What Starbucks Did Wrong.

You probably heard the furore around Starbucks on Twitter this week. They tweeted this to their Irish account.

The reaction to it was both ones of outrage:

and humour

So was this a Social Media disaster? Probably not. Were they to be scolded for posting a UK post to an Irish account. No, at worst it was a silly mistake (who hasnt made one of those). For me where they got this all wrong was in their response to the error.

Their tone of voice here is awful, its bland, corporate, boring. For a company who has a mission statement that states:

When we are fully engaged, we connect with, laugh with, and uplift the lives of our customers – even if just for a few moments. Sure, it starts with the promise of a perfectly made beverage, but our work goes far beyond that. It’s really about human connection

It seems way off brand. There was no human connection at all (and there hasnt been since with a noticeable lack of communication on twitter). They seem to use it as a broadcast channel. So what could they have done? Well they simply needed to post a response that was honest and looked like a person wrote it. How about

“oops…we just tweeted to the wrong account…sorry, we do the tweets for UK from one place, so we just hit the wrong button..”

I would have followed that up with a:

“To say sorry would you prefer 10% off a latte or capuccinno tomorrow, tweet your preference and we will let you know what wins #tábrónorainn”

Then spend a little bit of time engaging with people who tweeted, no need to engage with all the 800 years of hurt people, but those that had fun with it, have a bit of fun too. Remember its about human connection!! For a brand who was in 12th position of the Social Brands report….they seem to have approached this really poorly. At the end of the day, its a storm in a tea cup, but I think they could have really made something of this and built an even better connection with their Irish fans.

4 thoughts on “What Starbucks Did Wrong.

  1. Great points! Two other thoughts I had: this shows the danger of using Twitter as a broadcast channel – they didn’t respond for several hours, by which time it had blown up on Twitter. And secondly, that ‘Trappucchino’ suggestion I saw was *genius* – missed opportunity there!

  2. 2 ears one mouth. Listen twice as much as you tweet

  3. Think you meant storm in a coffee cup

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