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Starbucks Proves Yet Again That They Are a Leader in Social

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http://www.fastcompany.com/3020715/starbucks-twitter-launch-gifting-platform-via-tweets?utm_content

 

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?

 

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Translating Customer Service to Social

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“Be everywhere, do everything, and never fail to astonish the customer.” Macy’s Motto

I am amazed at how many companies still don’t understand how to effectively utilize social media platforms, especially in regards to customer service. Times are changing and it is no longer enough to simply offer customer service through a hotline. Everything you do as a company should be translated to all of your social media platforms- communication, customer relationship management, promotion, and often the most important of all… customer service.

I recently had a very positive experience with social media customer service, which seems to be a rare service among most companies. The company that gets customer service? Fossil, Inc.

Recently, I had my watch strap connector break for the third time in the past year. Usually in the past, I would drive 40 mins to a Fossil outlet and they would replace the connectors free of charge. However, I did not have the time to make that trek this time around. I called the outlet store and needless to say, they told me to buy a strap or a new watch and there was nothing that they could do.

My next step? Test their social media customer service. I tweeted my frustration right to Fossil, Inc.

Image I did not expect much of a solution, however I was pleasantly surprised.

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Not only did I receive a response FOURTEEN minutes after my post, they placed an order for a new watch strap to get sent to my house all within an hour. This, my fellow readers, is a company that gets it. Customer service is one of the biggest drivers of brand loyalty- you only have a small window of opportunity to turn a bad experience and possible lost customer into a meaningful opportunity to make a relationship and connection.

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As a company, you have to go out of your way to not only meet customer’s needs and desires, but you have to ASTONISH customers. That is what makes the difference between an ordinary company and an extraordinary company. You can bet that I will be a Fossil customer for a long time and all it took was one hour.