Starbucks is a clear winner of having a good social strategy. In fact to Starbucks “Social” does not mean only an online strategy, it also means creating a social environment in their stores. Though the latter may be attributed to its birth place, Seattle, where most time of the year people spend time indoors, except summer months. Whatever be the reason, you feel good when you enter their stores. (not applicable to drive through folks!).
Starbucks has great Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools. However I restrict myself to their interesting initiative called “My Starbucks Idea” through which it interacts with their customers actively and solicit new product ideas and enhancement tips.
If you are reading this blog, then you are online. Please check this “My Starbucks Idea” for your own experience. Based on strategy, consumer and employee participation, feedback mechanism, improvements to existing products and ideas for new products and leadership, I rate Starbucks social initiative as number #1.
- The strategy was well thought out and the website clutter free and easy to read. The postings are classified into Product, Experience and Involvement ideas. These are very broad but distinct categories and might belong to different teams to own it internally.
- Community is incented by providing the scores / online badges. There is an inbuilt scoring mechanism managed by community in terms of likes, dislikes (negative score), votes and comments. Participants take pride in getting honors online.
- Ideas are voted up by community and best ideas move to top naturally. This is the dream of marketers and product managers – they spent lot of money to create a crystal ball to predict the consumers’ behavior towards their new product or improvement to existing product. Starbucks gets that with minimal cost and with more accuracy.
- Also the site will get the pulse of customers (what is your favorite drink?) daily through question of the day. The data collected is relevant and from their customers real time.
- 40 experienced employees from specific areas are called Idea partners and they rank the top ideas.
- Community enjoys the transparency from Starbucks about the action taken on their idea (Reviewed, under review, implemented, etc).
- Even though the improvements and suggestions are common for any coffee company, Starbucks has used internet to bring their consumers together and made them loyal to Starbucks.
- It enjoys the lead in the social media globally through active involvement.
- Through this portal Starbucks introduced new products to the market and gained more customer base.
Do you know any other company using social media effectively? Please comment below.
The screen shots below indicate a snapshot from My Starbucks Idea on 4/4/2013.