Starbucks: Social media should be conversation not promotion

The Annual: Social media is about having conversations with customers not marketing to them, according to Starbucks VP of marketing.

Speaking at Marketing Week’s The Annual conference on smart thinking, working and engagement, Starbucks VP or marketing Brian Waring talks about using social media not to market to consumers but to have conversations and gather information.

“Facebook allows us to have a real time conversation with fans and we’re approaching it from the perspective of a relationship, not a promotional tool,” he says.

“Were making friends not promotions online and using it in a conversational way, not a marketing way.”

Starbucks says it has the biggest following of any global brand on Facebook with more than 10m fans. Waring says that building online communities through social media was a “natural evolution” for the brand as part of its approach to loyalty.

Waring adds: “In order for customers to be loyal to brands, brands need to be loyal to customers.”

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