Starbucks acknowledges that social media enables the company to meet its anticipated and loyal customers’ objectives. The company wants to have a presence in the worldwide market. The firm uses Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter, and even Pinterest for its customers.
Starbucks Background Information
Starbucks Company started its operations in March 1971. The three partners who started the company were students at the University of San Francisco. One was an English teacher, and the other two were a history teacher and writer (Gitomer, 2011). It is a public company that trades on the electronic stock market. The National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ) has listed Starbucks as SBUX. It operates in the coffee shop industry. The company is now 45 years old. The main office is at Pike Place Market in Elliott Bay to Utah Avenue South in Seattle.
The company is now in over 23,000 locations. The sites serve hot and cold drinks and instant coffee. Its presence is felt all over the world through the products it supplies. China, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Korea, and Japan are some of the major countries, apart from the US, where it operates (Simon, 2009). Some of the products are coffee beverages, smoothies, tea, baked goods, and sandwiches.
The company uses automated espresso machines for efficiency and safety reasons. Its revenues are as high as $ 16 billion. Starbucks has employed approximately 200,000 staff. It has over 10 billion worth of assets. It has a well-structured distribution channel.
The company has several subsidiaries. Ethos Water, Evolution Fresh, Hear Music, LaBoulange Bakery, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Tazo, Teavana, and Torrefazione Italia are some of the subsidiary companies. Some of them came into the scene because of the expansion process of creating a Multinational Corporation. The company’s website is starbucks.com (Schultz & Gordon, 2011). It is an American company that specializes in coffee with coffee house chains.
The target market ranges from children to adults in the US and other countries. It has markets on other continents, making it a Multinational Corporation. Coffee would mostly be a favorite beverage during the cold seasons. People mainly take it in the morning and during office hours to keep their brains active. The objective is to offer the best beverage and range of products. It was the best representative of the second wave coffee. Starbucks specializes in darkly roasted coffee, customer experience, taste, and quality.
In the 1990s, the company had attained about 160 stores in the US market. It had increased the number of stores to about 15,000 in the year 2008. It was operating in over 40 countries. The rapid expansions came with a few challenges that the company. The baristas services detached the company from the customers because of the new espresso machines. The machines were in all the retail stores where Starbucks had its presence. Recession in the US made it difficult for customers to afford the premium services from the company. Competition from McDonald’s and Dankin’s Donuts who started selling coffee at a lower price made the company start losing the market.
Inventory of the Social Media Platforms
In the year 2008, Schultz led Starbucks in significant changes that included the closure of nonperforming stores. Part of the shift involved taking charge of its customers’ network. It ventured into social media to attract customers and engage with them directly. The first method was to use the company’s website- mystarbucksidea.com- where customers provided suggestions for improving the services and products.
Previously, the company had used Compact Disks and videos to enrich customers with news about the products. It has also worked with the Yahoo website to advertise the Yahoo Personals Site. It collaborated with iTune and had a custom channel for distributing weekly Itunes (York, 2010). The scandals that arose like the wastage of water portrayed the company as lacking respect. The company’s new media strategists did not know how to respond. It had weaknesses in the rules of engagement, social and digital media management.
Starbucks has a very active audience in social media campaigns. Any time it posts a comment or a picture, everyone goes ahead to like it. It worked on its direct interactions with the customer. It is because Starbucks has become a brand and a force among many people. It has served generations and due to its diversity and inventions, it will still keep many customers to the brand. The management has to boost its Research and Development techniques.
Starbucks uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google as a means of passing information to its clients. For a company to have a meaningful presence on social media, it has to post updates consistently and provide excellent responses to customers’ concerns. It has attracted millions of fans and followers on social media. In fact, it is one of the most popular brands on Facebook with about 90 million fans. It has about 40 million likes on Facebook (Wong, 2009).
Over 20,000 people visit the site daily. Starbucks uses this platform to showcase new brands, awareness campaigns, and promote its products. The company also advertises its Corporate Social Responsibility on Facebook. For instance, Starbucks has used Facebook Apps several to introduce new products and sustain its market. One of the products it launched through Facebook was the blonde roast.
