“To all you silly, sad caffeine addicts” –Starbucks employees pollute FB fan pages

Wow.  There is an incredible rant by Veronica, a current Starbucks employee, on the Facebook “Fan” discussion board. 

To all of you silly, sad caffeine addicts who line up like lemmings for your overpriced lattes every morning: there are some things you should know.

1. We are not your friends. We are usually not your neighbors. In most cases, we absolutely loathe you,

[Added note:  15 hrs after this post, Starbucks removed Veronica’s comments.  But added no comment as if it didn’t exist, Added note:  I don’t think Starbucks removed the comments now.  I think the comment author did as other employee rants still exist.  Which would mean the board is still unmoderated.]

The absolute worst faux pas in employee communications that I’ve ever seen.  One that will likely cost her, her job or more.   Its damaging to the brand, its talking to over 1MM loyal Starbucks fans from around the world and it was posted over 15 hours ago with no response so far. 

I’m a fan of Starbucks, and I’ve written a few posts now about the Facebook Starbucks fan pages [1st post 1MM fans, go wild] and [2nd post Still ignored] .    But even I have to admit the Starbucks facebook pages are poorly run.   It is an example of a corporate communications effort rushing out to use social media but not putting in place the right resources, strategy plan nor risk mitigation plans for engaging in the conversation. 

Starbucks is a great example of what not to do on Facebook – chiefly, ignoring and not moderating the discussion board which has gone absolutely WILD with complaining employees, to unaddressed loyal customer complaints, to passionate feedback about pike place roasts and via instant coffee. I’ve been searching and I’ve only seen one moderator commnent (on a via discussion I think).

Moreover, I find the event pages very North American focused when I find the fan base is quite international.   Facebook with its continued global growth will require business to communicate using a global voice.  I suspect we will see some cottage industries emerge as loyal fan and employee moderators from around the global will be needed to support the pages.

At the moment, I dont’ really know a lot of examples of well run Facebook business pages – certainly, I’ve seen a lot of tweets  asking for FB business examples.

Want a great website example that incorporates loyal fans?  Go to Moleskine and mymoleskine pages.  Absolutely fantastic and all on the Moleskine website.

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2 thoughts on ““To all you silly, sad caffeine addicts” –Starbucks employees pollute FB fan pages

  1. xenophilicx

    I’m actually surprised to hear that there’s no moderation of the Starbucks page. Maybe it’s because Starbucks know they are the greatest despite the complaints that people have, so they don’t even bother moderating anything.

  2. Pingback: @Starbucks – what if you defended your employee? #starbucksrant « Social Wisdom: Digital Strategy Musings

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