Starbucks Argentina on Facebook

Companies like Starbucks Argentina are taking the bold first steps in BA business social media.

While Facebook, Twitter and corporate blogs are de riguer social media tools for U.S. brands, the phenomenon is a relatively nascent one in Argentina according to an in-depth article by Florencia Radici for Cronista.

It’s hard to pinpoint whether the Web 2.0 reluctance is motivated by fear of losing control of the message or the heavily flawed assumption that what they, Empresa X, have to say is more important than what consumers of Empresa X have to say and share with fellow users and potential Empresa X converts.

Yet major Argentine brands with hundreds of outlets and millions of customers either have no social media exposure or only a handful of followers on sites like Twitter. In fact, Argentina doesn’t even show up in Twitter’s global ranking on Alexa, while other Latin American countries account for a sizable percentage of the microblog’s traffic: Brazil (3.2%), Mexico (1.5%) and Venezuela (0.7%…thanks to El Loco Chavez, the Ashton Kutcher of Caracas.)

Fortunately Radici says some BA companies are biting the social bala and engaging with customers via blogs and social networks. Many of these companies like Starbucks Argentina, Officenet Staples and IBM have U.S. ties and managers previously baptized in the waters of social media.

Despite a slow start, Radici says BA companies are starting to warm to the idea of online customer engagement, and she points to two recent examples of BA2.0 brilliance include Nike runners twittering in the October 10K and Park Hyatt guests twittering with the concierge. (Full story in Spanish)

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