Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How to Beat Starbucks on Social Media

By: Sophie Wang (Follow me @SophieWangIMC)

It is frustrating to see big chain stores, such as Starbucks, to spend millions of dollars on advertising: magazine ad, newspaper ad, online displaying ad, Out-of-Home ad…But we have opportunity to win. Thanks to digital era, social media gives us a chance to beat them even without much marketing budget.

Find new customers  We can “steal” new customers from Starbucks’ Facebook page. One step to go: Go to find who click “like” on Starbucks Facebook and live in your local area with the open API function on Facebook. They are also your target audience! Target them by your own ads, and you can do that by a Pay-by-click and money-saving mechanism provided by Facebook. Facebook provides a section of marketing discussion, where you can find API partners.

Segment your customers Two websites can help you. Foursquare gives you direction connection with your customers. You can profile your customers with the free check-in application. Find the customers who always check in, or who check in routinely, and segment them as your loyal customers. According to
Lukas Pleva(@lpleva), sending them greetings and thank you notes through Foursquare is a good idea. Then encourage them to write reviews on Yelp to boost their return rates. For those who do not check in often but you think might be potential, you can send them incentives or promotional offers to attract them to come.

Find Collaborators Don’t forget LinkedIn. It is a very good site for you to find local collaborators, and potential business partners who might facilitate your future business. There is a function in LinkedIn that you can search people by location (zip code or address), industry, or even the schools they graduate from. There are also tons of groups on LinkedIn that you can join and meet people who have the same interests with you. For example, here is a potential group I found for you: Local Business Network.  Who says they are not your potential collaborators?

Don’t hesitate. Do it now. There is nothing more important than getting touch of our customers right away, right now.

Sophie Wang is an MS candidate in the Northwestern Medill IMC marketing program. She worked for various advertising agencies and has fluent digital marketing experience. Sophie will be graduating in December 2012. Annie can be reached on twitter using the handle @SophiewangIMC

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