Posted July 15, 2010 7:38 am by with 6 comments

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starbucks-facebookWhat do Family Guy, Lady Gaga and President Obama have in common? They’re three of just a handful of Facebook fan pages with more fans than Starbucks. The coffee giant has just crossed the 10 million mark making them the most popular brand on Facebook, beating out Coca-Cola by several million.

What’s the secret to their success? Media Post News says it’s a steady stream of promotions.

“Last July, it added 200,000 fans in one week through its Free Pastry Day promo, allowing fans to print out coupons for complimentary confections with a beverage purchase.

More recently, it used Facebook to run a “Taste Challenge” tied to the rollout of its VIA instant coffee, offering participants a free brewed coffee on their next visit and a $1 off a VIA purchase.”

In addition to promo deals, Starbucks uses their Facebook wall to engage fans with topical discussions (World Cup!) and promoting their environmental interests such as their recent decision to add composting bins to some stores. All of these combined give fans a feeling that Starbucks cares about them as people, not just as potential customers. This is also evident in the fact that they allow fans to post to their wall, which I imagine is carefully monitored.

When it comes to leveraging an audience on Facebook, Starbucks has mastered that fine art of making their fans feel special. They offer coupons and deals and if you take a picture of your baby with a Starbucks cup in his hand, they’ll post that for all to see. Starbucks is so popular that a woman became a fan of the page then posted, “Too bad I don’t drink coffee anymore.”

Kind of like the vegan friending the Jimmy Dean Sausage page. Now that’s brand loyalty.

  • swag

    You do realize that Starbucks pays a marketing promotion fee to acquire fans, right? It doesn’t sound like it.

    Facebook fan “payola” is well known is marketing circles as one of their revenue programs. I’ve worked for start-ups that have paid for it.

    To act as if it simply does not exist, and that fan counts are not influenced by marketing spend, is irresponsible.

    • Cynthia Boris

      If you follow the link back to the source story, they do reference Engagement Ads and other means of driving traffic to the site, so yes, I understand that there are a number of factors involved. But as I look around at what everyone had to say about the subject the idea of fan social interaction and promos kept coming up so that was the focus of my piece.

      There’s no question that offering a good deal on a popular product increases interest, it’s the basis of all couponing.

  • It is no strange that Starbucks get the prize. I hope I can have a business which will become famous.

  • If you consider Facebook a brand too, then it has more fans than Starbucks. Yeah, it sounds silly to have an inner loop of a Facebook page within Facebook, but it has 12 million fans (not necessarily users). It has more than that…120 million in the US, and 400 globally ->

  • Check out Fan Page List to see a complete list of brands. Facebook is #1 and Starbucks #2:

  • This is a great article to promote, exactly how businesses can promote themselves on Facebook, connecting with an audience but also utalising promotions not only to generate more sales but to gain more followers on facebook, genius!