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Starbucks is at the center of a social media firestorm as a result of its Race Together campaign.
Here are five things brands can learn from Starbucks' experience.
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.
It occurred to me that amongst the Econsultancy blog team we certainly have our favourite companies as far as digital ambition and execution are concerned.
So I'm simply going to round up some companies that have done good things on this front and see if our readers get annoyed by any omissions or, indeed, inclusions.
So, here are 18 digital trailblazers. A lot of them are involved solely in ecommerce but not all of them.
N.B. I've deliberately excluded agencies and what I think of as tech companies, though that distinction is a little difficult to make in some areas.
Our best branded Vines round-up this month comes bearing great news.
Recently Vine has completely overhauled its desktop site so it looks and works a lot like YouTube, but most gratefully received out of all the new functionality is the ability to search.
At last! You can now search for individual users, locations or tags, making this particular writer’s job a heck of a lot easier. You can read about other improvements here: Vine’s desktop redesign puts community and search first.
In other news, Vine has also updated the app itself and it now allows you to footage from pre-existing videos on your smartphone. Allowing you to mix and edit multiple sources into your Vine.
It looks like Instagram will have to pull something particularly spectacular out of the bag to keep up with its rivals (a half-decent desktop site would be a start).
In the meantime, lets check out the latest and greatest branded Vines.
With almost 400m active users and a growing global audience, Tencent’s WeChat app is the new king of Chinese social media.
Often touted as the Chinese alternative to WhatsApp, WeChat actually offers a far broader range of features and tools.
Alongside text, video and voice messaging, users in China can make mobile payments, browse ecommerce stores, play games, or book a taxi. It even offers access to an online investment fund.
All this, coupled with the fact that the messaging app offers a veil of privacy cherished by young Chinese, makes it easy to see why WeChat has become central to its users’ lives.
Which in turn made it inevitable that marketers would seek to get in on the act, with official brand accounts first being made available around September 2012.
I've rounded up what I think are the most intriguing examples of geofencing.
The list includes retailers but also other sectors such as leisure and education.
Take a look, because this is an area that almost any company could surely find a compelling use case for.
Game mechanics are the building blocks of a successful gamification strategy.
These elements make the experience engaging and fun for the consumer. Points, badges and leaderboards are the go-to mechanics marketers often use to make their programs more engaging, but the mechanics marketers can tap go beyond PBLs (as they’re called among game designers).
Candy Crush, the social game that is more popular than every other game on Facebook, uses a long list of mechanics to create motivating and addictive experience for the user.
And there are a number of lessons marketers can learn from the torrid success of Candy Crush.
Starbucks has been hugely successful on social media, attracting tens of millions of fans and followers and becoming one of the most popular brands on Facebook.
In fact it was recently reported that nine out of ten Facebook users is either a fan of Starbucks or knows someone who is.
The coffee retailer has obviously been responsible for some excellent social campaigns over the past few years, so I've rounded up eight interesting examples.
For more information on this topic read my blog post looking at how Starbucks uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+, or check out our similar round ups focusing on McDonald's and Coca-Cola.
I’ve been thinking a lot about mobile apps in retail recently. I’ve been thinking about which retailers need an app and whether in fact we’re seeing a bit of a backlash against the app, fuelled by mobile optimised and responsive websites.
Retail apps still have their place in a mobile optimised world, but they’re increasingly characterised as devices for customer retention. Loyalty programmes and coupons keep regular customers feeling loved.
Of course, there are still some successful shopping apps, too, often for retailers big or pervasive enough to demand smartphone real estate (supermarkets, Amazon and the like).
So, here you go, here are 10 apps that I think have made a difference for customers in retail.
Agree? Disagree? Tell me in the comments.
The lack of guidelines or general wisdom as to which retailers should actually have a mobile app and which shouldn’t can be confusing.
In this post I’m going to start writing those guidelines myself, if you’ll stick with me.
There is definitely a burgeoning anti-app movement, fuelled in part by the move to adaptive or responsive websites. On top of this, the growth in app downloads is in sharp decline and we seem to be reaching market maturation for apps, in those countries that have highest smartphone adoption.
But what should retailers do? Should some still be entertaining the idea of a new app? There are certainly some great success stories out there.
Some feel that the consumer has no interest in using many different retail apps, whereas others think the goal of consolidation is often unrealistic, with consumers happier using a range of options.
Where should apps lie in a priority list of ecommerce to-dos? Which apps are succeeding and which aren’t? How do customer base, product range, internationalisation and other factors affect the decision whether to build an app?
Well, these are the questions I’ve been attempting to answer. Read on to see what I dug up. If you make it to the end of my investigation, you’ll find my own criteria for apps in retail.
One of our main focuses on the Econsultancy blog is highlighting instances of best practice and digital excellence in the marketing world.
But every so often it’s also useful to shine a light on the mistakes that people make, particularly when it comes to social media.
I could try to lie and say that I’m doing this so we can all learn valuable lessons from the unfortunate errors of others, but truthfully I just find it quite amusing.