaying posters in major cities, and then challenging people to be the first to find and tweet a picture of their posters. Starbucks has other social media initiatives planned for this campaign. One is a contest for store employees to submit headlines for future ads and YouTube videos with coffee experts talking about Starbucks coffee. Starbucks’ social media presence gave it an advantage over competitors with gigantic ad budgets because its fans wanted to talk about it online. The idea for the Starbucks photo contest came from watching what people already do on Facebook and Twitter.

The reason for companies building this presence, I observed, is that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are ways of reaching many of your clients and building a relationship with them-and that’s what we call PR. It’s the building of a relationship with the public. You want to engage in interesting topics with blogging and microblogging using sites like Twitter where you have to express an entire thought in only 140 characters.

The largest coffee company in the world seems to be catching on.

Ali Magnano
Director of PR
Richter10.2 Media Group


  1. Interesting! Thanks for the update!

  2. Can the same be said of Starbuck's competitors in relation to their adoption of the new breed of Web 2.0 social media? If so, are they experiencing similar successes? From an initial search with my amateur and time-poor search, it appears not. Happy to be proven otherwise...

    Twitter IS the world's biggest coffee bar, right?

  3. Starbucks is among the early adopters of social media as an effective campaign platform. It continues to be the most successful one. Though their "my idea" site isnt doing too well.
    They have effectively used contests and the human need to express themselves well. Every year around Christmas, the company invites people to be the first to post photos of Starbucks shops decorated for the holidays; or even pictures and details of a new product or prmotion they have launched.
    Dont know of too many of their competitors who have been so effective.

  4. Starbucks seems to be grasping at Frappuccino straws here. They’e getting tactic focused rather than thinking about their brand overall. This may lead to short term growth, but short term growth is rarely sustainable.