Following Coca-Cola’s Lead for Social Media Marketing

The failed 1985 New Coke marketing gimmick aside, Coca-Cola is a powerhouse of brand engagement and culture. From the award-winning Mean Joe Greene Super Bowl commercial in 1979 to rock-studded musical advertisements, the software giant is known for memorable commercials and ingenious marketing campaigns. When it comes to social media marketing, though, Coca-Cola faces some of the challenges that any other business does: it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. To boost brand performance via Facebook marketing and other social platforms, Coca-Cola is making a few changes.

A Move for More Control

Following its advertisement moves globally, Coca-Cola is bringing control of social media marketing in-house, particularly in North America. It’s creating a centralized team of 55 staffers to manage social media profiles and activity for all of its soda brands, including Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and Fanta. The news of this shift comes on the heels of speculation that Pepsi is bringing social media control in-house and will work with third party companies on a project basis.

These moves to in-house social media marketing come at a time when control of brand messaging is more critical than ever. It’s easy for messages to become skewed as they skate across the web via shares, likes and comments, and some control over branding is critical for success whether you’re a small business or a giant cola conglomerate. You don’t have to write every word of social media marketing content yourself to exert control, but handing your Facebook or Twitter profile over to a third-party company and calling it a day might be a bad move for your brand.

Following Coca-Cola’s move, keep overall control of your social media in-house and work with freelancers or outside agencies to create brand-specific content, campaigns and messaging.

Engaging Consumers on an Emotional Level

Coca-Cola is also leveraging consumer emotions to boost social media engagement. Emotion-based marketing is nothing new for the brand. The 1971 “Buy the World a Coke” music campaign skyrocketed to success fueled by emotions, and the enduring popularity of the Coca-Cola polar bears also played on common emotions. The software brand is currently phasing in an empathy-based model on social media.

According to reports, Coca-Cola is using an AI-powered model that analyzes a variety of social media factors to predict emotional content. Test data from the brand’s social media marketing indicated that consumers were 26 percent more likely to view, share or engage with posts that were created based on insights regarding feelings about the Rio Olympics than similar posts that were not created with such insights in mind.

The lesson learned here is that real-time social media marketing is as essential to success as well-thought-out campaigns are. To rise above the cacophony of digital data, your business must engage in both, which means working with outside agencies to create top-notch campaigns and content. It also means exerting some in-house control and keeping up with the overall emotional trends of your target audience.

Sarah Stasik

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Sarah is an experienced writer and copyeditor with a background in project management. She’s Six Sigma Black Belt certified and leverages her knowledge of statistical analysis, process improvement and content marketing to help clients engage audiences and increase conversions.

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