Howard Schultz Founder of Starbucks on Social Media

Howard Schultz CEO/ Founder of Starbucks on Social MediaHoward Schultz CEO/ Founder of Starbucks on Social Media
the mistake firms make is using these channels to try and sell stuff” >

What a great ‘business tip for the age’ quote from the No:1 brand on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, well according to Howard Schultz quoted in a Sunday Times interview on the 15th May. As for being No:1, he is probably right for Facebook at least, who use always using the statistic in their presentations that Starbucks has only 1 million people signed up on their website but 14 million on their Facebook site (UK statistics only).

Howard Shultz goes onto say that “these channels are not designed for that (selling stuff) but to add value and build trust. We understood that from day 1”.
The Mistake firms make is using these channels to try and sell stuff

I have created above graphic which marketers can print out and stick on their walls, also all advertising companies, indeed even CEO’s, so that they think about this every time they think about social.

Many marketers are just looking at social channels as another ONE WAY sales channel like email or direct mail, and forget these channels are about people communicating with each other “being social” a natural human need, where a 2 way dialogue is required.

That dialogue might lead to a sale for example; a community manager monitoring online conversations, adds value to someone looking for answers or products in a specific area, or a customer offers suggestions (mystarbucksidea of course) to a brand from improvements (because they can) and thereby building their loyalty towards that brand, or someone complaining or asking questions on Twitter and being responded to, making the consumer feel like they are being listened to, building that trust.

But the simple beauty of Schultz’s comment is that as the No:1 brand for coffee shops worldwide and the No:1 brand on social media, he is speaking with real “wake up and smell the coffee” authority.

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About Bob Barker

Bob is an innovative marketer with 25 years in technology marketing across all disciplines in small and large brands. A regular commentator on social business and digital marketing his passion is for unlocking the digital potential of both firms and their people.