Judging by the enormous line I waited in to get my Skinny Vanilla Latte this morning, it is safe to say that people LOVE their Starbucks drinks! But when you take a moment to analyze just how genius Starbucks’ marketing is - you’ll start to appreciate the company too. At Casey & Sayre, we specialize in generating buzz and publicity. So, it is easy to spot others who excel in this!
Here are 3 social media tactics that Starbucks cleverly uses to get completely free publicity.
Create “Postable” Moments
Have you ever gone into Starbucks and had them spell your name in a completely crazy way on your cup? What if I told you that’s on purpose!? Starbucks creates these postable moments by instructing its baristas to spell names like “Aaron” on cups like “Air Inn”. The intention is to make the customer laugh and take a picture of the cup to post it. Boom! Free advertising.
Build Context for Hashtags
Remember two weeks ago I talked about #RedCups? Having a playful secret red cup emoji pop up when you tweet about your drink makes it fun and special to post about Starbucks. And who could forget using #PSL all fall while drinking their pumpkin spice lattes. Starbucks makes you WANT to post about them by creating additional context around your coffee experience!
Stir Up Your Own Buzz
Starbucks knows that people look forward to the reveal of its Holiday cups every year. And this year, the decision to make the cups plain red has caused quite the stir. But many blogs are now suggesting that Starbucks initiated and ignited the “story” that there were people UPSET about its plain cups. And if so, it worked! This simple move got the plain Starbucks cup talked about by just about everyone. Big names like Ellen, Conan, Demi Lovato and even Donald Trump weighed in. They say no press is bad press, so this is the type of free publicity that most brands dream of.
So, is Starbucks genius or just popular? Have you experienced one of these tactics? Wonder how Starbucks would misspell Social Media Diva!? "So Shall Me Diadiva"? "Soshil Mydya Dyveh"? Haha, no matter, it would surely make a #postable moment!