Starbucks Social Media Strategy: Insights into Viral Campaigns

How does Starbucks create a presence of different social media networks?

In this post, we will take a well-rounded look at Starbucks’ social media marketing strategy, the different kinds of posts it shares and the kind of engagement they get.

Here’s a look at Starbucks’ main account and follower counts.

  • Instagram: 18 million followers
  • Facebook: 36300608 likes (34005 talking about this · 1030419 were here)
  • Twitter: 172.3k followers
  • LinkedIn:  2659357 followers
  • TikTok: 10.3 million likes, 2.3 million followers
  • YouTube: 374K subscribers 669 videos

They also have several sub accounts that exist as spin offs from their popular drinks.

  1. Uses multiple content formats
  2. Engages with the audience
  3. Follows viral trends
  4. Social listening
  5. Shares product updates
  6. Builds customer relationships
  7. Offers customer support
  8. Provides social proof

Key takeaways from Starbucks’ social media marketing strategy

Trends always come and go. But they also make an impact on buyers’ journeys. It’s important for businesses to adapt to current customer needs and preferences.

Given shifts in the social media space and TikTok’s raging popularity overtaking some of the de facto leaders, there are even more avenues for brands to get in front of their audience now more than before.

New content formats keep evolving with fresh ones always giving you a chance to try and experiment with.

Starbucks’ social media strategy is unique because it’s built around customers’ experiences. Through storytelling, Starbucks showcases products effortlessly and integrates these products into clients’ lives.


1. Leveraging user-generated content

Starbucks encourages its customers to share their experiences through user-generated content (UGC). They actively promote hashtags, such as #StarbucksLove, and feature UGC on their social media channels.

This strategy not only strengthens the bond with customers but also provides a platform for fans to showcase their creativity and loyalty. This helps even more people relate to Starbucks.

2. Engaging with customers through interactive content

Starbucks uses interactive content to engage with its audience. They create polls, quizzes, and contests to encourage active participation.

By involving their customers, Starbucks creates a sense of involvement and fosters a stronger connection. Anybody could use this strategy. You don’t have to be a B2C company.

3. Creating social media campaigns

Starbucks designs captivating social media campaigns to generate buzz and attract attention. Whether it’s seasonal promotions, new product launches, season specials or even a cause-related campaign, they develop compelling content surrounding these products and leverage influencers to amplify the content’s reach.

These campaigns help Starbucks generate excitement and engagement among its followers. To automate this, you will need a social media management software.

4. Influencer collaboration for brand advocacy

Starbucks collaborates with influencers to enhance its brand advocacy. They vet influencers who align with their brand values and have a significant following.

By partnering with influencers, Starbucks extends its reach to new audiences and benefits from the influencers’ credibility and influence over their online audience.

5. Monitoring and responding to customer feedback

Starbucks understands the importance of actively listening to its customers on social media. They monitor their social media channels to address customer queries, concerns, and feedback promptly. This approach shows their commitment to customer satisfaction and helps maintain a positive brand image.

One of the primary reasons for Starbucks’ social media success is the way they construct its brand image around its core audience.

Starbucks’ marketing strategy is entirely aligned with the brand’s mission – it’s inspirational and nurturing the human spirit.

Overall, Starbucks is a brand that extends its social media presence way further than solely product promotion, being focused on rather emphasizing the Starbucks lifestyle, which is known for its sense of belongingness and inclusion.

A glimpse at Starbucks’s presence on social media

1. Starbucks and Facebook

Starbucks recently added over 710,000 new Facebook followers. Starbucks only posted 158 times in a week making it to a posting frequency of 3 times a week on average.

So how do they engage their audience with the less is more strategy? They have over 36,313,537 likes on Facebook.

Truth be told, they know really well what the customers wanted. Their new drinks starting from Frappuccinos to Spice lattes managed to create a cult-like following for them.

The brand doesn’t post too often but whenever they do, it creates a frenzy among its audience. The brand posted more photos than similar brands and they have higher engagement around their content compared to competitors.

Their photos get several hundred comments and hundreds of shares. The visual content carries updates about the latest products. Some popular drinks are seasonal and their recurrence tends to generate a lot of buzz on social media.

