COM0014: B2C and how Starbucks reaches out

By: Bryan Thiel


With Christmas right around the corner, it’s prime time for consumers. While there’s plenty of producers we can concentrate on that provide people with something to open up on Christmas morning, what about the ones that give you something to eat or drink while you shop for that special someone?

Starbucks and their holiday menu have quickly become a part of Christmas for many people. Whether it’s just the comfort of a warm beverage or an assortment of festive flavours, it seems like plenty go out of their way to make a pit stop for a Tall, Grande, or Venti while they’re out and about at the malls.

While their success is based on their product, one of the things that Starbucks has done well, is maintain their connection with their customers through their use of Social Media. As we’ve seen, many companies think of it as an afterthought and don’t use their social channels to their full extent. It seems that Starbucks is ahead of the trend socially, and have even made some interesting (some could call ‘experimental) moves to see if they pan out.

Facebook

One of the easiest places to humanize a company is Facebook. The reason why is because your interactions aren’t collapsed. People can go to your page and instantly see your interactions with your customer base, rather than having to open up individual Tweets and posts to see how you connect with your audience. Starbucks has done an excellent job of balancing both a professional and personal approach with this. They respond almost equally to fan posts complimenting their products, and customer questions and inquiries.

 

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A perfect example of Starbucks’ willingness to both casually engage in conversation and support their customers.

It’s their willingness to respond that not only endears them to their customers, but also takes the edge off of those negative instances. Many people will go overboard in their negativity online in an effort to get attention, but those that are active online see that Starbucks will listen to their criticism whether it is positive or negative, so they feel less of a need to be too extreme in their posts.

Twitter

If you think their Facebook presence is impressive, Starbucks has gone to all new lengths on Twitter to make sure their bases are covered in terms of what their consumers could want or need.

 

Starbucks has countless Twitter accounts including ones for the countries and continents they can be found in (Canada, Indonesia, U.K., etc.), one for job opportunities (Starbucks Jobs), and one for ideas (@MyStarbucksIdea). Not only do they use their accounts for corporate purposes, but they’ve opened them up with opportunities for you to join their team and to contribute to their menu.

While the @MyStarbucksIdea account is used sparingly, the mere appearance of it adds a level of credibility between Starbucks and its customers. It convinces buyers that the company wants to hear what you have to say about their products and any suggestions on what their menu should have. While the careers page is a simple approach, there aren’t many corporations that employ this strategy, and it continues to drive Starbucks-related traffic.

Starbucks has also made an effort to give a personal feel to their individual stores, re-posting photos from employees and owners, which in turn helps their prospects for their employment page.

Overall, the size of their digital footprint is impressive. At a time where people care almost as much about what you do online as what you sell, Starbucks has made strides in both, and have truly understood the idea that you can’t necessarily measure success online in dollars and cents.

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