Coca Cola was established in 1886, and through all of the rough times and competition, is still one of the top refreshment brands today. They own 4 of the world’s top 5 nonalcoholic sparkling beverage brands, they operate in 200+ countries, they serve nearly 1.6 billion consumers a day, and they have more than 3,000 products. (Coca Cola Company, 2009). Why would a company this big, and this successful “upgrade” their status, and start using social media? Because they’re smart. Their Coca-Cola mission is to refresh the world, to inspire moments of optimism, and to create value and make a difference. If not anything else, the steps that Coke has taken this past year should have given them many moments of optimism.
In case study presented by Adam Brown of Coca-Cola, he stated, “…back in the day you would have heard me say, our home page isn’t just coke.com, it’s google.com … now… it’s google.com, technorati.com, facebook.com…”. He also stated in his presentation that Coca-Cola’s strategy is to Review, Record, Respond, and Redirect. (Brown, 2009)
Coca-Cola has done an amazing job at not only reachin out to the “new media era” audience, but also the people who followed them in the past. Coca-Cola has an official blog called Coca-Cola Conversations which is written and updated by a man by the name of Phil Mooney, who has served as the historian/archivist for Coca-Cola for the last 30 years. The blog contains a wide variety of topics, ranging from our role in pop culture to brand history to Coke collectibles. (Mooney, 2009). It reaches out to a wide variety of audiences, and encourages people to write back and give their input, something Coke probably couldn’t have gotten this far without.
Besides a blog, Coke also has an individual Twitter page for each product, a LinkdIn profile, a Facebook Fan page, and their pwn person widget, CokeTag. CokeTag was released “because they believe that connecting people and giving them a way to share what matters is one of the many things that helps define The Coke Side of Life.” (CokeTag, 2009).
The Facebook fan page was created by two users who liked Coke. What started as a fan page for fun, turned out to be the largest product fan page on Facebook. Coca Cola, instead of taking over the page and making it their own, rewarded the fans by bringing them to Atlanta and giving them a tour of the Coke facility. The fan page remains theirs, but now they have the blessing and help of Coca Cola. By empowering the fans to keep their fan page, Coke ensures a passionate page owner. The Coca Cola marketing team was also smart enough to realize that letting others know what happened here would work in their favor. The fan page creators were told to make a video of the history behind the fan page, and how Coke had reached out to them and rewarded them for this. (Balwani, 2009)
Part of the Action Plan for Harnessing the Power of the New Rules states that you should define your organizations goals first, then based on the goals decide whether or not you want to provide the content for free and without registration. It is also stated that you should write for your audience using examples and stories, and of course make it interesting. (Scott, 2007). Throughout this year, Coke has done an amazing job of launching new items, keeping a close eye on their followers, rewarding those that gice them press, and continuing on based on their target audiences reactions. Coke has made this new media campaign come full circle, and they don’t seem to be anywhere near done yet.