Starbucks spent millions getting facebook followers and now they have to pay to reach them

Starbucks spent 10 years spending big money each year, I’m guessing 10s of millions of dollars, getting followers on Facebook. The plan was simple. The goal was to get followers and then reach them organically and drive value over time.

Right now they have 36 million followers on Facebook.

Well it turns out Facebook likes making ad revenue. It turns out Facebook owns the platform and has all the control. Slowly over time Starbucks started noticing their Facebook posts were only reaching 1% of their following. How could this be? We spent all this money to get these followers and now we can’t reach them. Facebook’s response?

You can reach the last 99% if you boost your posts and continue to pay for ads. Facebook has every right to do this. Its their platform. Its their algorithm. They have the users and they call the shots.

Starbucks spent millions getting the followers on someone else’s platform with no control and now they are paying again to reach them.

This concept expanded to YouTube, Google, Yelp and Amazon here.

This is another reason why I love service based businesses.

Businesses with sales that are driven by actual interaction that goes beyond a click or an online ad are most insulated from the above risks. If you can speak to your customers on the phone or by email it’s a lot easier to control that and nurture that on your own terms.

Taking that one step further if your business reaches customers on a local level and those customers can interact with each other in the form of word of mouth marketing you are further protected. Your customers are not only face to face with you but they rely on each other for recommendations and there are synergies with all the different marketing drivers.

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About Me

I started the Sweaty Startup in December of 2018 because I believe the Shark Tank and Tech Crunch culture is ruining the real spirit of low-risk entrepreneurship.