Starbucks Tweet a Coffee

Launched on October 28, Starbuck’s innovative Tweet-A-Coffee campaign has changed the way people think of marketing and Public Relations forever. Twitter has long been considered a place to connect with influential people in one’s own niche, but never before was it used for direct response marketing on this level. According to sources, CEO of 5WPR Ronn Torossian said that the campaign generated around $180,000 in purchases for the coffee company.

What the campaign allowed users to do was to give their friends a $5 gift card by tweeting “@tweetacoffee” and their friend’s handle. However, users had to have a Starbucks account with a valid credit card. They would like this account to Twitter, allowing them to make purchases quickly and easily. Besides generating sales, this had a secondary effect: the company can now access those user’s Klout scores and find out what they’re interested in to help gear future marketing campaigns more towards their target demographic.

More than 54,000 people participated in the campaign. Users enjoyed the ability to thank someone for their advice, and many large influencers in the social media world found themselves almost drowning under the barrage of gift cards they received. Besides the simple fact of making sales, this campaign also held an implicit recommendation by anyone who participated. Starbucks was able to create at least 54,000 brand evangelists through the campaign with minimal effort; experts suspect the campaign took very little income to start, and that it paid for itself many times over. Starbucks officials did not officially comment on the costs, however, so much of this is just speculation.

Starbucks PR & Marketing

So what does this mean for the future of marketing? More companies will likely try to connect with their customers on more than just a cursory basis using Twitter. Targeted, sponsored advertisements are already beginning to appear on the social networking platform, but as more and more companies pick up on the importance of being connected, it’s likely that the world will see an increase in the number of promotions.

Social media managers are becoming increasingly popular in major corporations, and some companies are going as far as hiring entire teams of people whose entire job is to reply to tweets all day long. American Airlines is just one of many examples; their social media team has been the focus of a lot of controversy lately, demonstrating the risks of going public with communications. It’s still too early to say which way marketing will go, but it looks to be in a much more social direction.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.