A Sysomos Snapshot: Starbucks Embraces Social Media

As consumers tighten their belts these days, they may not be drinking less coffee but Starbucks is discovering they may not spending as much to get a caffeine fix.

To encourage more people to visit a Starbucks, the coffee chain recently unveiled a new advertising campaign. The campaign, happening at a time when McDonald’s is spending $100-million to promote its new line-up of McCafe coffee drinks, saw Starbucks use outdoor posters in six major U.S. cities – San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Washington, Boston and New York.

To bring social media into the mix, Starbucks ran a contest in which it is encouraged people to post photos of its posters on Twitter using the hashtag #top3percent.

For more insight into why Starbucks has launched the campaign, the company has put together a behind-the-scenes video featuring CEO Howard Schultz.

To get a sense of how well the news of the Starbucks’ campaign is resonating within the social media universe, we did a query using “Starbucks and Twitter”. What we discovered is the the campaign has been well-received.

In particular, social media participants in New York were very engaged with the campaign and extremely positive about it. This may have to due with the fact New York is a major advertising market so Starbucks attracted a lot of attention for unveiling a major campaign, particularly because Starbucks has now launched a campaign of a this magnitude recently.

So far, the tone of the conversations about the campaign is overwhelmingly favorable with 48% regarding it as positive, 43% as neutral and only 9% as negative.

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As far as where the conversations are happening, 67.2% have taken place in the U.S. with the most activity in California (20%), New York (12.3%), Illinois (12.3%), Massachusetts (7.6), Pennsylvania (7.6%) and Texas (6.1%).

The Buzzgraph shows the most active keywords within all the conversations happening. The strongest links are between “coffee” and “tweet”, “coffee” and “facebook”, and “coffee” and BBDO”. Obviously, the contest being run on Twitter is attracting a lot of attention. As well, the talk about Facebook likely has to do with the fact Starbucks has 1.5 million fans on Facebook – and 185,000 followers on Twitter. BBDO, meanwhile, is the advertising agency that created the Starbucks’ campaign.

From a demographics perspective, the most conversations (60%) are being created by people who are 21-to-35-years-old, while 22.5% have been created by people under 20-years-old.

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Males account for 60% of the participants, and females 40%

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We also did a query looking at “Starbucks” and “Twitter” in the six cities where Starbucks has put up the advertising posters: Seattle (where Starbucks was started), New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and Washington.

The most buzz is coming from New York (40.3%), Chicago (18.1%) and San Francisco (15.8%). New York and Chicago are most active advertising markets, which may account for some of the social media activity.

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New York (on the far right) also ranked as the most positive about the Starbucks’ campaign with an impressive 99% positive or neutral sentiment.

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