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.