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What Happens When Starbucks and Twitter Have a Coffee Date?
By: Aprel Phelps Downey
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At the heart of every Twitter conversation is the act of making a connection with someone else. That connection can be based on sharing a common interest, brainstorming business development ideas, or assuming the role of armchair analyst when trying to figure out where last night’s game went horribly wrong. Everything from breaking news to television show cliffhangers, celebrity fandom celebrations and award shows are shared in conversations of 140 characters or less.
These conversations may take place with a friend down the street or a random stranger who lives on the opposite side of the world. Regardless of how the conversation gets started, the sharing element is the same. It feels as real as a face-to-face conversation with a good friend over coffee.
Individually, Starbucks and Twitter are each known for their art of socialization. Now coffee lovers and Twitter users will be able to share a cup of coffee with a friend, colleague, client, or random stranger whenever they choose. This new level of social interaction comes courtesy of a newly developed "tweet-a-coffee" e-card gift program. The beauty of this program is that it captures real-time online social interaction and pairs it with a real world social connection by offering simple, friendly cups of coffee.
Starbucks is not a stranger to partnering with a social media outlet in order to offer virtual gift certificates. In 2011 the coffee powerhouse joined forces with Facebook to allow users to send e-cards to friends for birthday gifts and "just because" events. In addition to this Starbucks iPhone app, users are also capable of sending e-card certificates to other iPhone users. Both programs have been met with popular success and the expectations are the same for the new joint gift-giving venture with Twitter.
Early signs indicate a strong show of support for the Twitter tweet-a-coffee e-card certificate program. Its initial day of live action saw approximately 7,500 new followers. As a show of appreciation Twitter and Starbucks announced that the first 100,000 users to send a tweet-a-coffee tweet through November 6 will receive a $5 e-card for their personal use courtesy of Visa.
The new program is simple to use. An interested user links their Twitter account with a Starbucks account and creates a tweet utilizing the new @tweetacoffee handle and adds the recipient’s Twitter @handle name. Starbucks then creates a $5 e-card certificate for the recipient and sends it along to their Twitter account. The recipient may redeem the e-card certificate at any U.S. Starbucks location via a mobile device, Starbucks mobile app, or presenting a printed certificate. All that is left is to sit back and enjoy a warm cup of coffee courtesy of a friend or kind stranger. 

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About the Author
Aprel Phelps Downey is a writing/marketing professional who holds more than seven years marketing experience, including all aspects of promotional and informational campaigns and website development.  To learn more about Aprel please visit her website at www.aprelphelpsdowney.com or follow her on twitter: @aphelpsdowney.
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