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I love Starbucks… but…

I need to gripe. My below comment that I made on TechFlash really says it all.

Fellow Seattle blogger John Cook was covering how a study by Famecount.com put Starbucks as the biggest consumer brand utilizing social media, but the idea just didn’t sit right with me.

The most essential part of the disagreement is the conclusion “social media works” for them. Knowing how many larger organizations are dealing with the social media evolution crisis, I am fully aware of good dollars being thrown into the chaos simply for organizations to claim superiority in a virtual game of monopoly with little (or no) revenue driving result.

[stextbox id=”info”]“It is interesting to see established offline brands perform so strongly,” Famecount founder Daniel Dearlove wrote in a summary of the rankings. “This highlights the growing importance of social media in wider marketing campaigns, as well as the applicability of these channels to established brands[/stextbox]

My commentary is simple:

While I love Starbucks (heaven knows I drink enough coffee from them), I think this has an entirely different message about social media working (or not working) for them.

Without understanding the massive amounts of budget being thrown into these campaigns and the results they are mustering, the numbers in this type of scoring are entirely flawed.

The fact that Starbucks (a retail chain with in-person locations and lots of contained foot traffic) is compared to Skittles (who has no in-person locations and shares foot traffic with 500 other candy brands) shows how entirely off the comparison points are.

Have the millions (or tens of millions) in marketing dollars supporting the digital effort paid off? It costs A LOT of money to brand signs, cup holders, gift cards, coffee cups, CDs, WIFI entry points, tradeshows, speaking engagements, etc, etc.