Starbucks ‘Tweet-a-Coffee’ Twitter Campaign Turned Tweets to Sales

4 Min Read. |

downloadAbout Starbucks 

Founded in 1971, Starbucks Corporation is a Seattle based coffeehouse chain which operates 23,768 cafes in 72 countries worldwide. Starbucks was named after the first mate in Herman Melville’s book ‘Moby-Dick’ and the logo is inspired by the sea – featuring a twin-tailed siren from Greek mythology.

The brand offers the finest quality of coffee in the world which is grown, prepared and brewed by their employees (Baristas) and served to millions of customers every day.

In a short span of time, Starbucks became a hub for coffee fanatics because of their prompt service, pleasing atmosphere and irresistible cup of freshly brewed coffee.

Business Objectives

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It is quite evident that Starbucks not only understand their product and customers well, but also are well acquainted with how their customers use technology.

Having a great understanding of their customers, Starbucks executed this Twitter initiative in order to maximize their sales and increase brand awareness by leveraging the power of social media.

Using social media as a marketing tool, Starbucks bestowed their loyal customers with an opportunity to share their favorite Starbucks coffee with their Twitter friends and followers.

Approach and Strategy

Many social media campaigns have been executed since the time social media websites became popular. And Starbucks is not new to social media, they are in fact one of the earliest firm to adopt social media marketing.

On Oct 28, 2013 Starbucks U.S gave a new dimension to gifting by launching an innovative Twitter campaign called “Tweet-A-Coffee” that enabled all the coffee lovers to share $5 gift card with their Twitter friends and other followers.



Customers could easily share the gift card with their friends by syncing their Starbucks and Twitter account and tweet “@tweetacoffee to..” including the recipient’s Twitter handle.


Recipients could then redeem their eGift card at the participating stores by showing it directly on their mobile device and the company charged the credit card in the sender’s Starbucks account.

Why did this program work?

1. People love coffee

2. People love Starbucks

3. People love giving Starbucks

4. It was super easy

5. It was unique

When it was launched in October 2013, the Tweet-a-Coffee campaign was only accessible to people in the United States. Later on January 8, 2014 this program extended and launched in Canada.

In a release, Richard Burjaw , vice-president of Starbucks Coffee Canada, said, “Tweet-a-coffee is a brand new way for our customers to connect with friends and followers and share the gift of Starbucks instantly. Whether it’s to say #thank you, #congratulations or simply #justbecause we’re thrilled to enable the ability for customers to spread some kindness.” 


Tweet-a-coffee was not only a marketing initiative but a great way to connect with customers    .

Through this campaign, Starbucks had once again proved itself as a leader in marketing innovations. Starbucks not only pioneered a new way for customers to send gifts but also encouraged their loyal coffee drinkers to spread their love for Starbucks in a unique way.



About five weeks after the American launch, Starbucks’ Tweet-a-Coffee program generated about $180,000 of sales by 27,000 consumers, according to a report by Keyhole, which tracks conversations on social media.

Through this program, Starbucks not only increased their top line but also linked 54,000 users Twitter IDs with their mobile phones and Customer IDs. Syncing customer’s Twitter account to their Starbucks account gave the company a much bigger picture of who the customers are and how they spend.

Considering the sales figures, this was an excellent example on how to generate respectable ROI with a low investment.

Research firm Keyhole tracked all the “@tweetacoffee” conversations in Twitter and found that more than 27,000 fans used the program. Some 34% of users bought multiple gift cards and 32% of the purchases occurred on the first day.

By encouraging people to connect their Twitter and Starbucks accounts, the firm increased the number of people signing up for their account. As the number of members increased, Starbucks could easily share their newsletters, coupons, discounts and free perks coxing them to become a regular Starbucks customer.

On the other hand, this program gave a bump to people’s conversation as it was quite natural that people receiving these gifts are likely to talk about the surprise and share their experience on their own Twitter accounts. These conversations in turn acted like a free advertising (word-of-mouth) for the brand, increasing their goodwill.


1. Understanding the consumer behavior is the key element while creating a campaign.

2. A successful campaign does not always require a heavy investment, with minimal investment too social media can act as an effective marketing tool allowing the brand reach its customers in a most effective way.

3. An effective way to turn Twitter followers into active consumers and turn tweets into trackable sales.


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