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In the advanced technological world, businesses are expected to ensure that they present their products and services provided to customers in a professional fashion. Marketing of such events is made possible through use of social media platforms, which are widely employed following the site’s capability to reach multitudes. Starbucks, ranks as one of the biggest multinationals worldwide. The beverage corporation should use social platforms to improve their sales and market the firm’s merchandise. The study purposes to outline a social media campaign plan for Starbuck detailing out the process of creating social media presence, competitive analysis of the industry, goals, and targets of social media and marketing plan as well as how the method should be implemented.
Overview of Starbucks Company and their Social Media Campaign
Starbucks is a coffee house based in the United States founded in 1971, Seattle, and Washington. The coffee house, created by Zev Siegl, Jerry Baldwin, and Gordon Bowker, now operates worldwide in a total of 23, 768 locations. Over the 46 years of its existence, Starbucks has been able to provide various luxurious coffee drinks to majority of people. The firm’s operations have made Starbucks gain a competitive advantage in the industry (Turner, & Shah, 2014). Starbucks has been employing social media platform since 2009 to advertise and communicate with potential and current customers from globally (Sisson, Sisson, Bowen, & Bowen, 2017).
Coffee takers constitute people rushing to offices, school or individuals requiring a quick drink at a convenient price. However, youths are not entirely engaged in this practice since the segment lacks the need for such beverages or have no information concerning where to access the coffee. The principle aim of the social media campaign, therefore, is aligned to ensure that people who are oblivious of information regarding types of coffee, where to get the beverages, pricing and other factors can source the same from social platforms including Facebook. The campaign purposes to promote varieties of coffee that Starbucks avails to customers. The process will be helpful to the company following acute level of competition in the industry and the exponential increase in the number of coffee shops situated in malls and along streets.
Social Media Presence
Since 2009, Starbucks has been employing social media platforms to market the firm’s products and interact with customers’ real time. The practice has enabled Starbucks to secure an extensive community that purchases their products while helping suppress threats by other coffee companies in the industry. Statistically, Starbucks has had a positive response following use of the various social media platforms inclusive of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube, among others. According to Kodish (2015), the table presents number of followers the company has in the platforms mentioned earlier.
Average Response Time to Feedback
36.7 Million Likes
10 Posts daily
Five new likes, 20 or more comments per post daily
About 20 minutes
11.9 Million Followers
20 tweets or more
50 tweets and about 250 retweets
Less than one hour
13.7 Million Followers
15 Pictures uploaded daily
About 40 comments per photo
2 hours at most
4.9 Million Followers
Five posts daily
Two comments per post or more
131.1 Thousand Subscribers
2 per month
20 comments or more per video
The level of social interaction that Starbucks has had with its customers as indicated by the table is relatively high, especially on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Moreover, it is notable that the company has adequately met needs of customers by reducing their response time to short spans since courtesy of social media, Starbucks responds to consumers almost immediately once a client raises concerns. Also, the number of Starbucks followers in various platforms is significantly high, indicating that Starbucks is actively social towards promoting social activities. The sentiments of sampled multiple followers and subscribers of the coffee shop’s social platform issued positive views, with the negative comments showing a high score on various platforms which the company has not put in more effort concerning socialization with customers (Tuten & Solomon, 2017).
o Starbucks has had a 46-year experience providing coffee to various countries at relatively low prices.
o The company started using social media platforms in the year 2009, an initiative that has given Starbucks an edge over other firms which are yet to use the social platforms.
o The rate of response for various platforms that Starbuck has is swift, indicating that the firm responds to comments, messages, and posts faster.
o Financial stability of Starbucks provide the firm with an opportunity to hire experienced employees and quality resources for coffee preparation.
o Starbucks owns various resources which have helped the firm promote their operations appropriately on the social sites.
o The coffee brand that Starbucks provide is of high quality made from within their premises, hence reducing the product prices.
