Starbucks Coffee Company has turned to social media to promote its new ice cream brand. The bean peddler is giving Facebook users complimentary prints of ice cream–provided they install an application to solicit their friends with offers for free Starbucks ice cream.
Starbucks is paying Facebook for ads to promote the application among the social network’s 200 million active users. To be clear, Starbucks is NOT giving away 200 million pints of ice cream; the offer is limited to 20,000 people in the U.S. between now and July 19.
When I installed the application, I was told that there would be no free pints to “surprise a friend” with for about another hour. It did, however, direct me to a Starbucks Web page where I could fill out a form with my personal information to receive a $1 off coupon to redeem at my local grocery store.
Whenever I do something on Facebook, such as install an application, my 500+ ‘friends’ that tune into my event stream are notified. That’s not such a bad reach for Starbucks. In fact, it’s almost viral. If I cared enough about it to send free ice cream to my friends, Starbucks’ frozen concoctions would receive even more exposure.
Could Starbucks become Facebook’s sweet success when it comes to figuring out how to make advertising effective on the service? Starbucks will doubtlessly be monitoring how well its campaign is working.