Green Mountain Coffee Takes Headfirst Approach to Social Media
The metamorphosis of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters from a low-end coffee brand found at many gas stations to a high-profile, gourmet coffee roaster and multifaceted corporation that’s cashed in on the Keurig single-cup coffee brewing machine, has been no secret in recent years. In addition to the coffee maker’s extensive retail distribution in some 17,000 department and specialty stores around the country, Green Mountain has built its brand through a 7.5 million annual catalog circulation (this year) and on the web.
More recently, Green Mountain has made social media a key element in its web endeavors, and on Oct. 7, its director of consumer direct, Ken Crites, explained the Waterbury, Vt.-based company’s approach during the Hudson Valley Direct Marketing Association’s fall luncheon in Greenwich, Conn.
In addition to maintaining a Facebook fan page as well as a Twitter address, Crites pointed out some social media wild cards that have served Green Mountain well. For instance, the company is active with HouseParty.com, a web-based facilitator of Tupperware-type parties that consumers can host to pitch the Keurig and its vast array of Green Mountain-branded, single-brew K-cup coffee ground containers.
Crites summarized Green Mountain’s approach to social media as such:
* Facebook: With a following of passionate and loyal coffee drinkers, Green Mountain posts briefs on its endeavors, as well as a recent series of “quiz” questions about fair-trade coffee.
* Twitter: “Our work on Twitter is based on searches,” Crites said. “We search Twitter to see if somebody’s complaining about our products. Then we respond with a 'here’s a link' on how to solve the problems. We also can automate it so our blog posts go on our Twitter page” with links to them.
* PowerReviews: “We love PowerReviews,” Crites said. Of course, it helps that Green Mountain products average a 4.5 out of 5 rating, he noted. “But we do get a lot of bad reviews, too.” For instance, K-cups are plastic and can’t be recycled, and Green Mountain gets a lot of flack for this. “We know it’s an issue that we can’t resolve yet. But it’s better for us to deal with it openly through social media.”