When looking for successful case studies for social media and digital strategies, it is hard to find a better example than Starbucks. Not only did this company realise the benefits of offering free wi-fi – customers stay longer and purchase more drinks, cakes and so on – but the company also got behind Fairtrade coffee, has one of the largest fan bases on Facebook, and now plan to offer a digital network from this autumn.
The Starbucks Facebook page not only allows fans to share their thoughts on the company, it also brings timely news and offers, as well as allowing users to keep track of their Starbucks loyalty account. With over 12 million fans around the world, growing all the time, this shows an ideal way to use Facebook to leverage both brand awareness and brand loyalty.
The new Starbucks Digital Network, launching in the autumn, also (excuse the pun) bucks the trend, by offering free, although restricted, access to premium content from major content providers, including Apple and Hollywood. The breaking of the paid content model in this way is likely to prove a big win for the content providers, bringing them into close proximity with an already loyal customer base, albeit for an unrelated product to the majority of the content.
Whilst many companies can only dream of acquiring such an enormous fanbase, the lessons to be learnt from Starbucks should be applicable to the majority of companies. Quality, consistency and innovation across all of your social media marketing.