Starbucks #RedCupArt = Seasonally Socialgenic

Famous for inspiring a cult following and even an anti-Christmas controversy the #RedCupArt Campaign is an annual bellwether moment for Starbucks and social media marketers. While you likely don’t have their global reach, you can find a few gifts of wisdom in Starbucks’ campaign that will show returns for your marketing in 2017.

Be choosy with your hashtag

As you can see from the Instagram gallery above, #RedCups has a different meaning in binge drinking circles (and I don’t mean COFFEE) that could likely  bring up some #NSFW posts in a random search. Starbucks has been deliberate in circulating #RedCupArt to maximize their ownership of the term, and minimize the potential for embarrassing content confusion.

Be Socialgenic and be welcome in the conversation

As with the word photogenic, things that are “genic” – cause or produce, or are well-suited to something. Therefore things that are Socialgenic produce or are well-suited to social sharing. You heard it here first, Socialgenic strategies are THE hack for businesses looking to turn their customers into their best marketers in a world where every guest is a broadcaster. Employ this tactic to create value through your social efforts and be relevant in fan’s social feeds rather than imposing your own content on them like an unwanted guest at the holidays.

Give the gift of an audience

By providing a canvas for creativity (red cups) and sharing the stage (their global social media accounts) Starbucks turns talented and ambitious fans into content creators. Importantly, since the iconic green circle logo is inextricably “baked in” to every user-generated red cup creation, each post is in fact a “user-generated ad” not just user generated content. Because the creator is the star and the brand is the stage, red cup art is shared to a fan’s peers with pride as an expression of their personality and will be welcomed with a much warmer heart than a brand initiated message.

Tip to go

Consider how you can make your product and promotion more Socialgenic. People are looking to express their personalities and take part of something bigger than themselves. How can you create a canvas for them and share your stage? If you can, you will be a welcome guest in their social conversations rather than unwanted visitor.

Looking for inspiration on how to make your brand or experience more Socialgenic? Drop me a line or ask for help in the comments below.

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