o Management of the company has laid practices incorporating social media activities and campaigns that aids in product marketing.
o The firm employs workers who are qualified to deal with customers and provides clients with quality services.
o The working environment provided by Starbucks is conducive for production of customer coffee beverages.
o Employees are highly motivated through incentives, promotion, and training for better services.
o Starbucks social platforms are active. Only minor scandals have been associated with the firm.
o The record of the firm’s usage of social media platform shows some negative responses from the corporation’s customers
o The firm has failed to employ all available social platforms inclusive of LinkedIn, which has capacity to improve Starbucks social presence and competitive advantage
o Despite positive feedback on Starbucks social platforms, the firm lacks a dedicated team set aside to deal with social media presence and marketing of the company.
o Social platforms have a majority of users being youths, however, most Starbucks customers are not youth, but the older persons working in offices.
o Videos developed by the firm are not of high quality, thereby limiting number of viewers and subscribers liking them
o The company’s website, despite being mobile-responsive, is outdated with technology and hence slow.
o Starbucks can cooperate with other coffee firms such as McDonald's in promoting and sponsoring social media events, which would otherwise improve Starbucks social presence
o Notably, with the availability of Facebook Live features, it is possible for Starbucks to start having live videos when preparing their drinks at various timelines.
o There is an opportunity for Starbucks to engage in other social platforms such as LinkedIn which would provide the firm with an opportunity to raise their competitiveness.
o The company can collaborate with customers in preparing social media clips useful in the firm’s competitive advantage.
o The youth market segment is diverse, presenting an opportunity for Starbucks to embrace it as a platform to improve competitiveness and profitability.
o There is an extensive market in social platforms which Starbucks can use more aggressively to raise their sales and increase market target.
o Entry in the coffee market by any firm is easy thereby posing a threat to Starbucks. Many companies can penetrate the niche leading to suppression of Starbucks presence in the industry.
o Technological advancement indicates a threat of Starbucks failing to meet needs of their customers following lack of a dedicated team to do so while upgrading their systems.
o New website technologies have been developed, which limits and derails Starbucks website especially since the site is not inter-connected with social media platforms.
o The coffee market is broad. Starbucks faces a threat since the market can shrink following penetration by many firms engaging aggressively in strategies to meet market needs.
Based on the analysis of Starbucks competitiveness, it is evident noting that the firm is highly competitive relative to other companies in the same industry. Despite the few weaknesses and objectives which are imminent, Starbucks has the opportunity to improve on strengths for better outcomes. Starbucks can improve on various practices making the firm aggressive on social platform while promptly meeting their goals and objectives (Turban, Strauss & Lai, 2016). Opportunities presented should be linked with strengths and strategies enacted. Moreover, the company should identify the critical threats attributed to affecting Starbucks operations in social platform and measures set in place to eliminate them. Through such strategies, Starbucks would be in a position to raise its competitive advantage, improve social presence and increase customer base.
Goals and Strategy of the Social Marketing Plan
Based on analysis of Starbuck’s social media campaign platforms, it is imperative that various goals be set to aid the firm in meeting laid strategic objectives. The goals as enumerated:
Generate new and concise ideas to involve youth in social platforms.
Strengthen firm’s social media presence through having a dedicated team.
Improve firm’s website and optimize search engines.
Integrate measures to meet and exceed needs of the customers.
In the process of meeting above goals, it is imperative for Starbucks Company to involve social marketing strategies. According to Schivinski, and Dabrowski (2016), social media campaign is set to ensure that customers have a reliable means of obtaining information concerning a product that a firm provides. Therefore, strategies set must incorporate various activities to improve overall interactions while raising awareness of the firm’s products and activities. In this regard, the following activities must be done:
Social engagement is critical when developing a firm’s presence on identified media platforms. Poon, Lam, and Moon, (2017) assert that the company may need to foster proactive interaction with the community in the said platforms to understand and meet their needs. Starbucks should make posts from social platforms on daily occasions to aid in engagements with potential and current consumers.
