Have you ever thought that you can advertise for free in an era that everyone is spending their money in a digital ad? Sure you can if you have different creative ideas and comprehensive planning to build your social media presence.
All business owners have digital marketing in the back of their minds. They know that this is an approach they have to adopt in order to promote their brands, products and services.
However, the cost of digital marketing is increasing as competition has intensified in the digital realm. Over the past few years, a business owner would need to spend double or triple their original budget just to achieve the same results.
A study revealed worldwide that digital ad spending will rise by 17.6% to USD333.25 billion this year. That means, for the first time, digital marketing will account for roughly half of the global ad market.
Digital marketing is a now need for any business wanting to succeed, but it’s also cash-intensive operation if a business owner spends the money blindly without a marketing plan or creative ideas.
On the upside, they can get free advertising if they know how to monetise their social networks correctly. The question is how to build a social media presence so that you can advertise for free.
Starbucks: Brewing A Strong Social Media Presence
Starbucks is a good example. The coffee giant has been hugely successful on social media, attracting tens of millions of fans and followers and is one of the most popular brands on Facebook.
Here are a few of the eye-popping Starbucks social media statistics:
- 36.91 million Facebook likes
- 11.4 million Twitter followers
- 17.9 million Instagram fans
- 224K YouTube subscribers
Starbucks has a big brand presence online. Not because they have millions of dollars for marketing and advertising, which they do have, but because they are one of the most engaging companies online. If you’re a fan of Starbucks coffee, and a bit Internet savvy, then chances are you have come across one of it not all of Starbucks’ social media pages. Here are the 5 strategies of how Starbucks get free advertising with its social media presence.
Writing Its Customer’s Name On Coffee Cup
What makes Starbucks different from other coffee chains? It’s all about their marketing strategies. One of their best marketing ideas is to make their baristas is to take your name when ordering at the counter.
Is it just for the convenience of their baristas not forgetting your order? Probably. But it’s certainly not the only reason.
The purpose of this idea is very simple. Starbucks wants its customers to feel a sense of belonging. When customers write their names on a cup of coffee, it is not just a normal coffee, but a cup of coffee owned by “Jason”, “Jennifer” or “Amy”. That gives its customers a strong connection with the product and brand.
This sense of ownership, called psychological ownership, frequently leads to positive outcomes for marketers, such as increased word-of-mouth intentions and willingness to pay more for a product.
So, what do most Starbucks’ customers normally do after they’ve bought a cup of coffee? They snap photos and share it to their social media channels.
You’ll find over 30 taggings when you search for Starbucks on Instagram. One of the most popular taggings is #starbucks which was tagged in 34.5 million posts!
Misspelling Your Name On Purpose
Many people have experienced this. You’re standing in line at Starbucks, given the barista your order and name, waited patiently for your drink and then received an unpleasant surprise at the counter.
“The barista has spelt your name wrong!”
Think about it. Starbucks is the largest coffee chain in the world, but millions of people all around the globe have their names misspelt on cups of Starbucks coffee every year. But, how did the customers react to the “mistakes”?
Most rarely get angry. Instead, they found it interesting! They might snap a shot of their cups with the caption “Lol why can’t @Starbucks ever spell my name right!”. Then they share it on their social media channels.
For Starbucks, that’s mission accomplished! That’s right! The company is getting 100% free advertising for years from spelling your name wrong on purpose!
How much free advertising has Starbucks gotten from their barista’s incorrect spelling? It’s a lot more than what you’re thinking right now.
People not only tweet it, but some Starbucks lovers have also built communities on social media just to share their experiences with images showing how the baristas spelt their name wrong. For example, there is a community on Facebook called “What’s Your Starbucks Name?”.
The same thing is happening on Instagram, with more than 10 hashtags created just for “Starbucks Wrong Name”!
And that’s just one reason Starbucks became the premier giant in the coffee industry!
Create a Fandom
Starbucks is more than just coffee. What’s more, they have a fan culture of their own.
By launching an exclusive product that is offered during a specific time frame, season or holiday, they build hype around their products that keep their audience talking.
Well, not just that. Starbucks know their customers love taking photos with the iconic Starbucks’ coffees, so they offer a variety of different mugs and tumblers for people to drink coffee and tea at home and of course, have many instagrammable moments with them.
Starbucks has been extremely successful in building momentum around their merchandise collection on social media.
Be it their collection of mugs, tumblers, member cards or event planner, Starbucks has been successful on social media by aligning its marketing efforts with its core brand strategy of building a strong brand identity with a loyal customer base.
Engage With Community Constantly To Grow Their Social Media Presence
Starbucks was found to be the most social media engaged brand out of the World’s top 100 most valuable brands. How they do that?
Starbucks updates their social media channel constantly. In fact, if you look at their Facebook page, you’ll rarely see a post of promoting their products. The majority of the posts are sharing the stories of their partners and baristas, and more importantly, sharing the experiences of their followers, and it has only helped them grow their account.
The same strategy goes to their Twitter account. The brand does a great job of showcasing their followers by retweeting them and interacting with them. They use the featured tweets function to highlight their customer’s messages. Their relatable tone of voice and sense of humour makes their tweets a fan favourite.
The strategy they adopting on their social media channels has built engagement with their community closely.
Other than that, Starbucks also created an online community, where fans and friends can come to share their comments, pictures, stories and insider news to everyone who enjoys Starbucks. As a result, Starbucks has made its social media presence fruitful and achieve better sales.
Photogenic Starbucks Outlets
Starbucks is rapidly expanding into Asia, such as China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Starbucks has a very unique approach to Asia as the diversity which lies within the area requires the adoption of a localised strategy that still reflects a global image of the brand.
You could read the sentiment as just another one of the company’s plans for worldwide caffeine domination, but the intense customisation of stores is actually an ongoing effort to make the Starbucks brand a little less brandy.
So how do they do that? The answer is a unique design.
For example, Starbucks Coffee Japan has developed unique store designs that incorporate elements of traditional culture and history. This approach has done much to make the brand stand out, turning Starbucks into a “third place” for many customers between their homes and workplaces.
Starbucks Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Chaya is a 100-year-old traditional house converted into a coffee shop.
Another example is Hong Kong. Starbucks adapts to the local taste and revives traditional local cafe into a unique coffee outlet.
Hong Kong Bing Sutt Style Themed Starbucks
The strong characteristic of local culture and history have made these outlets become famous tourist destinations. These outlets have gone viral through the internet as caffeine lovers and visitors will snap and share pictures on their social media channels.
Key Takeaway: Growing An Active And Engaged Online Community To Get Free advertising
Most businesses don’t want to spend the time reaching out and creating a real online personality. Instead, they would rather just push out content or advertisement to their consumers, this is meaningless and gets very little to no response.
Companies need to take a look at how Starbucks, along with some other big name brands like Coke and Disney are building and engaging with their online communities. They’re building strong social media presence to get more chances to get free advertising.
These brands have provided value to their fans rather than slapping advertisements on Twitter and hoping for the best. Social Media marketing will not work for you if you don’t take the time to provide real value. Engage with your fans on a daily basis. Social Media is all about building a following that wants to engage with you on a regular basis.