How do you get hundreds of thousands of people to talk about your brand on the world's largest social network?

You do two things: First, be Starbucks ($SBUX). Second, announce your new holiday cup designs.

At least, that's what happened last week when Starbucks revealed its annual holiday cups which, this year, wish customers a "merry coffee". 

The announcement created a swell of chatter on Facebook, with mentions of Starbucks hitting a seasonal high on November 10 immediately following the announcement.

On November 7, Starbucks was mentioned 176,000 times on Facebook. But by November 10, that number increased 58% to 279,000.

Starbucks holiday cup designs have been at the center of digital discourse for several years, ever since Internet evangelist Joshua Feurstein criticized secular phrasing on the coffee company's cups an effort to "take Christ and Christmas off" Starbucks' cups, which created a swell among religious conservatives urging Trump and others to declare a that a "war on Christmas" was taking place. Starbucks responded with slogan-free cups in 2017.

It seems the new designs have sparked a good amount of chatter once again, good or bad.

The 279,000 mentions generated by the new holiday cup designs are far from the apex of Starbucks' "Talking About" count on Facebook. That honor goes to a dark moment in Starbucks' history at the end of June 2017 when a BBC investigation found fecal material in ice at the coffee chain just as temperatures were rising. That moment garnered the coffee chain 1.45 million mentions on Facebook in just 24 hours by July 2, 2017.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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