Figure 1. Coca-Cola (Source: Coca-Cola n.d.)
Top of their game
Multinational company with thousands of brands under their belt. A hub and spoke model they are both market leaders in the beverage category as well with social media. Fluently communicate on social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, Flickr Google +, Tumblr, and more… They blog and blog, and have RSS feeds, played in virtual worlds, mobile apps and even stepped into the artificial intelligence world. Actively focusing marketing on Web 3.0 and beyond with proximity marketing and standalone app locator beacons.
Competitors watch to see what Coca-Cola will come up with next. While using a consistent voice, frequency, style, passion and engagement they have a cohesive social media strategy. Building relationships, social engagement, and content creation is key in their campaigns. In a case of social humanity, they aligned themselves with a nonprofit to drop ‘happiness from the skies’. The video went viral and aligned itself with their ‘where will happiness strike next campaign’ Crowdsourcing and co-creation helped campaigns go viral. Sub-brands have their own social channels with liquid and linked ideas and an art of amplifying content that doesn’t feel like a marketing message. With venue specific messages the strategy is to enhance the brand, excel in content creation and engage connected consumers a perfect social business.
Year’s of effective marketing means we recognise the white ribbon under the C without having to see the full image. The organisation has always taken a human approach to communication and not the stiffness of a large corporation. They focus on user-centric experiences with viral campaigns, consumers seek and share; check out the drinkable advertising campaign
Figure 2: Coca-Cola engagement (Source: Coca-Cola n.d.)
Communication: Taking direct engagement seriously, understanding the implications of ‘non-responsive’ social. Coca-Cola has developed the hub a consumer interaction centers to help with social responsibility. They monitor social interaction and can inject themselves into any conversation.
Collaboration: Coca-Cola Journey is a collaborative digital magazine where different departments bring together information into a content platform.
Connection: Internal social media communication project, being aware of what is being said and proactively dealing with it.
Cisco playbook works for a thriving company that actively listens and communicates and is aware that consumers are educated, verbal and vocal online. Coca-Cola is S.O.C.I.A.L:
Scalable: 2020 vision, largest Facebook membership, Coca-Cola Company is in 207 countries and have worked on strategies making their messages easily transferrable, focusing on the heart of what a consumer wants, check this out – during times of strife campaign.
Open: Transparency at all levels.
Consistent: One-voice and consistent messages across all mediums.
Intuitive: Semantic web technology and visually appealing styles.
Active: Live monitoring of their brand image and one on one communication
Limitless: Coke makes so many different beverages that if you drank one per day, it would take you over 9 years to try them all.
Keeping it tight
Anarchy causes chaos! organizational social media without rules causes anarchy and dilution of the organization’s values, strategies, and brand footprint. Coca-Cola developed social media principles, which outline their expectations regarding public interaction and engagement on social media.
The key points are:
Transparency: Coca-Cola will be transparent in all situations.
Protection: Protection of privacy, laws and regulations.
Respect: Respect rights and copyrights.
Responsible: Be responsible regarding usage or Internet.
Coca-Cola is a social business
They have clearly defined social business strategies, if we look at Brian Solis ‘The Seven Success Factors of Social Business Strategy’
- Define the overall business goals.
The main objectives of the Coca-Cola is to be a global cooperation that conducts business responsibly and ethically and can accelerate sustainable growth to operate in tomorrow’s world. By having these objectives, it forms the foundation for Coca-Cola in the decision-making process. Read more here.
People: Inspiring each other to be the best we can be by providing a great place to work.
Portfolio: Offering the world a portfolio of drinks brands that anticipate and satisfy people’s desires and needs.
Partners: Nurturing a winning network of partners and building mutual loyalty.
Profit: Maximizing long-term return to shareholders, while being mindful of our overall responsibilities.
Productivity: Being a highly effective, lean and fast-moving organisation.
- Ensure executive support.
Executive buy-in at all levels.
- Define the strategy roadmap.
Check out Coca-Cola’s road map for growth here.
- Establish governance and guidelines.
Guidelines created for suppliers here.
Human rights and various other policies here – focus on transparency.
- Secure staff, resources, and funding.
- Invest in technology platforms that evolve.
Each of those 7 steps helped Coca-Cola evolve into what Brian Solis terms a social business
- Planning: Constant ear to the ground with The Hub.
- Presence: Stakes claim to all social media network.
- Engagement: Open transparent communication and fostered campaigns that encourage engagement.
- Formalized: Development of their ‘2020 Plans’ Coca Cola Content
- Strategic: Coca-Cola lead social media marketing.
- Converged: Collaboration between different sections of the company; public relations, H.R etc.
Is social media worth it?
“A Coca-Cola Co. study finds online buzz has no measurable impact on short-term sales, but online display ads work about as well as TV” Ouch!! They are spending a lot of money to create buzz so do they get return on their investment?
“it’s the combination of owned, earned, shared and paid media connections – with social playing a crucial role at the heart of our activations – that creates marketplace impact, consumer engagement, brand love and brand value…. Reach, engagement, love and value are the markers of success we use for our campaigns… We know our target consumers – teens and young adults – are consuming media on multiple screens in single sessions. This means the TV is on, a laptop is open and a smartphone is in hand” Converting the campaign across screen sizes and enabling interaction and conversion.
Are you ready for a Coke now? Or maybe some shares?
 Bhasin, Kim. (2011, June 11). 15 facts about Coca-Coal that will blow your mind. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com.au/facts-about-coca-cola-2011-6?r=US&IR=T#coke-makes-so-many-different-beverages-that-if-you-drank-one-per-day-it-would-take-you-over-9-years-to-try-them-all-2
 Clark, Wendy (20 March 2013). Social at the heart creates impact. Retrieved from http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/buzzworthy-social-at-the-heart-creates-impact
Coca-Cola. (2016). Mission, Visions & Values. Retrieved from http://www.coca-colacompany.com/our-company/mission-vision-values
Coca-Cola (2016). Online social media principles. Retrieved from http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/online-social-media-principles/
Coca-Cola. (n.d.). Coca-Cola [Image] Retrieved from https://mycokedsdol.force.com/DefaultStore/resource/1446874814000/CokeLogo
Coca-Cola. (n.d.). Coca-Cola engagement. [Image]. Retrieved http://marketingland.com/coke-dennys-react-real-time-events-social-media-108687