In this day and age social media is a very important tool for organizations of all types. Some are doing it well and others are not. One organization that I believe has always had a strong social media strategy is Starbucks. They have had an impressive social media presence for years, some of their most memorable are Pumpkin Spiced Latte, Unicorn Frappuccino, Red Cup Art, Starbucks Stories: To Be Human, Upstanders and Extra Shot of Pride (Gilliland, 2020). Starbucks have taken a social justice approach to some of their social media campaigns and in turn have raised a lot of money for organizations such as ‘Born This Way Foundation’, an organization who support mental health initiatives for transgendered and LGBTQ+ communities with their #Extrashotofpride campaign (Gilliland, 2020). They have also donated over $500 000 in grants to small non-profits with their ‘Upstanders campaign’ (Gilliland, 2020). It is important to be honest and genuine when creating cause-related social media campaigns and Starbucks has done this successfully by raising money for organizations who directly support each cause.
Starbucks’ most recent social justice campaign is the ‘What’s Your Name’ campaign. A campaign that addresses the issue of birth name for many transgendered people (Markairn, 2020). This campaign highlights the stigma surrounding birth name, that transgendered people often face as they transition and the importance of a name in one’s identity (Markairn, 2020). Starbucks has a tradition of writing people’s names on takeout cups in their establishments and this was used as a way of supporting people who have changed their names to better suit their true identities (Markairn, 2020). Starbucks genuinely supports the LGBTQ+ community and have showed their support in this campaign as well by partnering with Mermaids, a charity that ‘supports young transgender and gender diverse groups’ (Markairn, 2020, para 15), and raising over $100 000 for them in a short time (Markairn, 2020). They did so by selling Mermaid cookies and user generated content to get the word out with the hashtag #what’syourname (Cyca, 2020). Here is the original video from the ‘What’s My Name?’ campaign:
Another organization that has a strong social media strategy is GoPro. They have successfully harnessed user generated content in a new and extreme fashion (Kannenberg, 2020). GoPro are a camera company who’s target market are people who love extreme sports and adventure, and the GoPro is the perfect camera to capture this, whether you are a surfer, snowboarder, hiker or some other sport enthusiast (Ideagoras, n.d.). What sets the GoPro apart from other cameras is its ability to be worn on the body, this allows the viewer to get a true sense of the experience and doesn’t require a second person to film (Ideagoras, n.d.). The GoPro easily uploads the footage directly to social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube (Ideagoras, n.d.). People then share their extreme videos with the hashtag #GoPro and the perfect user generated content strategy is created, encouraging others to buy the camera and capture their own adventure (Ideagoras, n.d.). User generated content is a brilliant social media strategy for a product such as this because it is not only genuine, but it is also basically free (Ideagoras, n.d.). The GoPro user becomes a brand ambassador, especially with YouTube, and this has helped them to grow their social media following and thus increase their revenue (Krows Team, 2020). This form of social media strategy has been very successful because it creates a strong bond with the brand and encourages people to share their experiences which establishes a deeper connection with the company and creates a sense of community and loyalty (Krows Team, 2020).
Here is an example of a YouTube video filmed on a GoPro:
Most large companies have invested quite heavily in social media by this point in time, it seems that it’s some smaller, less corporate businesses that lack social media strategies. However, social media has become so incredibly ubiquitous that it was quite difficult to find even a local company that completely lacks a social media presence, but I did find one. The convenience store near my house, Domestic Foods on Gladstone Avenue has obviously thought about the importance of social media because they have a Facebook Page and an Instagram account, but they have yet to post anything on their Instagram despite having over 1400 followers (Domestic Foods, n.d.), and they only have two check-ins on their Facebook page and only one post (Domestic Foods, n.d.). This is a well-known independent convenience and grocery store in an area of Ottawa’s Centretown neighbourhood that could be considered a food dessert, especially for those who lack transportation, as the closest real grocery store is a fifteen minute walk from Domestic Foods. This is a great opportunity for Domestic Foods to create a social media strategy as the stop gap between grocery shopping trips for people who live nearby. Their objectives should be to increase awareness about what they offer, when they are open and who they are as a family run business. They could benefit by posting about new products and potentially introduce fresh produce and use social media to gain awareness about it. Instagram stories would be a good tool to start with because they have some many followers already and stories published by businesses get more views than personal accounts (Ganta, 2020). Instagram Stories are also great for improving brand visibility and getting feedback on new products and staying top of mind (Ganta, 2020). Centretown residents are mostly millennials and generations Z and are therefore social media savvy and because of this, a social media presence would greatly benefit Domestic Foods. They should begin their foray into social media by posting stories on their Instagram page about their staff who have been the same people for the fifteen years I have been going there as well as the products they sell, the hours they keep and the services they provide.
Cyca, M. (August, 2020) ‘Social Media Campaigns (And What You Can Learn From Them)’
Retrieved from https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-campaign-strategy/
Facebook, (n.d.) ‘Domestic Foods’ Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/pages/Domestic%20Foods/113541919038390/
Instagram (n.d.), ‘Domestic Foods’ Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/domesticfoods/
Ganta, M (November 2020), ‘10 Reasons Why Businesses Are Using Instagram Stories’
Gilliland, N. (January 2020), ‘Eight awesome social campaigns from Starbucks’ Retrieved from
Ideagoras, (n.d.), ‘GoPro – Building a Social Brand Using Consumer Generated Content’
Kannenberg, L. (October 2019), ‘Social Spotlight: How GoPro fuels brand loyalty with UGC’
Retrieved from https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-spotlight-gopro/
Krows Team (May 2020), ‘GoPro Marketing Strategy – Let Your Audience Expresses Itself! – Marketing Case Study #7’ Retrieved from https://krows-digital.com/go-pro-marketing-strategy-case-study-7/
Markairn, (January 2020), ‘Here’s How Starbucks Recognized LGBTQ+ Customers: The ‘What’s Your Name?’ Campaign’ Retrieved from https://bettermarketing.pub/heres-how-starbucks-recognized-lgbtq-customers-the-what-s-your-name-campaign-8bdf8008c346