According to Ngai, Moon, Lam, Chin and Tao, (2015), customer’s needs are essential for a company to consider. Therefore, Starbucks should list their customers through posts provided on social media sites. Having a dedicated team that deals with social sites is necessary to ensure that views, concerns and customer recommendations are aptly noted and addressed.
The influence of a company on social media sites is imminent in improving the firm’s overall score, target market, and competitiveness. It is vital for Starbucks to effect strategies that are influential towards acquiring comprehensive target market. For instance, creating empowerment videos and posting them on various social sites constitute the strategies that can aid in influencing youth and the online community towards effecting better health practices while creating a proactive presence for the company in the sites.
Promotional activities such as giving free coffee to individuals who answer some questions regarding the company improves the level of engagement and motivates customers to become reliable thereby enabling clients connect with the company aptly.
Sponsorship occur in various forms. Starbucks should sponsor various activities which the social platforms support. Sponsoring such activities helps ensure that online community reaps benefit provided by company to customers.
Connecting with customers improves the relationship between clients and the firm, thereby providing a sound interaction that increases product purchases and quality of delivery of services.
Target Market Section for the Social Media Plan
Various segments that Starbucks offers their services to, continuously supports and purchases products provided by the firm. However, there exists a need to understand that youth provide a broad market for products which the company offers. As such, the target market for Starbucks in the social media campaign would comprise students, trainees, and office workers. Drinking coffee is considered as an approach to remaining active since the drink contains chemicals that improve concentration and span activity (Kohli, Suri, & Kapoor, 2015). As such, the coffee shop customers are individuals said to be either busy during the day or clients who may not have enough sleep during the night following various reasons. Therefore, students and other youth constitute potential markets which the company should embrace. The market harbors personnel including students making up to 40% of the total world population. The niche should not be confined within United States, but also to various other countries that Starbucks avail products and services. The platforms to be employed in this process include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+. The sites are chosen following the wide variety of individuals using them at any period considering that Starbucks Company has employed such it in the firm’s previous practices.
Implementation of the Plan
According to King, O’rourke, and DeLongis, (2014), implementation process entailing integration of social media platform campaigns and strategic goals set for the company should ensure that the chosen platforms are consistent and provides efficacious results for the firm. In the process of executing the plan, Starbucks management is expected to enact measures to eliminate practices that may prevent realization of the plan’s positive outcomes. Moreover, the company should avail required resources including computers, human resource and the workplace for such activities. As the firm grows, Starbucks should maintain the quality of content posted on these platforms to improve customer’s reach.
Monitoring, tuning, returns on investment and budgeting
The process of monitoring social media campaign benefits and demerits will enshrine wide array of practices. Each media will be tracked by specialized software used to examine positive growth in social sites, measures growth factors and recommend practices to improve the same. Similarly, questioning random customers will help in understanding the standing of social platforms belonging to Starbucks and measures to incorporate in improving the initiative. Training is required for employees responsible for the social platforms. Each should be educated on appropriate approaches to use when interacting with customers, ways to create creative content regarding site development and practices to indulge in solely to eliminate likelihood of unsatisfied customers.
The budget for the proposed social media campaign is as follows.
Multi Media Content Specialist
Content Management Platform
Editing and Content Creation Manager
Social Media Analyst
Mobile App Creation
Notably, with the high investment, the firm would gain a minimum of 27% increase in profit margins, following the high returns on investment.
Starbucks is seen to have various opportunities which the firm can utilize in development of organization’s competitive advantage towards meeting customer needs. Notably, since the firm started employing the social media platforms, it is evident that Starbucks have gained broadened customer base and improved corporation’s connection with customers. However, the company should suppress threats arising following market penetration by startup firms offering similar products to ones offered by apple. Moreover, Starbucks should work on available opportunities to help the firm improve strengths for a sustainable future.
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