The US coffee and coffeehouse chain Starbucks, counting over 1,100,000 followers on twitter and even over 17,300,000 fans on Facebook, does a magnificent job in one-to-one marketing, especially contemplating its important field of social media strategy. But what really is it that makes Starbucks so successful on the internet?
Firstly, the in Seattle founded coffee corporation exemplary exerts twitter to intensively stay in touch with its customers and to communicate with each of them individually. In this way, Starbucks talks to their customers directly, answers their questions and re-tweets people’s opinions about the brand. All in all, Starbucks makes twitter to an excellent “coffee” one-to-one marketing tool.
Secondly, more than 8,100 people have already subscribed to Starbucks’s own YouTube channel – another web instrument, which Starbucks uses like no second. On YouTube, the company uploads videos of funny commercials as well as informational videos, sharing new business actions.
Eventually, Starbucks is one of the most successful brands on Facebook. Due to its great international performance on 26 Facebook country homepages so far, the corporation counts a total of over 17,300,000 fans worldwide. This success, however, is not only confirmed by the big number of fans, but also by countless exciting campaigns, which Starbucks regularly launches within Facebook.
On the one hand, Starbucks uploads blogs, pictures, videos and comments. Moreover, the corporation invites its fans to different events. On the other hand, the fans themselves have the chance to comment discussions as well as open new topics, which is a marvelous manner of handling one-to-one marketing.
The following picture nicely illustrates Starbucks’ marketing system on Facebook.
- Social consumers need to be appealed with a unique experience.
- Starbuck’s presence on Facebook must be strongly advertised. For that reason, the corporation employs links from external homepage to Facebook as well as “engagement ads”.
- The editorial programming must be planned exactly. In its focus are to publish contents, which address the individual consumer and encourages him/her to participate in a certain activity.
- Finally, the result should be a rich engagement in discussions as well as multifaceted reactions to blogs, posts and comments.
This commitment pays off well and makes Starbucks the third biggest brand on Facebook. Only Facebook itself and YouTube still have more fans. In order to give one popular example from October 2010, I would like to refer to its “Pumpkin Spice” Halloween Campaign.
In conclusion, Starbucks’ social marketing approach is one of the main instruments of its whole one-to-one marketing strategy. This integrates many different elements, which - combined to one unit - amazingly inspire millions of fans for the brand and keep them closely involved in the corporation’s business activities. In this way, Starbucks proves that they really care about the customers’ and potential customers’ personal needs and for what the individual thinks. This service-orientated aspect is also well reflected in another of Starbucks’ major approaches for one-to-one marketing - its individualization of each coffee and the personal fashion of how each customer is served. Overall, Starbucks is a role model in carrying out one-to-one marketing and demonstrates that this manner is most efficient to promote business.
Lars H. Erlenkamp, State University of Management, German-Russian Double Bachelor Program