How Starbucks Generates Over 270k in Engagement for Each Instagram Post

How Starbucks Generates Over 270k in Engagement for Each Instagram Post Tripti Shrivastava Blogger Extraordinaire Simply Measured

It is #NationalCoffeeDay, and, since we are in Seattle, it would be strange not to talk about Starbucks. The brand has not just been transforming itself for the digital world–it has taken marketing on social networks to a new level, by creating dedicated pages for coffees on various platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

Beyond Engagement: Why Brands Must Use Outcomes to Prove, and Improve, Social Success

Here, we take a quick look at the brand’s performance on Instagram.

From mid-July till today, the brand has received over 20M in engagement, though it posted only 77 times, which amounts to over 270k engagement per post.Screen Shot 2016-09-29 at 3.02.36 PMHere is the most engaging post for the data period. Note Starbucks’ lighthearted caption that shows off a more authentic, human side of the brand.

Lemonade shaved ice. Topped with tea. Topped with 🌅. Hello, Youthberry White Tea #Granita. Available in US and Canada stores after 3PM. #SunsetMenu

A photo posted by Starbucks Coffee ☕ (@starbucks) on

Starbucks also gained close to 1.5M followers during this time period, which is a 15% growth since mid-July. Its Engagement as a % of Followers for the same period is over 180%, showing that Starbucks has a very engaged user base.Screen Shot 2016-09-29 at 3.07.49 PM

Here are the tactics that Starbucks uses to keep its audience engaged and growing on Instagram.

1. Use Hashtags Strategically to Generate Engagement and Source User-generated Content. For the summer months, Starbucks ran themed campaigns on Instagram every week using the #StarbucksOnIce, and they re-grammed the best picture from the campaign. This is a brilliant strategy to create excitement among users, keeping them engaged and transforming them into content creators for the brand. Some of the creative themes the retailer has run are #StarbucksOnIce+Color, #StarbucksOnIce+Nature and #StarbucksOnIce+Floor, which, from a photography perspective, are really great combinations.

Just one more week to share your Iced Coffee + Color photos using #StarbucksOnIce! Thanks to @eb_smith4 for the beautiful photo.💙

A photo posted by Starbucks Coffee ☕ (@starbucks) on

You + iced coffee = 😍. Share your beautiful iced coffee photos using #StarbucksOnIce and we'll regram our favorite each week! Week 1 theme: Iced Coffee + Floors. #IHaveThisThingWithFloors

A photo posted by Starbucks Coffee ☕ (@starbucks) on

2. Use Exciting New Platform Features to Boost Engagement. Starbucks uses Instagram’s newest features, like Instagram Stories, to share moments with its followers, tapping into their current moods. In the Instagram story below, Starbucks has very playfully captured the beginning of fall, denoted by pumpkin patches and featuring their seasonal coffee flavor (pumpkin) to keep the brand top-of-mind for its followers.

Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 1.29.17 PM

3. Show Support for Social Causes. Starbucks’ Seattle Headquarters building is often seen with the Pride flag flying atop it. The brand proudly supports diversity and accepts people for their differences. They have been able to translate their beliefs into Instagram posts. The post below with the  #RainbowDrinks was the third-most-engaging post for July.

Your creations = our inspiration. #RainbowDrinks #PaperQuilling 💗💛💚💙💜

A photo posted by Starbucks Coffee ☕ (@starbucks) on

4. Tap into Nostalgia. Starbucks has become a part of most of our daily lives, and the brand has been able to forge a connection with its followers on levels beyond a simple business transaction. Their followers’ excitement is also evident from the massive line in front of the brand’s first-ever store in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. The brand knows its followers love the landmark store, and so they posted an image of the season’s new drink with #PSL in front of the store. This post is just a day old, and already it is the second-most-engaging post for the month of September.

The taste of fall, back where it all began. #PSL #1912Pike

A photo posted by Starbucks Coffee ☕ (@starbucks) on

5. Create Relevant and Timely Content. Starbucks is very attuned to what their target market cares about, and they tailor their message and content accordingly, creating relevant posts at the right moment. Starbucks’ timely post on the second day of Fall (Sept 23rd) highlighted their exciting seasonal flavor, and was the most engaging post for the month.

🎃ver-doing it a little? N🎃pe. #PumpkinCreamCheeseMuffin #PSL #AllThePumpkin

A photo posted by Starbucks Coffee ☕ (@starbucks) on

Overall, the key to Starbucks’ high engagement on Instagram seems to be that their content is informative, relevant, and meaningful. For more information on how to boost your own brand’s Instagram engagement, download the quick tips below.

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Tripti Shrivastava

Tripti Shrivastava

I'm a Social Media Analyst at Simply Measured. I love food, music, movies, and long walks. Let's talk about social media data!