Social Media BOOM: Starbucks’ Digital Scavenger Hunt
At the end of May, into the first weeks of June Starbucks launched a brilliant social media campaign called SRCH. Participants had to scour the internet for clues and puzzle pieces for a chance to claim a prizes like Starbucks e-gift cards, Polaroid products, or the grand prize trip to see Lady Gaga perform anywhere in North America.
Truly, this was a brilliant marketing and social media campaign. First of all, to play, a participant had to log in to their Facebook account through the SRCH page. Then, clues led players on a trail across all major social media sites: Twitter, yfrog, Foursquare, Tumblr, various Facebook pages, multiple blogs, and endless Googling. Players also made use of smartphone apps, like Shazam. Bam! Instant internet traffic. As if web page hits alone didn’t fill Starbucks’ internet traffic quota, SRCH easily smashed records as thousands of players competed for only a few hundred prizes.
But SRCH did more than just increase page hits. It broadened Starbucks’ web presence. Participants “liked” Facebook pages left and right, and now that SRCH is over, the Starbucks news is still streaming on their feeds. Twitter trends for #srch and the like began popping up, and partner pages like Polaroid also reaped the benefits.
In the wake of the SRCH game, Starbucks now has an increased number of followers and friends—an increased number of potential customers with increasingly easy means of direct contact—any company’s ongoing goal. By associating the game with one of the most popular current celebrity figures, they insured a high-volume of participants.
So, lucky? No. Clever and well-planned? HECK YES!
But, the real question is: How do design and marketing studios learn from this? How can we realistically move forward and incorporate viral marketing in to our client’s needs? Of course, we can’t give away $1000+ to Starbucks or team up with Lady Gaga, but we can learn a lesson from serious social media marketing. When tailored and properly deployed for a target audience, social media is the quickest and fastest-growing method for reaching the largest number of people and Starbucks’ SRCH campaign is the best example of social media’s power in today’s web world.