There’s been a lot of buzz on Facebook and Twitter regarding the recent announcement that Starbucks Corporation will help its “partners” finished their bachelor’s degree. For years Starbucks has been a well, star in deftly using social media to push its products and create a feel-good community.
This latest announcement brings to mind two beliefs held by newspaper editors everywhere. One, people rarely vote down education and two, photos of puppies and children sell papers. On its Twitter feed, @starbucks has pinned the announcement that the company is investing in a tuition reimbursement plan for employees. It also tweeted quotes about investing in education. On its Facebook page, the announcement got more than 15,000 likes and shared more than 3,000 times. There were posts from news organizations. In my meager feed I saw the message appear at least five times.
It used to be when a corporation had an announcement it would send a news release to the media. Maybe the program included a news conference. The media would then report to the public. With announcements going to social media, the public gets to weigh-in, spread the word and create buzz for the business.
How does this reliance on social media, versus traditional media change the result? Both get information to the public, but is the public listening to its friends and followers?