Welcome to the Starbucks Facebook Fan discussion page – go wild.
First of all – I’m fan of Starbucks. I joined the “Starbucks Fan” facebook site because I should own shares for how much I’ve dropped in lattes, americanos and blueberry scones. And whereas I do try to prefer the local yokal, small biz, organic fresh roaster , Starbucks’ free wi-fi two hours really seals my allegiance to the coffee king. I love getting a free coffee coupon if my order is forgotten, and my daughters’ drawing is still taped to the back of my local Starbucks espresso maker. Its my office, my newspaper site, my cup of sanity with the kids.
So join I did, added a wall post and watched it disappear after a refresh. Hmm.. obviously there is protectionism on wall posts.
Then I pursued the Starbucks discussion board and found “disappointed by Starbucks” – a discussion started by Florida’s John Parkes on February 9, 2009.
There is a bit of John Parkes in all of us. He loves Starbucks – wishes it was what it once was. He posts and re-posts with the constructive, supportive criticism that can only come from a heavy user, loyal consumer. Crap – he is just the kind of guy that oozes innovation. His discussion posts are long – several paragraphs. Over 33 people have commented and added their own voices. He answers and reanswers – all the while adding the kind of posts that qualitative researchers would die for. Thru it all – I couldn’t see any corporate response. None. So I asked John if anyone from corporate ever answered his posts. He admitted a few employees tried but as far as he can tell – no one from corporate office did. It appears that the discussion board is completely unmoderated – at least in this thread. So what is the point??
Interestingly – every time I added a comment to John, his “disappointed with Starbucks” discussion floated to the top of the discussions because the forum is organized by reply recency. So that means his discussion has been at the top of the discussion list over 50 times.
John speculated that the Facebook fan site may not be ‘starbucks sponsored’ but with over 1MM fans, join our Starbucks twitter feed, and corporate video section, it no longer matters who is sponsoring the site. [added note – there is a community link from Starbucks.com straight to the facebook fan page – and so it appears that community participation is valued..].
Get in there Starbucks! If you don’t have one already – get a coffee lover (both employee experienced and customer only experience) and create a country specific starbucks community chief [or advisory board]. Pick up groundswell and read up on Charlene Li’s pages (great section on Bob Lutz’ authenticity). Hey – I know business is hard right now – store closures, the lay offs etc. But it might be the best digital head count spend you make. Your fans want you to.