Starbucks outshines Coke for Facebook fans

Are you all a-twitter about how to best use social networking sites to gain favor with fans for your product? Are you worried that your brand isn't socially engaging? Grab a coffee and spend some time looking at Starbucks social networking endeavor. With more 3.6 million fans, Starbucks recently blew past Coca-Cola to become the most popular brand on Facebook, gaining nearly 200,000 fans in just one week by using popular promotions, statistics from Inside Facebook.

Starbucks achieved this feat by combining an engaging Facebook page, effective ads on that page, and numerous free-food giveaway promotions that resonated with fans, the analysis said. These tactics enabled Starbucks to pick up almost 200,000 Facebook fans during the week of July 19, 2009.

A detailed examination of Starbucks fan trends showed several spikes in the number of new fans between July 18 and July 21, when the company was running a free pastry giveaway. Fans who printed out a coupon could redeem a free pastry with the purchase of any beverage.

Earlier in July, Starbucks gave away free ice cream through its Facebook application. In May, the company put up new advertising posters is six cities, asking people to spot them, take photos, and post them on Twitter. These promotions were follow-ups to an election-day promotion last fall that offered free coffee to voters.

A recent report from Wetpaint and the Altimeter Group rated Starbucks as the #1 most socially engaged brand, and suggested that such social media efforts are helping the company's bottom line.

This popularity of Starbucks giveaways is consistent with a general fervor for food coupons, especially during the recession. Research from RetailMeNot showed that food items remain among the most downloaded online coupons, and Mobilize Systems revealed that mobile phone users would like to see more coupons for snack foods.

The data also tracks with anecdotal reports that consumers support the Starbucks brand, but find the products too pricey during the recession. This explains, in part, why food giveaways and coupons have the appeal they do.

Sources: MC Marketing Charts/Facebook

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.