Regardless of whether you are a person, a small business, or a big business, you have one thing in common: you're a brand. You want your brand to be successful and well known. This section looks at what some big brands have done to expand their online presence using social media.
Starbucks coffee chain (see Figure 1-1) likes to post what it calls “freshly brewed tweets” to its Twitter following of more than 1.3 million. If you look at the number of tweets that this brand does, you might notice a certain trend. What you see is a large number of engaging replies and mentions to its community almost every day. Starbucks has a strong reputation for being engaging and talking to people on Twitter. It doesn't just sell coffee.
Starbucks understands what it means for a brand to engage with its customers. All too often brands use Twitter to “shout” or spam their followers with relentless sales talk and ads—all the while without caring to respond to mentions or direct messages by their followers. Sure, Starbucks does post the occasional promo or new offer, but the brand's use of Twitter is mainly to connect intimately with fans and customers.
The online presence that Starbucks has developed reflects its offline brand. It listens and has caused people to start conversations about the brand, and that results in brand loyalty and revenue.