Eight O'Clock Coffee,The 150-Year Old Social Media Machine

If there is one coffee maker that has kept up with the times, it's Eight O'Clock Coffee. I guess like their slogan, "it's always 8 o'clock somewhere!" this coffee company feels that social media is as ubiquitous as a cup of Joe.

Back in August, in my blog titled, "Mad Men Use Social Media To Promote Old Media," I was impressed and amused with the company's social media campaign that involved transforming one's personal Twitter avatar into a MadMen-like version of oneself.

Not content perhaps in being consider a 'one-hit wonder,' the 150 year-old coffee maker is following up their Mad Men sponsorship gig with an equally innovative Facebook campaign.

Eight O'Clock Facebook Fan PageEight O'Clock Facebook Fan Page

Targeting Non-Facebookers, their new promotion almost seems as if it could have been underwritten by Mark Zuckerberg et al, in its assistance of helping to add more followers to the Facebook flock (not that the ubiquitous social network needs help in growing its numbers).

In any event, Eight O'Clock may not be Starbucks, but it certainly has a savvy marketing team that knows how to identify with its customer base and a demographic that tilts more toward Boomers than X-Geners.

Anyone who has been following Facebook knows that their demographic has slowly been skewing older. When Facebook reached its "250th Million User" milestone (all the way back in July, 2009) I published a blog titled, "With 250 Million Users, This Is Not Your Son's Facebook Anymore!In that report  and according to an iStrategyLab's analysis at the time, the population of members over the age of 55 grew 513.7 percent. This is the same age group that most likely remembers grinding their own coffee in the check out aisle of an A&P grocery store back in the 50s and 60s.

Alisa JacobyAlisa JacobyAlisa Jacoby, senior brand manager at Eight O'Clock Coffee claims that the brand has helped people connect over coffee for more than a century, and now it is showing its customers that might be a bit more traditional, or intimidated by Facebook, how to set up an account, join fan pages, attract a network, and post messages.  The quick “how to” video can be found on the Eight O'Clock Web site and at www.facebook.com/eightoclockcoffee.

Apparently, the Facebook how-to video idea emerged from feedback received from  brand fans mentioning that they have friends who they wished were on Facebook, so that they could easily stay in touch.

"Especially with the holidays at hand, we all know at least one person we'd love to catch up with and stay in touch with through Facebook, who isn't on Facebook yet," says Jacoby. "So we thought we'd help make it easier for Facebook holdouts to join in and connect."

The "Connecting Over Coffee Through Facebook" promo that accompanies the video refers to how "people have been connecting over Eight O'Clock Coffee for 150 years- and via Facebook since 2004."

Eight O'Clock Facebook "How To" VideoEight O'Clock Facebook "How To" Video

The brand is spreading the word about the video via its Facebook fan page, tweets, mentions by bloggers, news media and other forms of word-of-mouth means. The only marketing inititative that I think was overlooked in this campaign was not having this informative video posted to YouTube. Having just been proclaimed the top social media innovation of the decade, YouTube's viral capabilities might have spread the word faster and farther than even Facebook or Eight O'Clock's Web site could do.

So, Ms. Jacoby, if you're reading, you might want to upload a video copy post-haste, less Starbucks beats you to the punch!

 UPDATE:  December 30 -  In response to my critique regarding the omission of a YouTube video as part of Eight O' Clock's social media campaign, today I received a tweet that indicated that a vid was just uploaded to YouTube.  Hats off to Eight O' Clock. They not only understand how best to utilize social media for marketing purposes, they also respond to constructive criticism well.