These posts are colorful and quirky. Resultantly, they managed to generate millions of likes and several thousands of shares. You can create amazing backgrounds for your images with the help of free procreate brushes.

The brand promoted posts with limited-time deals and offers resulting in FOMO creating high engagement for them. Starbucks uploaded 60 plus videos that all got high engagement.

They also promoted the second season of their popular video campaign Upstanders. The series features stories of regular Americans who stood up to make a difference in their communities. The video teasers received great engagement resulting in 53,000 shares.

Starbucks’ Facebook strategy is based on replying to almost all conversations from their 158 posts. This gives reassurance to the audience that their comments will be listened to. They received 100% positive sentiment from their audience. 

2. Starbucks on TikTok

Starbucks has a unique social media marketing strategy that has contributed to its big success online. They craft campaigns, product posts, and social posts catering to different events or holidays. 

This helps Starbucks create a sense of urgency in the minds of consumers to try out its products sooner than later. Starbucks captures the human element in their TikTok content.

They feature real humans in their videos and created a humanized presence for the transnational brand.

To be successful, authenticity is paramount on TikTok. Starbucks creates and posts new content every two days and integrates two to three hashtags regularly.

3. Starbucks on Instagram

Instagram is one of the coolest social media channels with Starbucks investing plenty of marketing resources into Instagram to accomplish a great feed and establish their social media presence. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Instagram is where they promote themselves the most and in turn get the highest engagement.

It creates aesthetically pleasing content which is the biggest reason users love the content Starbucks creates. Starbucks gets loads of engagement on Instagram.

The vibrant Instagram-friendly face is what you see on Unicorn Frappuccino. They posted 240 posts of which 45% were photos and 48% reels. Their most popular posts were carousel posts.

Starbucks posts pictures of its products in unique settings. Colorful lifestyle posts that capture the essence of sipping coffee beside wild captions and artsy videos all speak to the quality of the brand and bear testament to its ambience, taste and more on Instagram. The product centered posts are one of the most engaging types of content on Instagram.

Starbucks uses hashtags to create excitement among users, transforming their customers as content creators for the brand. The brand curated 15 hashtags which it used to drive engagement. Some of their most engaging themes were #icedcaramelmacchiato, #IcedCoconutMilkMochaMacchiato and #pinkdrink.

It organizes its Instagram content to create chromatic themes and seasons that speaks to its visual journey as well as sales strategy.


Besides, Starbucks also lightens up the mood and lifts spirits with emojis inside Instagram captions to appeal to the masses with friendly tones.

Lastly, Starbucks plan reels and single images, scheduling a mix of both formats to their Instagram account. This is smart as the brand sticks to what it is great at and catches attention with visuals but also adapts itself to online video consumption thus using the best of both worlds. Starbucks posts daily on Instagram. Plus they invest much more heavily into Instagram compared to TikTok.

4. Starbucks and YouTube 

Starbucks has been and continues to be a visionary brand that adapts its marketing to match trends and creates creative content in response to trends.

It’s the same creative approach that it has tailored to its video content. Starbucks if they joined TikTok starting from its earlier days and made use of Reels like with YouTube shorts then things would have been a little different. They would have had an even larger following now than before.

Starbucks is only now starting to create YouTube shorts.

Comparing the brand’s TikTok videos with Reels and now Shorts, you can see that Starbucks offers a unique and distinct approach in its content marketing strategy.

Starbucks has a more fun vibe and aspires to be inspirational. Starbucks in a bid to be inspirational conducted interviews of its customers and got them talking about their life journey. These videos garnered millions of views in hours of posting them.

Starbucks has over 374,000 subscribers on YouTube and uploaded over 669 videos.

The brand uses a variety of videos to attract fans. Their YouTube strategy involves showcasing product-based videos. They have an original content series called The Upstanders followed by an animated series 1st and Main.

Another engaging piece of content they posted is a 1-minute video that features veterans. The video has had 2.6 million views. 

