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Send Starbucks Through Twitter

Some people might say that excessively using social media emboldens a type of “me first” mentality in today’s culture (maybe it’s all the likes we throw around for pictures of last night’s dinner).  But, while our mentality is that social media is merely the channel and not the behavior, coffee giant Starbucks has made it a priority to buck the selfish trend— with a new marketing campaign that relies solely on the generosity of people.

We’re talking about Starbucks’ new ‘Tweet a Coffee’ program, which allows customers to electronically buy somebody a coffee. Sounds simple, right? Well, that’s because it is. Any Twitter user with a Starbucks account can use the handle @tweetacoffee to send a $5 gift card to the social media user of his or her choice. Then, that card can be redeemed through the recipient’s smartphone whenever he or she so chooses.

Let’s face it: we all know that Starbucks knows its way around social media. With 35 million Facebook fans and almost 5 million Twitter followers, this next strategy just goes to show that Starbucks stays ahead of the curve, leveraging its social media presence to engage customers in new ways and remain adaptive to trends.

This altruism-focused campaign will not only build more positive associations for the way people consciously or subconsciously view Starbucks, but it will also undoubtedly raise the company’s social influence as this trend becomes more popular. But this is interesting because it could be the first step to a whole new way businesses use social media: taking a human interaction as regular as buying a coffee, and creating a virtual world around it. So tell us, what do you think is next? Virtual coffee dates, that you can surreptitiously leave at the click of a button? Actually, that doesn’t sound half bad.

Image: Flickr

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