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26/07/2010 by

How Starbucks Got 10 Million Facebook Fans?

Since Starbucks is the first consumer brand to achieve the impressive number of 10,000,000 fans on Facebook. So we thought we should take a closer look at the digital strategy of Starbucks.

Consumers have massively embraced social media. These digital dictators are able to make or break your brand in the social media space, and they know that too.

So jumping into all kind of social channels will damage quite a few brands and their reputation.

Can you imagine how stupid some brands are, by rushing into Twitter, Facebook and YouTube without having any kind of social media marketing strategy, tactics or specialist social marketing agency at all?

To many brand, marketing, communications, pr, media, sponsor and helpdesk managers I would like to seize this opportunity by saying to you:

1. Patience is a virtue my friends. So re-think before you sink.
2. The brand is the biggest asset of your company. Don’t damage it.

Illustration by Al Murphy

Well, let’s be fair. Here are some thoughts that might help you:

First of all, there are several kinds of social media marketing strategies. So chose the one that really matches your brand and internal situation best.

Stay the hell away from social media
And please do realize: don’t believe the hype! No available social media bible in the world states that you must join the big trend social media. There is an option not to be part of it yet!

So, if you are not ready for it yet: stay the hell away from social media. You probably will only damage your brand severely.

If you do not have an Obama or Starbucks alike mentality and DNA, stay the hell away from social media marketing programs, since you will probably only disappoint your targets and damage your largest asset: your brand and its reputation.

If your brand is not driven by innovation, or not very client driven yet (brands that have not seriously tapped into e-mail, databases, savings, loyalty or CRM programs yet) you will probably fail in your social media marketing program as well.

Probably it’s better for you to tell your social media marketing agency this. So they can help you create a social marketing strategy that really fits your brand and business objectives.

Hopefully they will present you a social media marketing strategy which is fully focusing on (short term) campaigns and not on long term programs. You might want to start with seeding your video towards your targets or start with some other product campaigns. But please do not step into a program unprepared.

Because long term programs need another strategy and approach than short term campaigns. If you think you can be somebody’s friend for a while on Facebook, think again.

Friendships, loyalty and building mutual beneficial relationships between consumers and your brand, are hard work. Being someone’s friend in social media is not about quick bribes and hit and run behavior. Here, money can’t buy you love!

Always start with social media monitoring
If you want to claim success like Starbucks, which is leading the Top 10 of brands on Facebook, prepare yourself.

Start with a social media monitoring program: listen, gain crucial insights around your brand, products, competitors and important topics/ themes first.

Actually, a social media monitoring program is the start for every brand out there. Always start with listening and gain crucial insights, before you jump into the ferocious wild water.

From your first social media monitoring report or social brand benchmark, you will be able to slice from all conversations, to relevant conversations to actionable conversations.

The problem here is: Most social monitoring tool providers can’t help you with this. They are mostly just technology providers and not strategic brand or social media marketing specialists. So hire specialists that will be able to create you a “big” engagement idea based on the social media monitoring outcome for your brand.

And they can only do that, if you have really talked through your brand and business objectives with that social media marketing agency.

If you do not talk about your brand and business objectives, your engagement idea will be a lousy idea that will not help to realize your objectives.

And soon you will be talking about the disappointing number of fans / followers or that kind of useless KPI’s.

Some next steps that might want to consider before you jump into social media marketing. Those steps have been very thoughtfully considered by Starbucks.

That’s one of the reasons why they have such a successful Facebook Fan page: They monitor their page frequently. They keep it fresh with content. They have frequent social interactions with their fans.

And there are more topics you should consider first, before opening all kind of social channels that will only disappoint many of your targets.

It’s not smart to focus just on your number of fans, since the more fans you have- the more you are able to decrease their loyalty and scare them away. So opening a channel or Facebook page, means having a content and interaction strategy is mandatory.

Since these digital dictators have gathered many brands around them on Facebook that do really understand and fulfill their needs. So think again before your start. Do not disappoint them.

And as you can see in this Top 10 of Consumer Brands, Food & Drink brands are performing great on Facebook!

What About You?
Global food brands are all using social media, which brands have impressed you? Our readers might love to read your opinion in the comments below.


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