Starbucks: Instagram Best Practices

Our Story

Two things were crucial to the Starbucks Coffee Company back when they first open in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market in 1971, and those two things are still imperative to the brand today.

1. Share great coffee with our friends.

2. Help make the world a little better.

From its establishment, Starbucks intended to be more than just a great cup of coffee. Starbucks wanted to celebrate the tradition and create a connection with its customers. This intention can be perceived in the company name. The name Starbucks is inspired by the novel Moby Dick. The founders hoped it evoked “romance of the high seas” and was an agreeable representation of early coffee traders’ seafaring ways.

Starbucks has appealed to Howard Schultz, the chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, since his first cup of freshly brewed Sumatra. He officially joined the Starbucks team in 1987. Starbucks is known today as a meeting place for friends to enjoy conversation and the middle ground between work and your home. The intentional casual style and radiating sense of community are inspired by the coffeehouses in Italy that Schultz visited on a trip abroad.

Every brand has a story. Every social media platform is a chance for that brand to share its story and message with the world. Starbucks utilizes Instagram’s photo-sharing platform to share their story, host contests, speak on essential matters, share new products, and much more. Besides Instagram, consumers can view Starbucks content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok. The following guide is created to aid in maintaining brand excellence on Instagram.

Content and Formatting

Starbucks currently boasts 18 Million followers on Instagram. We must utilize the best practices for Instagram to create posts that followers are likely to engage in. Instagram has said that the ideal length of Instagram captions is between 138 to 150 characters.

Currently, Starbucks is keeping captions short, sweet, and to the point. Starbucks will make exceptions and include more extended captions for important posts with strong messages and inform customers.

For example, Starbuck has a post featuring a team member named Orville. The caption is 953 characters but is essentially a short biography of Orville’s time with the company and details his determination to succeed and empower the local community. The caption includes one hashtag, #BlackHistoryMonth. Throughout February, Starbucks has been amplifying Black voices on their platforms.

At Starbucks, we rarely populate our captions with hashtags and keep relevant hashtags limited. For example, we use hashtags during holidays (#ValentinesDay) or promote limited-time products (#PumpkinSpiceLatte). Our brand is known and recognized worldwide; it is not necessary to include irrelevant or excessive hashtags.

Customer Engagement

While Starbucks is a beverage and food service company, it is vital to include many posts to display on our feed. It helps boost engagement besides only posting images to the Starbucks feed. We also develop content for Instagram stories, reels, IGTV, and guides. If you are not familiar with stories, reels, IGTV, or guides, it is suggested that you click the hyperlink to learn more.

It is also essential to respond to customers when they comment or engage with Starbucks on Instagram. This encourages engagement in the future and makes the customer feel connected to the brand. The comments back to customers are individualized — ask them questions, compliment their suggestions, send emojis, etc. Responding to comments, even negative comments make ensures the brand is respected, honest, and trustworthy.

Feature customer photos on Starbucks Instagram. Make sure to give the customer credit by tagging the personal profile in the caption! This makes the customer feel important and as though they are involved with the brand. People like seeing their pictures in a national brand, and it is relatable. It is likely a photo the audience can picture themselves taking.

Social Media

Instagram: @Starbucks

Twitter: @Starbucks

Facebook: Starbucks @Starbucks



Company information. Retrieved February 22, 2021, from

Brand presence On Instagram: A lesson from Starbucks. (2014, June 04). Retrieved February 22, 2021, from

University of Florida Advertising Student