Another popular campaign is Good Feels Good where they have 7 videos featuring a diverse group of people. Snippets and other content from those videos made it to the brand’s site, to its different social media channels and more.

The 1st Main video was released during the holiday season in 2016 and got over 430,763 views. These videos helped grow its subscribers by 24.8%.

5. Starbucks and Twitter

The next stop on the list is Twitter. They have almost 12 million Twitter followers and it has become a platform for customer service as well. They tweeted 57000 times and added 134000 new followers.

On average that means 155 tweets per day with 99% of tweets being replies helping us gauge the value they generate on the platform. Plus it goes on to show how deeply they care about their own customers.

The tweets showcase products primarily through user-generated content. They also showcased photo collages with gifs and funny videos.

Their Twitter campaign strategy revolves around sharing the experiences of their followers and this alone has helped them grow their account manifold.

The brand showcases its followers by retweeting their tweets and interacting with them. They use featured tweets to highlight messages from customers and followers. This tone of voice and apt wit makes their tweets hit a home run.

The most popular post type on Twitter is the reply post type and they commonly post textual replies.

In addition, the brand ensures that all of its customers are heard and they’re keen on responding to messages whether they be negative or positive. They take the time to reach out to each customer, make sure these customers are appreciated. They reply to 11k tweets in under 6 hours. The reply rate peaks from 9 am to 3 pm.

Starbucks’ has several Twitter accounts ranging from Pumpkin Spice latte to Frappuccino. These Twitter accounts are followed with great gusto. Photos receive the most engagement on their Twitter profile.

Starbucks is always in the news?

Starbucks knows the internet inside and out. They are a constant target and despite that, they never shied away from talking about topics that could be seen as divisive.

#BoycottStarbucks has been a hashtag that trended on social media channels for quite some time. In 2017, the company announced the decision to hire 10,000 refugees after Trump’s decision to bar refugees.

The coffee chain responded to the backlash by announcing that as part of the refugee hiring plan, they would initially focus on hiring those who have served with U.S. troops as interpreters and support personnel abroad.

In August 2017, Starbucks was the target of a hoax in which the coffee chain would supposedly give out free coffee to undocumented migrants in the US. The company immediately took to Twitter, replying to multiple users and denying any such campaign.

The brand was caught in yet another controversy during the holiday season. They released their newly designed, annual holiday cup with a video that proclaimed “The holidays mean something different to everyone.” Even though the video itself did not garner a negative reaction, some viewers saw it as a reference to the inclusion of gay and transgender customers.

Buzzfeed fueled the debate, paving the way for an angry online backlash from conservatives. Starbucks did not confirm the legitimacy of these claims, but responded positively to a tweet supporting the cause.


After reading this article, you might have now realized the importance of social media for your own company. Social media when done right helps you create engagement and fanfare for your brand. However if you don’t know what your successful competitors are doing right, you’re flying in the dark.

To monitor similar brands and get an inside scoop on their marketing strategy you can use Keyhole’s free trial and get started with it today.

Related Articles:
Nike’s Social Media Strategy: A Deep Dive Into Campaigns & Statistics

5 Underrated TikTok Marketing Tips You Need To Try

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is Starbucks so successful on social media?

Content formats keep evolving but Starbucks has realized that social media messages stem from a single concept. Starbucks’ entire social media activity hinges on the pillars of being relatable to others and in cultivating a personal relationship with its audience.

2. How does Starbucks nail digital storytelling

Starbucks social media campaigns are excellent examples of storytelling. They captured and retold human interest stories that had nothing much to do with coffee. Real-life stories however connect with consumers and create brand positivity. This emotional awareness drives both brand loyalty and awareness.

3. How has Starbucks used social media to increase sales?

Starbucks encourages customers to share photos of them sipping coffee at its outlets through the hashtag #Starbucks. People are willing to do so in large numbers and this cultivates a sense of community among customers which in turn increases the company’s reach on social media channels.

4. What are the three main marketing strategies Starbucks uses?

These are the three marketing strategies they use
Product: The product is of great quality, it is of different types and they have great customer service
Place: Starbucks sells products in nicely designed retail outlets
Price: The pricing and loyalty program drive value.