Tweet-a-Coffee: Starbucks unveils a new way to buy coffee - FOX 35 News Orlando

Tweet-a-Coffee: Starbucks unveils a new way to buy coffee for a friend

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Tweet-a-Coffee is a creative new idea from Starbucks that allows customers to give a cup o' joe to someone cities away.

You can call it a Starbucks virtual gift card.

"Once you've linked your accounts, all you have to do is tweet @tweetacoffee to your recipient's twitter handle. You can even include a short note. They'll receive a tweet, with a link to a five dollar Starbucks card e-gift that they can redeem right off their phone at participating stores," said a video posted on the Tweet a Coffee website.

The Tweet-a-Coffee concept has Chicago business owners taking notes.

"Who wouldn't love to buy things for people and not have to deliver it? I'd love to tweet a hairstyle," said Salon Pressure Owner Nadling Pollard.

Pollard says 20% of her customers come in after learning about the salon on social media platforms.

But for small businesses, resources are limited.

"I would imagine that Starbucks has a department that is solely dedicated, how else do they think of Tweet a Coffee? The barrister didn't think of that," said Pollard.

"I think we would definitely do it, it would just have to be something that we could do easily," said Three Aces Front House Manager Will Flanagan.

Until then, Three Aces will continue to attract customers through Facebook.

"Recently we did a hamburger hop and we did the special burger for the weekend and through those pictures people just came in within a day or two," said Flanagan in an interview with Fox 32's Tisha Lewis.

And for customers? The idea of virtual gifts is all about convenience.

"Because the way the economy is now we all need a little help every now and then," said Rana Donaldson.

Critics of the Tweet-a-Coffee campaign say this is another opportunity for a company to gain access to users friends, followers and personal buying habits. It also opens the door for other big companies to launch similar programs to do the same.

Additional information on the Tweet-a-Coffee offering can be found here.

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