How Starbucks Supports Social Change on Instagram

In Lifestyle, Social Media by UFSocial Staff

by UFSocial contributor Mackenzie Puryear

By now it should be clear for all businesses that linking social media efforts to concrete business objectives is absolutely crucial in aligning and developing a successful social media business approach. A business cannot build a successful social media strategy without first having tangible business objectives in place.

Starbucks, for example, has several clear business objectives beyond making a profit. The brand is also well-known for being green and making large efforts in sustainability. It is a brand that supports global social change and acknowledges the responsibilities that come with it. Here are their goals:

  • Making coffee the world’s first sustainable product by doing our part to improve the lives of at least One Million people in coffee communities around the world
  • building and operating the world’s largest green retail business
  • creating pathways to employment for 1 million people
  • strengthening communities by welcoming all and creating impact on issues that matter

Starbucks main target audience is obviously coffee drinkers and enthusiasts, but also other sustainability/social change supporters as well.  Starbucks uses social media to attract new customers and cultivate relationships with existing, loyal customers.

Instagram is perhaps their most effective channel, in that the pictures they post are aimed at being inspiring, vibrant, and artistic. Each post also reflects their goals.

Consider this post thanking customers for helping create jobs for veterans:

Or this vibrant photo in support of Pride Month:

Thankful. Inspired. Proud. 💚 #LoveisLove #PrideMonth #Pride2017

A post shared by Starbucks Coffee ☕ (@starbucks) on

Starbucks also makes sure to acknowledge and support nature (sustainability theme) on their Instagram:

Nature has spoken. 🌿 #CaffeVerona Regram: @thistle.harvest

A post shared by Starbucks Coffee ☕ (@starbucks) on

But, a brand cannot simply make a Facebook or Instagram account and think their job on social media to be over. It is something that has to be worked on and customized on a daily basis to stay relevant to the consumer base.

Starbucks understands this and does a great job of carrying it out across all of its social media accounts.

For example, Starbucks engages with customers through offering specials:

Or by encouraging customers to draw a new Starbucks “spring” cup and posting it (and tagging the artist) on Instagram:

Creating continuity between business and social media objectives is vital when building a marketing strategy. Starbucks does an excellent job of linking social media posts to their business objectives.  Not only does the coffee company have a clear set of business goals, but they also make sure their social media accounts are a clear reflection of such goals.

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