If you know anything about me, you know that I am in love with Starbucks. I’m currently typing this post sitting in Starbucks, while sipping my grande caramel iced coffee with cream. You may be silently judging me for supporting a “corporate monster” or being basic, but I can’t help but love the company, from both the coffee lover perspective, as well as from the marketer perspective. In my opinion, Starbucks is crushing the digital marketing game right now. Here’s how:
- Every person I know has the Starbucks app on their phone. The app is the company’s best asset right now. Customers can reload their card and pay for their order with their phone in seconds. They’ve mastered the fastest and easiest point of sale system without having to use Apple Pay or other similar third party technologies. The mobile order feature may have its ups and downs logistically, but more often than not, it is an extremely useful tool for customers on the go. It literally saved my life a few times this summer on the way to work when I hit the snooze 3 extra times.
- Side note: Gold Card. We all know that a loyalty program is one of the easiest marketing tools to keep customers coming back, but the Gold Card is the best I’ve seen. I’ll be the first person to tell you that I fell for it; hard. I felt like I was the créme de la créme of Starbucks customers when I got that shiny, personalized card in the mail. Now, on the app, you can whip out your digital gold card and be twice as basic and I love it.
- They utilize their social media platforms correctly. There is nothing worse than a business that doesn’t know how to use its social media platforms. Starbucks effectively uses social media to achieve its overall goals of building brand awareness and product promotion. On Twitter, Starbucks frequently tweets original content and retweets a lot from fans. Starbucks uses its Facebook page to post photos and links, as well as respond to its customers in the comments. Its Instagram only features artistic photos and leaves the promotional content in the caption. Their Pinterest features DIYs and recipes on fancy coffees and pastries. Starbucks’ Youtube features both fun videos on coffee recipes, as well informational videos on where they source their beans. They even have a LinkedIn, where they share stories and information on the more corporate side of the company. Check out 1912 Pike, the official Starbucks blog, to learn about the company’s history and more than you ever need to know about coffee! I’m not saying that Starbucks is the only company that knows how to use its social media, but I’m just pointing out that if they weren’t doing it correctly, you’d know and you’d hate them for it.
- They create unique campaigns that they know people will like. This is really how Starbucks is setting themselves apart from the rest, as far as digital marketing is concerned. They create fun, engaging campaigns that both promote the brand and make each customer feel special. Everyone loves coffee in general, so the longer Starbucks can keep a customer engaged with their brand, the better. Here are three promotions that are happening right now that customers, like me, are loving!
- Did you know that right now you can talk to The Real PSL? To promote the famous Pumpkin Spice Latte, customers can Facebook message PSL! He’s obviously just an automated ChatBot that responds to certain phrases, but it’s just for customer enjoyment and product promotion. It’s simple, yet entertaining!
- Make sure you enter your phone number to receive exclusive, early access to the PSL. All you do is enter your phone number and it texts you your very own PSL Fan Pass to show your barista at checkout!
- I’m about to win Starbucks for Life, just as soon as I melt that one last magical ice cube that completes my game piece row and then, I’ll be sipping on Starbuck’s coffee until I die. Pro tip: You get 4 free extra ice cubes when you enter your address in the link at the bottom of the page. 🙂