Starbucks Proves Yet Again That They Are a Leader in Social

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Starbucks is at it again. Starbucks is known as a leader in social. They understand their audience and they use every social media platform very effectively. With so many followers on every platform, they ensure to not only reach new people, but also retain and engaged their followers through insightful pictures on Instagram to competitions and even a way to sign a petition for the government during the recent government shutdown on Twitter and Facebook.

Starbucks is trying out a new way to engage and utilize social media, in particular Twitter. Twitter is continuing to grow, however, Starbucks realized early on that you have to be innovative and always look for new ways to utilize social media in order to stay relevant among the hundreds of tweets and accounts that the average person sees every day. A tweet can be used to update a status, share links, upload pictures, but what about using it to share Starbucks coffee?

On October 28, Starbucks partnered with Twitter to be able to send gift certificates via a tweet. It’s called the tweet-a-coffee program and will enable people to share a $5 eGift with just a simple tweet using the handle @tweetacoffee to and the handle of the recipient. The recipient then gets notified and the gift can be redeemed by printing out the eGift or loading it to their Starbucks digital card. The system is smart enough to know that a RT or a mention does not mean that you want to send a coffee, enabling the new rollout to be shared and trend without any unwanted purchases.

Starbucks is attempting to integrate social media into the Starbucks experience and allowing people to share coffees seamlessly. This is a great initiative because it really aligns with Starbucks culture of generosity and is creating an even greater experience with their brand. Starbucks is a digitally savvy brand and again they are pushing the envelope and creating new ways to use social media in order to benefit them and their customers.

I think this new rollout will also help Twitter and increase its potential for what can be done with the platform. This comes at a great time as it gears up for its IPO, however it will be interesting to see if this is just a failed attempt or if it will spark other brands to utilize this creative idea to benefit them.

The easier you make it for people to share your product or purchase it, the more successful you will be. Social media is a great way to reach people and share a new initiative or new technology capability such as the Tweet-A-Coffee program. This is a great idea and very interesting, although I wonder if it will really take off for Starbucks. For Twitter on the other hand, I think that regardless of the success of the program, it will increase Twitter’s value because of the potential of what could be done with the platform and it’s definitely a great sneak peek to all of the possibilities out there in social.

What do you think about this new rollout? Do you believe that it’s going to be a flop or really act as a catalyst for future innovations in social platforms?



2 thoughts on “Starbucks Proves Yet Again That They Are a Leader in Social

    Olivia said:
    November 4, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Interesting! I wonder if they really won’t have any problems with this program? For example, when do people pay for the eCard to be sent to a friend? What are payment options, etc? I think being a leader on social media for businesses is very important because you simply don’t want to be following the last guy.

      Ania-Lee responded:
      November 4, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      Those issues were being addressed and I don’t personally think it will be the logistics behind the program that might cause some hiccups, I think it’s the concept and trying to make it viral and have people interacting with the program on a regular basis. The people pay for the eCard as soon as they send (through your Starbucks card but I am sure they will come out with other capabilities like PayPal and credit options).

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