Starbucks is one of the mos engaged online brands which was attributed to its digital marketing strategy. This strategy is based on customer experience and innovation.
Alex Wheeler, director of digital strategy for the company quotes, “We don’t think about it just as a marketing or public relations channel. This is about (answering the question of) how do we extend the very strong customer experience that we deliver every day in our stores into these other really relevant spaces”. What she wants is to make their online customers to feel the same coffee house experience that they would have in the physical shop.
Through the online activity what the brand is trying to do is achieve a “consumer engagement” through dialogues between customer, storytelling…All this by performing a high quality content. Starbucks has realized that the user of its online accounts are young people, therefore this is a really good new for the brand as it is nor only reinforcing the relationship with its current customers, but it is also engaging new customers who are young and it is easy for the brand to make them become loyal customers.
Starbucks is presence in almost every social media Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, and MyStarbucksIdea. “Starbucks goes digitally where its customers like to hang out. Each channel provides the opportunity to reach a new audience, increase visibility, and reinforce existing relationships” (Poirier, 2014). Furthermore, a strong social media strategy is beneficial as “the interactivity of social media greatly facilitates the process of establishing enduring intimate relationships with trust and commitment between sellers and buyers” (Sashi, 2012).
My Starbucks Idea
One of the best Starbuck’s marketing tool is “MyStarbucksIdea.com”, which is a online forum which allow peopople to improve their Starbucks’s experience. The way this forum works is the following: the stakeholders suggest new ideas and the users can discuss and vote for this ideas. As all the ideas are taken into account by the brand, the users of this site do not feel that they are waisting their time, they feel more motivate and satisfy when they buy Satrbucks’s products as they feel that they are part of the success of the brand or, at least, that the brand take them into account, they feel they are important.
Starbucks is not very active in Facebook, the brand just post picture more or less one a week, and never for trying to buy their products, just for letting customer know about new products, promotions… They always reply the comments left by customers which is another way of showing customers how the brand takes them into account and making them feel important. The customers are the priority for the brand or, at least, that’s what the brand wants to transmit. This way the brand is trying ti create a community to increase the customer relationship and make them be engaged and loyal to the brand
Starbucks create a “game” in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram which was called “White Cup Contest” it consist in encouraging customers to decoret the white Starbucks cups and post it. The cup of the winner customer would be in stores as a limited edition cup.
Twitter is the most successful Strbucks media which consist in “re-tweets” from its customer who share their experiences and stories. Is allow customers to interact among them and with the brans itself.
In this account they also has promotions and gifts for their cutomers.
The pictures that Starbucks post in Instagram are not focused on selling their products but real customers havng a good time at their shops
Most of their posted images have been taken and shared previously by their fans, which gives them a sense of recognition and encourages them to post more. (Forbes, 2014)
As they aim to strengthen the emotional connections between the customers and the brand, they created a “Behind-the-Scenes” campaign. This consisted on sharing images of their whole coffee making process to increase trust in the company and so, customer loyalty. (Raj, 2014)
. One of its more successful campaigns was “#WhereInTheWorld”, in which they shared a photograph of one of their stores and the followers had to guess where it was. (Honigman, 2014)
As the leading brand in its field, it is important for Starbucks to maintain close customer interaction and high engagement in order to sustain the high reputation. By utilising popular digital platforms such as the ones mentioned previously, Starbucks is able to create a large online presence with little costs and incredible reach. The statistics of their followers, retweets, likes and shares prove that the strategies adopted for social media have succeeded in its aims. It is now important to maintain these pages, as well as, post material that will both appeal to the consumer and provide information on any new endeavors.
To sum up, from my point of view, Starbucks is doing great in engaging customer and showing the good time that you can have in their shops. Showing in the pictures how they are a confortable and nice pace where having a coffee is more a social thing.
For instance, if I need wifi and a place to do a work or even just send an email while having a coffee the first place I would choose is Starbucks as it is a relax place to do it.
As you can see I have just talked about the social media that Starbucks uses given that I think its quite interesting and a successful way of promoting yourself without expending a lot of money. As we live in a technological era, from my point of view, all companies should use as many social media as they could. However, the companies should take care of their accounts, as Starbucks does. Companies should make their client feel confortable, taken into account and part of the brand. Starbucks is doing great so, if you want to be as successful as this brand, follow their path and CREATE AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS!!