Interacting with Your Customers
One of most enthusiastic users of social media marketing is Starbucks. Let's looks at a few of their recent promotions: discount for "Foursquare" mayors, free coffee on Tax Day via Twitter's promoted tweets, and a free pastry day promoted through Twitter and Facebook.
Discount for "Foursquare" Mayors of Starbucks
This promotion was a joint effort of Foursquare and Starbucks. Foursquare is a mobile social network, and in addition to the handy "friend finder" feature, you can use it to find new and interesting places around your neighborhood to do whatever you and your friends like to do. It even rewards you for doing business with sponsor companies, such as Starbucks. The individual with the most "check in's" at a particular Starbucks holds the title of mayor. For a period of time, the mayor of each store got $1 off a Frappuccino. Those who used Foursquare were particularly excited about Starbucks's nationwide mayor rewards program because it brought attention to the marketing possibilities of the location-sharing app.
Free Coffee on Tax Day (via Twitter's Promoted Tweets)
Starbucks was not the only company to give away freebies on Tax Day, April 15, 2010. Lots of others did. For example, Cinnabon gave away free cupcake bites, Dairy Queen gave free mini blizzards, and Maggie Moo's offered a free slice of their new Maggie Moo ice cream pizza. But it was the only company to spread the message of their giveaway on the then-new Twitter's Promoted Tweets platform (which went into operation on April 13, 2010). Promoted Tweets are Twitter's means of making money by selling sponsored links to companies. Keeping with Twitter's 140 characters per tweet rule, Starbucks's Promoted Tweet read, "On 4/15 bring a reusable tumbler and we'll fill it with brewed coffee for free. Let's all switch from paper cups". The tweet also linked to a page that detailed Starbucks's environmental initiatives.
Free Pastry Day (Promoted through Twitter and Facebook)
Starbucks's "free pastry day" was promoted on Facebook and Twitter". As the word spread from person to person in digital form, the wave of social media activity drove more than a million people to Starbucks's stores around the country in search of free food.
As word of the freebie offering spread, Starbucks became the star of Twitter, with about 1 percent of total tweets commenting on the brand. That's almost ten times the number of mentions on an average day. It performed equally well on Facebook's event page where almost 600,000 people joined their friends and signed up as "attendees". This is not surprising given that Starbucks is the most popular brand on Facebook and the first to reach the 10-million fan mark.
How did Starbucks achieve this notoriety on Facebook? According to social media marketing experts, Starbucks earned this notoriety by making social media a central part of its marketing mix, distributing special offers, discounts, and coupons to Facebook users and placing ads on Facebook to drive traffic to its page. As explained by the CEO of Buddy Media, which oversees the brand's social media efforts, "Starbucks has provided Facebook users a reason to become a fan".