Starbucks: Effective Use of Social Media Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Starbucks: Effective Use of Social Media Case Study Solution 

Company’s Overview:

Starbucks has become one of the top 12 coffee companies in the world. Starbucks is an American coffee company which has established many coffee shops all around the world. Starbucks has been able to occupy a significant position in the coffee market through the use of effective social media.


Bryan Kramer is a businessman and CEO of the company Purematter, who runs a social media agency in which it provides the services to other companies for running advertisement and promotions through the use of social media. Bryan Kramer wrote several books regarding the use of effective social media by which a company gains an advantage. One of his famous books was “Shareology: How sharing is powering the human economy”. In this book, he explains the factors for increasing the effectiveness of social media outreach. Many of the recognized corporations have used these factors which are mentioned in the book for effective use of social media. Most of the factors in which he mentions in his book in each of the chapters of “Shareology” are:

  • Social listening
  • Voice and tone
  • Timing
  • Creating connections and conversations
  • And among few others.

Starbucks social media Outreach:

Starbucks has been ranked among the top 12 coffee shops in the world mainly because of the active use of social media. The analysis of Starbucks social media outreach done through relating by the Kramer’s content on Shareology. The factors that impacts the Starbucks effectiveness of the social media outreach are explained below.

Social Listening:

Social listening is one of the tools used for the two-way communication with the customers by the use of social media.Listening is essential to get their feedback in coming up with an effective strategy. The processes for social listening are by identifying the audience, create a listening strategy, choose your technology, appointing a social media expert for listening, and for creating a response strategy and be accountable.

Starbucks has used this social listening tool by identifying the audience who are adults, young adults and teens in which they are able to get hold of them through Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms. The social listening strategy for Starbucks is that they conduct various campaigns such as meet me at Starbucks, Pumpkin Spice Latte and the well-known campaign by Frappuccino Happy hour. Starbucks even made a blog in which took the initiative of voting to get a better feedback from the customers.

Voice and Tone:

The voice refers to the brand image of the company while the tone is the factors which enhance the brand image such as product, situation or channel. Since Starbucks occupies a great position in the market, the voice of Starbucks is strong among the other competitors. Starbucks is having a good voice in the social media as it uses its tone to enhance its brand image. The tone it uses is by hosting events or programs, campaign ads or offering halfprice products to the people who are connected with social media.

Starbucks Effective Use of Social Media Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


The timing is everything in creating effective social media outreach as it is critical for knowing what to say and when to say it. Starbucks has used its social media strategies effectively by posting contents on proper timing. Starbucks has run various campaign ads on special occupations in attracting more customers such as in Valentine’s Day, Christmas, winter season, labour days and etc. One of the well-known timing campaigns of Starbucks is the Frappuccino Happy hour in which it offers the Frappuccino athalf price in the month of May each year. As Frappuccino is a summer beverage and is highly sold during the summers.

Delivering Value:

It is essential that whatever content is posted in the social media must be delivering value to the customers. Starbucks is using social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest and among others to create awareness in the market. They have run various campaign ads and other promotional activities to deliver the desired value to the customer. Starbucks uses t`he social media management tools for monitoring and taking effective social media decisions such as Buffer, Hoot suite and Every post.

Providing a Sensory Experience:

The future of the social media mostly relies on the sensory experience in the success of the company on their social media strategies. There is a five sensory experience as explained by Bryan Kramerinhis book ‘Shareology’. The five senses are watched, listen, talk, learn and influence in the social future. Starbucks uses different social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest and others for providing such sensory experience. They share videos on YouTube channels for creating awareness, providing customer services to the people to listen and talk to them. For learning the mistakes, it has been doing on the social media, they use social media management tools and take feedback from their customers for learning and improving. For influencing the people, they use campaign ads and promotion activities on the social media channels to influence the people in buying the product...................

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