Starbucks and Costa Coffee are currently the most popular food and drink brands on Facebook.

Starbucks is at the top of the league in the UK with 1.3m Facebook followers. Costa Coffee is close behind in second place with 1.2m.

They are also the only food and drink brands to have more than 1m followers.

Facebook is a tough platform for brands to succeed on, although it is still possible. Some Facebook pages reach 82% of their fans despite recent algorithm changes.

Starbucks and Costa Coffee are proof of this, with their incredibly high engagement figures.

Here are the top 20 UK food and drink brands on Facebook by number of followers.

This chart is from eDigitalResearch’s latest Food and Beverage Benchmark which measured the engagement levels of 50 top food and beverage brands on Facebook.

It also reveals a positive trend of brands in the food and drink industry increasing their engagement levels at the weekends. After all social customer care is a 24/7 concern and businesses should be prepared for enquiries at any time from the always connected consumer.

Here I’ll be taking a look at the two coffee house brands to see how they may have achieved their success on Facebook.


Its most recent post as of writing was uploaded three days ago… 

As you can see, it’s a very popular post with an awful lot going on. 

The text plays on the now annual tradition of being excited about red Starbucks cups, by putting the brand in the customer mindset. The images are simple but do an efficient job in suggesting something magical. The image itself has also been uploaded as an attractive Christmas themed cover photo.

With 47,967 likes, 1,097 shares and 629 comments this is a big winner. It’s interesting to note that even the follower comments get an impressive amount of likes (“Are the holiday cups out today?” received 45 likes) which would certainly entice followers to comment more.

Starbucks also has a strong commitment to regularly replying to comments on Facebook. From fielding complaints, to letting specific followers know that certain flavours back in stock, to providing a link so that disappointed customers can lobby for their favourite’s return.

Starbucks also regularly dispels any rumours that may be floating around the internet at the moment. It’s important to understand the importance of a good firefighting strategy.

Over the weekend this post managed an impressive 2,782 likes and 148 shares, after being uploaded on Friday morning.

It helps that it contains a video, which is very short and well made. Social posts featuring visual media tend to achieve the most amount of engagement, as proved by this account.

A huge number of posts regularly exceed 100,000 likes. The image of the first ever Starbucks store is a great way to tell the story of the brand by letting followers see its history. Again the comments from Starbucks are really useful. I learnt something new today!

Costa Coffee

As of writing, this is Costa’s most recent post…

In just two hours this image has been liked by 1,744 people and shared 215 times. Pretty good work and a testament to the importance of sharing content that isn’t just branded marketing. Find images and videos that fit your brand’s personality but will also entertain.

Costa also hold regular contests for its followers, which is a classic way to keep customers engaged.

There are also incentives on offer for followers encouraged to share their own content.

It’s a positive community spirit here, exemplified by the comment underneath the above post.

Proving that excellent customer service offline can find its way online and improve positive brand perception in all channels.

Costa also makes the choice to let its social team reply in their own voices and include their own names. As opposed to Starbucks which replies as a corporate entity. 

This creates a more personal human relationship and may help customers if they need to follow up an enquiry with the same customer service agent.

For more help with Facebook, check out this guide on How to market your Facebook page.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 4 November, 2014 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (4)


Grabt Cumberbirch

Great article! To me this shows the real power of social media - the social side of these successful campaigns. Prospects may well see your posts ( asn an industrial marketer, for instance), but are they really going to say anything? No matter where in the World you are, ou probably have a favourite coffee outlet, and you WILL engage, because it is attractive and only takes a couple of seconds.

almost 4 years ago



Wow! What a great article! We all have something to learn from this. Social media has become the ultimate reality of our lives and successful business marketing through sites such as Facebook and Twitter have become essential to a company's profitable future. Keeping the audience engaged and entertained with frequent feedback is excellent and requires consistency.
For businesses that are not as popular as Starbucks or Costa Coffee, or business owners who are incredibly pressed for time, how often do you recommend at a minimum that newsfeeds, blog posts or newsletters should be be put out there? Weekly, bi-weekly? This would include something that would keep the company on the client's radar and still be considered efficient.

Thank you!

almost 4 years ago


Sheryl Winwood, Manager at Fortune Innovations San Diego

As social media is becoming inevitable day to day eventhough the privacy of the human beings are lost. Anyhow many brands started increasing their profile weightage with such socila media activities

almost 4 years ago



Does anyone have any thoughts on the pros/cons of the two identity policies here? Replying to posts as a corporate entity vs letting each social media manager sign off as themselves?

almost 4 years ago

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