Starbucks engages with fans, and its posts attract tens of thousands of fans in a short time. Starbucks brand is already a recognizable brand, and the company just needs to maintain it. Apart from having a general Facebook page, Starbucks also opened local pages for other global markets. For example, countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, and Germany had their respective local Facebook pages. The company uses this platform for customer endorsements.
For quite some time, Facebook has been dominating the social media strategists’ campaigns because of its extensive coverage (Wong, 2009). Many companies have succeeded in creating awareness of their products and services by reaching a group that values online business. They also have time to evaluate, raise concerns, appreciate, and participate in the leading discussions. But Facebook has a role to play in dealing with bad Ads. It also needs to prevent followers from interfering with the brand’s strategies on social media.
It has hired experts to deal with the social media campaign. On Twitter, the company has over 65,000 twits. It has about 100 million following and 11 million followers. The Twitter handle attracts over 9,000 likes and has 19 listings. Some of the listings on Twitter handle almost always redirect customers to Facebook Apps (York, 2010). There is continued linking of the two and other social media presentations. The company does not take an active role in responding to customers’ posts. It does not engage swiftly and steadily with its fan base. But it often advertises its products for awareness and updates.
The company tweets product images for customer appreciations and comments. It also uses the Twitter page to link customers to its loyalty scheme. Most of the time, the tweets are just a copy of what they have on Facebook. The company has one of the largest followings on Twitter. Unlike other brands that have social teams that engage directly with the followers’ comments, Starbucks has a different approach to the social platform (Schultz & Gordon, 2011). Perhaps the plan is meant to help the company avoid misconceptions and controversies on the media. The company’s priorities are mainly on the physical approach of providing the product to the market. It also developed a mechanism to monitor the comments of the followers and solved any pending issue.
Starbucks is also on Pinterest. As compared to its main competitors on this social media, it has fewer boards but with a greater number of pins and followers. The boards have compelling images mainly from third party sites. It makes it the most successful strategy on the social platform. Its engagement with the fans and the competitions on the Pinterest wall is fantastic (Gitomer, 2011).
Google+ is one of the rarely used pages because many companies think that it does not excite the customers’ passion for their products. Another reason is that not many desired customers can visit the site for company products. And yet the coffee brand has over a million followers on Google+. Most of its contents on the site are similar to those on Facebook and Twitter. Every time the company updates this site, there is increased activity on the site. It attracts many hundreds of comments and approvals. It is one of the best when compared to other brands that may attract only a handful of +s and less than ten comments. Starbucks has pictures that are enticing to the public.
Starbucks has over a million followers on Instagram. The content and procedure of marketing on this platform is better than the one in the other sites. It has surpassed all the other channels regarding the percentage of overall traffic and conversion (Schultz & Gordon, 2011).
Social Media Strategy
Social media helps Starbucks to keep up with customer needs. The company uses this platform to gauge its performance. Currently, almost every aspect of life is affected by social media. Individuals open pages on social media and start engaging with friends and liking pages. The company passes the message to the younger generation and the coming one though such Ads.
The overall strategy is for the company to gain the best overall following of the youths on all social media accounts. The millennial teenagers are very active on the social platform and are a surety of continued market even to the next generation. The company can provide competitive programs and games. Customers can also win prizes of different kinds. The mobile computing strategy engages closely with the clients and the company’s social media strategists closely monitor followers’ participation. They can develop an App for personalized follow-ups and interventions.
Starbucks has now become one of the most socially engaged companies. It has the largest following on Facebook and Twitter. It also promotes customer experience through the same channels. If Starbucks continues to improve its usage of Social Media, it will become the best company in engaging with the client.
Gitomer, J. (2011). Social boom!. Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press.
Schultz, H. & Gordon, J. (2011). Onward. New York, NY: Rodale.
Simon, B. (2009). Everything but the coffee. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Wong, E. (2009). Why starbucks is the top brand on facebook. Web.
York, E. (2010). Starbucks gets its business brewing again with social media. Web.