starbucksMashable posted an article “6 Ways Brands are Using Social Media For Real-World Action” and I want to highlight the section on Starbucks because they are doing a variety of interesting things with social media these days.

Not only are they participating in various social media services, creating mobile applications (mobiles are great social media devices), but they have their own service to gather ideas and listen to customers. My guess is that they’ve really thought through their social media strategy and it is aligned with their overall marketing strategy. I’d like to see how they internally analyze, listen, and gain deeper insights into customers based on all of these efforts.

Starbucks has created a loyal audience of coffee fanatics and continues to cultivate this group through a series of social media initiatives. These campaigns are driving fans from the web to the stores while empowering them to shape and improve the brand.

On Facebook and Twitter, Starbucks has built a fan base of 7+ million and motivated this audience to visit its stores and make purchases by offering downloadable vouchers for items like free food or music with purchase.

Another way the brand is leveraging social media is through its forum,, where customers make suggestions, ask questions, vote, and get behind-the-scenes scoops on the brand. Thus far, the company has implemented 70 user-provided ideas.

For mobile audiences, Starbucks operates two iPhone apps and is currently examining ways to enable customers to interact and pay through their iPhones.



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