Benevolent coffee buyers have a new platform: Starbucks has launched its Tweet-a-Coffee program, or what it calls "a new way for customers to send the thoughtful gift of Starbucks coffee."
As of October 28, U.S. customers can sync their Starbucks accounts to their Twitter accounts and tweet to @tweetacoffee with the Twitter handle of a recipient, which will send said Twitter user a $5 e-gift, the brand says.
Starbucks spokesperson Linda Mills declined to provide a figure for the number of consumers with Starbucks accounts. However, as of November 5, the @tweetacoffee handle had about 14,000 followers.
Customers can then redeem Tweet-a-Coffee e-gifts at participating locations by printing out the e-gift, by showing it directly on their mobile devices or by loading it to their Starbucks mobile app.
According to Starbucks, Tweet-a-Coffee, which launched in beta form, will be an ongoing effort that will allow customers to "engage with one another online to gift a Starbucks beverage spontaneously and respond proactively with gestures of encouragement, kindness and ‘just because.'"
Starbucks first launched its e-gifting platform in 2011 on Starbucks.com and, in addition to Twitter, has since extended it to Facebook and its iPhone mobile app, the brand says.
"For quite some time, we've offered an e-gift program. We've had the Starbucks card, which is a physical gift card that you can give to somebody for birthdays and holidays. In fact, I think one in 10 Americans received one for the holiday season last year," Mills says. "What this program does is it extends the physical gift card you give to somebody and brings it to the online space."
While consumers can give Starbucks e-gifts in any amount up to $400 on Facebook, Tweet-a-Coffee is limited to $5, she adds.
In addition, through November 6, Starbucks says the first 100,000 customers who tweet a coffee using a Visa card will receive a $5 Starbucks e-gift for themselves. As of November 4, the 100,000 figure had not yet been reached.
A YouTube video explaining how Tweet-a-Coffee works has 45,000 views as of November 5.
Starbucks has 35.4 million likes and @Starbucks has 5.1 million followers.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
March 19, 2014