The Election, Starbucks and Social Media Marketing

Starbucks logoImage via Wikipedia

What if we all cared enough to vote?

Starbucks ran this killer ad during this past week’s Saturday Night Live. So good, it made me stop the DVR and watch. The spot was cool, but what I found most interesting was their excellent tie-in and use of social media to compliment their overall campaign – which, from what I can tell, looks to be a huge success. Free always seems to work, and driving traffic into Starbucks stores, at a time when they really, really need some love, is huge and will surely generate sales and, maybe more importantly, longer term goodwill.

First their selection of mass media was spot-on. Running the ad in the most politically hip arena, Saturday Night Live, seems to have worked well for their brand and their audience. Then to get real follow on the social media machine went to work.

Here are the social media results as of 11.3.08:

Facebook: Starbucks set up a straightforward Facebook event that looks to be created and administrated by someone inside the company. I am betting this is about an hour investment of their time – max. And…they have garnered 423,792 invitations from people on Facebook just forwarding it around to their friends. Also, 164,883 people have said they will attend with most of the rest still awaiting response. There is also 13,187 wall posts and tons of pictures, etc. That is pretty heavy duty work for a social media campaign – driving a ton of traffic to them on FB – which also has other things for people to do, like see the commercial, participate in the “My Starbucks Idea” section and more. I would love to see their web stats today. If you are on Facebook check it out here.

Twitter: There are 8,022 people following Starbucks on Twitter. That is big given the total audience for this fairly new micro blogging/social media site. There is a lot of conversation back and forth from the company and it looks very engaging. Some interesting posts from the company like this one: “IMPORTANT: To ensure that we are in compliance with election law, we are extending our offer to all customers who request a tall brewed drip.”

Youtube: 187,135 views on Youtube. That makes it the fourth largest watched video of the day. Again, huge numbers. And the number 3 video is of the Tina Fey, John McCain SNL sketch…nice tie in.

Kudos to Starbucks. I think they are creating good will and some new friends. If this campaign doesn’t point out the effectiveness of integrating mediums and how to use social media for marketing I don’t know what does.


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