How Starbucks Found Social Media Gold At The End Of A Frappuccino Rainbow!

Photo: @dessertvibes

Last week, Starbucks launched a new Frappuccino called the ‘Unicorn Frappe,’ and it took the world by storm. With the Instagram-worthy colors and sparkles, coffee drinkers and non coffee-drinkers alike came together on social media to show off their dazzling new drinks. This limited-time only offering became an overnight sensation and Starbucks got to savor the unicorn glory.

From celebrities posting snaps of their frappes to viral barista rant videos, Starbucks used this drink to put its name in headlines and rack up some sales. So, how did one drink become social media gold?

The Social Media Storm

By taking a look at the sparkly drink, you can tell this is a photo shoot waiting to happen. Instagram users rejoiced to get their hands on one of these just for the perfect shot. Users took to Twitter and Facebook to voice their opinions on the sour to sweet taste, which many didn’t particularly enjoy. In the long run, the taste didn’t matter for the coffee corporation; it all came down to getting customers to talk about it!

The Inspiration

Not only did social media help push this frappe to a vast audience across the world, but it was also the source of inspiration behind the neon drink. “The look of the beverage was an important part of its creation,” a Starbucks spokesperson said of its conception. “Our inspiration came from the fun, spirited and colorful unicorn-themed food and drinks that have been trending on social media.” This drink was intended for social media sharing, the taste of it hit the backburner.

The Strategy

Starbucks took the aesthetic of its customers’ newsfeeds and created a menu item specific for online sharing. It used the impulsive sharing nature of its customers to its advantage and not only did sales soar, but also the brand’s name and reputation rocketed online. Most stores sold out of the ingredients within days of releasing the menu item, so it looks like this sugary strategy was a success for the brand.

As a business, it’s important to utilize the same kind of strategies that made the Unicorn Frappe take off. Pay attention to your customers, see trends and patterns in their social media and tweak your campaigns to fit what’s popular! The beauty of releasing products or offers that are catered for social media is that a lot of the marketing is done for you. Your customers will post about the product and talk about it for days!

The Unicorn Frappe came and went, but your social media strategy can go another round! Follow these steps to craft the perfect social media cocktail.