Corporate Blogging Study: My Starbucks Idea

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So you’ve set up a blog, established goals, and started to post content, but you’re having trouble building an audience. You may be asking yourself, “How do I keep my readers engaged?” The key is keeping your readers in mind. What do your customers want? How can they benefit from your blog? Let’s take a peek at how Starbucks keeps their fans coming back for more.

Tens of thousands of customers have logged onto My Starbucks Idea for their opportunity to pitch the successful coffee chain their idea for how to improve things – everything from adding Diet Coke to the menu to installing solar panels to keep the electricity bills under control.

Once the idea is posted, other readers can then build on it by adding comments. There is also a rating system, making it a game of sorts to see whose idea gets the most votes.  The blog is really clever in that it allows customers to feel a sense of ownership over what happens at their local coffee shop, and of course, who wouldn’t head out to the store to check out the newest development they helped to put in place?

But wait, that doesn’t sound like a blog, does it? The emphasis is on user-generated content, but there are regular blog posts from employees of the company. Like many successful corporate blogs, they introduce you to the employees who are behind it, the “Starbucks Idea Partners,” allowing you to put a face to the company. The two partners then keep you up-to-date on the progress of the ideas and let you know which ones are making their way into the stores. Goals are categorized as “Under Review,” “Reviewed,” “Coming Soon,” or “Launched,” so readers are aware of where they stand in the process.

All in all, the blog accomplishes many goals, such as establishing a dialogue with customers and developing new products, but, above all, it keeps fans engaged with the brand. Consider how your blog is putting the “spotlight” on your readers. What can your blog do to make their lives better?