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State of social media at caribou coffee
 

State of social media at caribou coffee

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Caribou Coffee has been undergoing quite a few corporate changes of late, and their activity on social media has not been sufficient to communicate with their brand's devoted, but upset, fans. Here's ...

Caribou Coffee has been undergoing quite a few corporate changes of late, and their activity on social media has not been sufficient to communicate with their brand's devoted, but upset, fans. Here's what they could be doing differently.

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  • Caribou offers pretty standard chain coffee shop fare.
  • According to past SEC filings, Caribou’s differentiation revolves mostly around their rustic feeling store environment, which is admittedly a little bit different from their competitors.
  • Caribou Coffee is facing some challenges. They were bought by a firm from Germany and taken private at the end of 2012. Before this, they were public and listed on the NASDAQ. Recently, they have closed 80 underperforming stores and converted 88 others to the Peet’s Coffee brand.
  • Caribou is quite active on Facebook – their main social channel.
  • Twitter is another successful channel for Caribou.
  • Their collection of images on Instagram is also very well done.
  • YouTube, unfortunately, is underutilized by Caribou.
  • The Caribou Coffee corporate blog is a ghost town. No updates since 2010! Bad idea.
  • The problem with just being “active” on social media is that activity itself is not engagement. All of the posting are one-way communication, with no conversation being done by Caribou themselves, only their fans. Fortunately, the company does have devoted fans of the product. However, they are not taking advantage of some main social media channels, and the recent private purchase of the company has caused some changes….
  • While Facebook is Caribou’s best social media outlet, they have chosen to not directly engage with their fans. And right now, they have a LOT of upset fans. Communication around the store closings was quite poor. Around the time of the closings, Caribou continued posting items like this on their Facebook page.
  • … And understandably, their fans have not been happy.
  • But Caribou’s response was to keep posting sales items like this, above…
  • And this one. I suppose the long drive to the nearest available Caribou Coffee store will make one thirsty enough to want a 64 ounce beverage.
  • Caribou Coffee has made a huge mistake by not taking advantage of the opportunity to use social media for two-way, transparent communication with the brand’s fans. By not doing this, they have caused themselves a number of problems that really will not go away anytime soon.
  • Using Facebook, the corporate blog and perhaps their YouTube channel to hold frank discussions and address concerns around the company’s recent changes would go a long way towards starting to rebuild the loyalty of their followers. Caribou Coffee should see this as an opportunity to START an open dialogue with their fans, but by no means should it be the only time. Communication should be continuous.

State of social media at caribou coffee State of social media at caribou coffee Presentation Transcript

  • Caribou Coffee Social Media Planning Marcus Sanford
  • Company Overview  Founded in 1992  468 Stores in 16 states  6,000+ Employees  Offerings: iced/hot coffee and tea, pastries, sandwiches, ground/who le bean coffee June 27, 2013 Caribou Coffee Social Media Planning 2
  • Market Overview  Major competitors include: ◦ Starbucks ◦ Peet’s Coffee & Tea ◦ Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf  Target audience: adults 18-40  Differentiation: store experience June 27, 2013 Caribou Coffee Social Media Planning 3
  • Business Challenges  Bought in December, 2012  Was previously public, listed on NASDAQ  Closed 80 stores in April, 2013  Converted 88 other stores  Announced with a short press release about two weeks before closings June 27, 2013 Caribou Coffee Social Media Planning 4
  • SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY: FACEBOOK 421,653 Likes, 8,672 talking about this June 27, 2013 Caribou Coffee Social Media Planning 5
  • SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY: TWITTER June 27, 2013 Caribou Coffee Social Media Planning 6 45,327 followers
  • SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY: INSTAGRAM 4,339 followers June 27, 2013 Caribou Coffee Social Media Planning 7
  • SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY: PINTEREST 2,245 followers June 27, 2013 Caribou Coffee Social Media Planning 8
  • SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY: YOUTUBE 212 subscribers Only 3 videos June 27, 2013 Caribou Coffee Social Media Planning 9
  • Social media activity: blogging June 27, 2013 Caribou Coffee Social Media Planning 10 No posts since 2010! ?? ?
  • Activity Doesn’t Necessarily Equal Engagement  Lots of channels…  Beautiful imagery of products, people  Some channels sorely unused  This company just went through a major upheaval BUT… June 27, 2013 Caribou Coffee Social Media Planning 11
  • If you just closed 80 stores, is this what you say on Facebook? June 27, 2013 Caribou Coffee Social Media Planning 12 Tone deaf social media?
  • Angry Fans React June 27, 2013 Caribou Coffee Social Media Planning 13
  • June 27, 2013 Caribou Coffee Social Media Planning 14
  • June 27, 2013 Caribou Coffee Social Media Planning 15
  • It’s Called “Social Media” For a Reason!  Ignoring devoted fans is a terrible idea!  Complete lack of transparency  No posts on any channel about closings  No two-way conversation June 27, 2013 Caribou Coffee Social Media Planning 16
  • Caribou Social Media Needs A Course Correction  Discuss the reasons for the closings  Post the list of stores beforehand  Allow fans to vent, get closure  Not the right time for sales pitches  Two-way communication must start here, but not end here June 27, 2013 Caribou Coffee Social Media Planning 17
  • Other Recommendations for Going Forward at Caribou Coffee  Take advantage of the unused channels to provide another place for constant communication ◦ YouTube ◦ Corporate Blog  Cultivate and rebuild brand loyalty  If done properly, analytics may show the way to future store expansion June 27, 2013 Caribou Coffee Social Media Planning 18
  • Thank You June 27, 2013 Caribou Coffee Social Media Planning 19