This post is part four of a series on optimizing social content. Read the intro post, and check out the previous posts on Nike Women and Nordstrom.

Last but not least, we take a huge brand and talk about how it keeps it real in the social space. Grab a Frappuccino and read on…


Everyone’s favorite social channel is Starbucks, but few people can tell you why. I love Starbucks, and I love Starbucks’ social media…and I’m here to tell you why.

Why I love Starbucks

I love its product, and I appreciate and expect consistency from my coffee. If I order at a Starbucks close to work, on the other side of Kansas City, or the other side of the country, I know that my drink is going to be the same. And I love that. Because of this, I consider myself a brand advocate – not only do I love Starbucks, but I want people to know it.

Why I love Starbucks’ social media

What Starbucks has found a way to do that many brands still struggle with is to take that advocacy, take the behavior that’s already happening (sharing photos), and throwing itself into the equation (and actually seeing results). Starbucks generates one of the largest pools of user-generated content of any brand. How does it do it? Brand advocacy. And what does it do with it? Starbucks uses it on its own channels.

In leading by example through its social channels, Starbucks has successfully created a behavior with followers where there’s a ton of content being uploaded daily using #starbucks. From the White Cup Contest to the Red Cup Contest, the brand is constantly inspiring fans to find new ways to show how Starbucks is part of their everyday lives.


By creating a consistent look and feel to its page through select usage of filters and content, there’s a seamless flow between Starbucks-created and user-generated content.




When a brand shares moments that feel real, it’s easier to picture yourself in those moments.


Similar to Nordstrom, Starbucks will use the same image across different channels, but it makes sure to mix up the messaging and optimize the image for the space.


Part of being great at social goes back to the why. Why would a brand like Starbucks be on Pinterest? When Starbucks asked itself this question, it realized the answer was clear — it shouldn’t. It’s important to know where your brand does and doesn’t fit. To try to force something to work will likely do more harm than good and will easily be a waste of time and resources.


By now I’m sure you’re starting to see some patterns in what makes executions in individual channels successful, and it really comes back to a few key takeaways:

  • Create content for a channel, not just for social
  • Pay attention to what’s happening in the channel
  • Show how your product fits into people’s lives
  • Be consistent – you’ll stand out when you’re not
  • Listen to your fans, and give them what they want
  • Ask why you should be in a channel (and if you shouldn’t, don’t)

What are some of your favorite brands on social, and why? What makes you want to follow or unfollow one of your favorite brands on social? Tell us in the comment section below.

Go back and read previous posts in this series


Nike Women


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