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When it comes to a company that’s as large as Starbucks, new initiatives don’t get released to the public in a spontaneous manner. Instead, any big marketing push has to go through countless layers of approval before it goes out into the world. But while Starbucks and other large companies put a lot of work into their marketing, that doesn’t mean they always get it right.
An example of Starbucks missing the mark is its “Race Together” campaign. The quick summary of this campaign is that baristas were instructed to write “Race Together” on customers’ cups. The purpose of writing this phrase was to encourage conversations between baristas and customers about race.
If this idea sounds a little bit off to you, you’re definitely not alone. While most people realize that the US and the rest of the world still have a long way to go before the race is no longer an issue, that doesn’t mean coffee cups are the solution.
While Starbucks likely had multiple meetings where they walked through how they expected this campaign to be received by the public, it appears they didn’t include a discussion about social media management during those meetings.
Starbucks and Their Misguided Response to a Social Media Backlash
As soon as media outlets began publishing stories about the new “Race Together” campaign, people took to social media channels like Facebook and Twitter to share their thoughts. While some people supported this effort, the overwhelming response was negative.
The reason it’s clear that Starbucks didn’t plan for any sort of negative social media reception is that as negative comments gained momentum, the company didn’t face what was happening. Instead, an executive on Starbucks’ communications team, Corey duBrowa, even blocked people on Twitter before temporarily taking down his account. He later followed up with a blog post that said that he felt he was being personally attacked in a cascade of negativity and that he had gotten overwhelmed.
Social Media Training is No Longer Optional
If a communications executive isn’t able to deal with negative social media comments, how is anyone else expected to do so without the proper training? What happened with Starbucks is the perfect example of why social media training is a must for companies.
Regardless of how much or little a company currently utilizes social media, conversations about them are happening on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Instead, the savviest thing a company can do is properly train its entire team to use social media. Making this form of training a priority means that a company will not only be able to properly weather a social media backlash, but it will also empower them to strengthen their marketing efforts by fully harnessing the power of social media.
Web Media University offers 3 great ways to earn your Social Media Management Certification!
On-Demand – Get Instant Access so you can train at your own pace!
In-Person – Join your peers in a classroom in your local city!
Live Virtual – Login to screen-sharing software and learn in real-time virtually!
Looking to learn even more? Consider becoming a member of Web Media University.
Could you or your company benefit from social media training? Looking for social media training for your employees or franchise owners? Be sure to check out our most popular team training workshops! Need custom social media training for your Industry? Look no further, Web Media University is the only social media training company that offers industry-specific training for the top industries, learn more.
Not sure which training option works best for you? Book a free consultation with our expert teacher who can assess your current skill level and recommend the best training program for you or your team!
Michelle Hummel is the CEO of Web Media University. She was recently nominated for the Woman-Owned Business of the Year! CEO of Web Strategy Plus, a full-service digital marketing agency. She’s a passionate Social Media Trainer with 15+ years of successful online business development, sales, and marketing experience. She also holds a valuable Internet Marketing Degree however in the ever-changing world of web marketing she strives to learn something new every day.
She travels Nationwide visiting the 26 Social Media Enthusiasts Chapters she developed Nationwide delivering in-depth social media training. A current contributing editor to The Franchise Dictionary Magazine and she has written 3 books in her series called, “The Social Media Magnet: Everything You Need to Know to Attract Customers with Social Media”, where she shares her best-kept secrets to success. She also specializes in helping Franchisors and Franchisees develop an integrated web marketing program to drive leads. She’s available for interviews via email, telephone, Skype video, news segments on location, and more. Just let her know how she can help!
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