Why Starbucks Has Mastered the Art of Online Brand Management

I set up Google Alerts for Starbucks.

I think for Starbucks, there are several keywords that need to be managed: scandal, sugar, holiday drinks. I used Google to search for these keywords, and the results are as follows:

The daughter of police chief in the Starbucks cup scandal denounces him: ‘He is absolutely a pig’.

Festive Starbucks drinks revealed to contain up to 23 teaspoons of sugar in a new survey.

Starbucks releases a new cold brew drink for the holidays.

Is it right or wrong for a business to try to hide negative information online?

In fact, I think every company has tried to hide negative information on the Internet. If I’m the CEO of Starbucks, I certainly don’t want my company’s scandal to be exposed because it will seriously affect the company’s reputation and performance. I dare say that no company will succeed without the trust of consumers. However, on the moral level, enterprises should not try to hide negative information online because it is a deception for consumers. Of course, in today’s era of information transparency, it is difficult for companies to hide negative information. In general, enterprises should take responsibility honestly rather than avoid it.

With 36 million Facebook likes and 10 million Twitter followers, Starbucks has clearly mastered the art of social media. It’s also translated social fans into real revenue: The company’s famous Tweet-a-Coffee Twitter campaign, for instance, generated $180,000 in direct sales in less than a month.

Starbucks, of course, has an entire team of social media strategists working round the clock. There is, however, a lesser-known secret to its success: Its own employees do lots of tweeting and posting themselves. A unique employee advocacy program actively encourages staff to share updates about the brand on their own social media accounts.

From what I see Starbucks is certainly doing quite well with the resonance thing, with most promoted tweets being Re-tweeted by the hundreds. No doubt, Starbucks Has Mastered the Art of Online Brand Management.


Figure 2f from: Irimia R, Gottschling M (2019) Taxonomic revision of Rochefortia Sw. (Ehretiaceae, Boraginales). Biodiversity Data Journal 4: e7720. https://doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.4.e7720. (n.d.). doi: 10.3897/bdj.4.e7720.figure2fHolmes, R. (2019, November 6). How To Turn Your Entire Staff Into A Social Media Army. Retrieved from https://www.fastcompany.com/3053233/how-to-turn-your-entire-staff-into-a-social-media-army.

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