Starbucks has over 705,000 followers on twitter and over 5,428,000 fans on Facebook. You could say that they’re doing something right on the Web. What is it about Starbucks’s social media strategy that makes it so successful?
Let’s analyze Starbucks social behavior across the Web:
1) Starbucks on twitter - Starbucks engages with customers on twitter, answerING questions, retweets, what people are saying about the brand and creates an open communication channel to speak with the public.
2) Starbucks on Facebook – Starbucks uploads content to their Facebook page such as: Videos, blog posts, photos. The company also invites people to events. Fans have a place to open discussions and comment as many of them do.
3) Starbucks on YouTube -Over 4800 people subscribe to Starbucks YouTube Channel. They upload videos of commercials as well as informational videos explaning the origins of the different coffee blends and some of their charity work videos. They also upload videos showing their history thus enabling people to relate more to the brand. This video showing the beginnings of Starbucks received over 11, 800 views:
Starbucks also allows people to embed its videos anywhere they like on the Web. Many companies don’t allow this because they’re afraid their videos might end up on places they don’t want to be associated with. However, from Starbucks’ experience as well as the experience of other brands (such as Dell), this strategy has proven to only increase the positive exposure of brands that allow embedding and not the opposite.
4) My Starbucks Idea – Starbucks’ own version of a social network where customers are asked to share their ideas on anything related to Starbucks. The site gives users the ability to see what others are suggesting, vote on ideas and check out the results. This site is a brilliant and important aspect of Starbucks social media strategy. Users who are part of this network feel that they have some role in the decision making process of the company and it makes them feel a part of it.
5) Starbucks Blog entitled “Ideas in Action” - This blog is written by various Starbucks employees and talks about what Starbucks is doing with the ideas given by users on the My Starbucks Idea site. The blog keeps customers in the loop and in the know regarding what’s happening with their ideas and increases their sense of loyalty to the brand.
Overall Starbucks’s social media strategy integrates many different elements into the mix and combined together, these elements create a social media plan that works beautifully to create millions of fans for the brand and keep them involved in the brand’s doings. The brand has created a digital dialogue with its customers, enabling people to give their feedback and receive a response back from Starbucks addressing their concerns/comments. Starbucks is showing its customers and potential customers – “hey, we care about what YOU have to say.”
I am certain that if each one of these elements was implemented alone then the strategy would not have been as successful and complete as with the rest of the elements on board. Many brands can learn a great deal from the way that Starbucks conquered the social web. It is really all a matter of priorities. Starbucks put communicating with their customers and potential customers as a top priority. Do you?