Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Coca-Cola’.

We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #50

by Adam Bernstein in News

Fortune 500 companies embrace social media
The American magazine Fortune, has long compiled its Fortune 500 list, which details the top 500 PLCs by gross revenue. SMI reported this week that 22% of companies in the list now have an active company blog (a 6% increase from 2008). Of these companies, 31% now use their blogs for video posts – a 10% increase from 2008 to 2009. With no data out yet for 2010, a further increase in top companies blogging looks likely.

That said, the number of Fortune 500 companies blogging compares unfavourably with Inc. 500 companies – the list of the fastest growing companies in America. There, 45% maintain an active company blog, suggesting that social is the way forward.

Marketers use social for SEO
A study from search marketing software provider SEOmoz has revealed that one of the main reasons companies blog is for SEO. 71% of respondents to the survey said they use social media as part of their SEO strategy, with Twitter an easy way to drive inbound links. 20% of those who responded said that improving visibility was their main reason for embracing social media. It’s interesting to see just how important social media has become to SEO – in fact you could argue that once you’ve taken care of the hygiene factors, SEO is purely about social media these days.

Facebook’s astounding growth
15 months ago, Facebook was in a battle with Twitter as to whose ‘live search’ feature would work better. While it would be disingenuous to say that Twitter’s had a bad year (30% year-on-year growth in the US) it doesn’t quite compare with Facebook’s 55% year-on-year growth. Facebook has had such a good year that according to Hitwise, it now accounts for one in four page views in America. That, truly is amazing.

Facebook Credits on sale in the UK
From this week, gift-cards for Facebook Credits – its virtual currency – will be on sale in UK high street shops including Tesco and Game. Facebook Credits can be used to buy virtual objects within games and can also be earned through some applications (in a manner similar to air miles). Deborah Liu, manager of product marketing for Facebook Credits was quoted as saying that

using major retailers such as Game, Tesco and others in the future is also intended to give small developers who sign up to use Credits a wider reach into a new source of income.

This seems a good idea and ties in with the general perception of Credits – that they give a trusted and convenient way to buy premium features within apps.

MySpace introduces Mashup with Facebook

The re-launch of MySpace is gathering pace with its launch last week in the UK and now MySpace revealing its new feature: Mashup with Facebook. As the video above shows, simply by using Facebook Connect, MySpace can import a user’s likes and create a stream around it. As the new MySpace is all about being an entertainment destination, this seems a really cool new feature – it means that MySpace will know what a user already likes and therefore, can recommend new content and introduce users to things they might not know about. It also means MySpace is living up to its word about it being an entirely different product from before.

Twitter launch official analytics product
According to Mashable, Twitter has started inviting users to test a new real-time analytics product. This comes as no surprise since a Twitter exec said earlier in the year that we should expect a Twitter Analytics product by the end of the year; but what will be an unwelcome surprise to the third-party clients which already offer analytics, is that Twitter plan to offer this service for free. As the screenshot below shows, Twitter will be offering extensive analytics, and it’s hard to see how these businesses can survive.

Screenshot of new Twitter analytics

Foursquare launches partner badge program
As part of changing the way it displays badges, Foursquare now differentiates between Foursquare badges and partner badges. Partner badges come from other organisations and have a distinct shield shape to highlight that they’re not from Foursquare. For the first time, they’re encouraging organisations to take part in its partner program by applying online. Early partner badges have come from the American Red Cross and MoMA, among others.

Foursquare partner badges

Foursquare’s response to Facebook Places
On Thursday Foursquare launched a pilot programme together with Safeway and PepsiCo which may well be an indicator of the direction the company is headed in.

The new idea is to tie existing loyalty accounts with Safeway into Foursquare. It’s designed that it can move bigger and could even incorporate Walmart. But crucially, it’s designed to be a far longer-lasting rewards programme than what Facebook Places had to offer – there were 10,000 pairs of Gap jeans to give away but then they were gone. As Austin Carr from Fast Company explains:

Now, when participating customers earn Foursquare’s “Gym Rat” badge, they might be offered a SoBe Lifewater; or, if you often check in bright and early, Foursquare will recognize you’re a morning person, and may offer Tropicana orange juice or Quaker Oats–all specials on PepsiCo products, redeemable at Safeway stores.

Foursquare only has 4 million users compared to Facebook’s 500 million; but this seems a far less ephemeral way of handing out rewards, and indeed, may well help grow their user base.

Coca-Cola team up with SCVNGR, Disney with Gowalla
Coca-Cola have shown that they believe the location based world is bigger than just Facebook and Foursquare by teaming up with SCVNGR, the location based gaming app. This follows from Ben and Jerry’s working with Stickybits, and suggests that the big companies aren’t just going straight to the market leaders. Coke are using SCVNGR by asking users to complete tasks in the real world in return for prizes ranging from bottle openers to gift cards. The campaign is currently only for 10 malls in America, but if successful it may well be rolled out further. Disney have also launched a new location-based campaign for their theme parks. They’ve teamed up with Gowalla to create virtual passport stamps to collect while going round the theme park. This is sure to be popular with kids!

Onitsuka Tiger’s Facebook Places campaign

Onitsuka Tiger ran a pretty cool campaign to tie in with the Sydney Bicycle Film Festival. As the video shows, all people had to do was check in with Facebook Places at three of the locations and then post on the wall of the Facebook page, to be in with a chance to win. The campaign was the first of it’s kind in Australia so it’s success is really impressive: over 50% of attendees at the first event checked in, giving Onitsuka Tiger huge exposure.

Facebook as a real book
Bouygues Telecom wanted an idea to launch their Facebook platform with, and came up with the very cool idea of creating a real book…

Brands invest in online co-creation
This week Tim Burton launched a collaboration with MOMA in New York to tell a story on Twitter – by making use of user-generated content. This seems very similar to the work we did at Halloween, where we used the Tesco Twitter account to tell a great ghost story. There’s an interesting wider point about this though which is discussed in this week’s NMA. It highlights how New Look launched MyLook to give customers a say in business decisions, and how it’s looking to take this forward with a loyalty scheme. But Jim Coleman, our very own client services director, makes a very salient point in the article:

There are those low-engagement brands where using social media to divulge opinion and insight is just not going to work, or at least it may not provide enough of a trend to gain real insight; and then there are those that are high-engagement, such as Marmite, Tesco and Dell, who’s brand ubiquity generates enough conversation to make it useful for the brand.

What this hits on is the crucial point: online co-creation doesn’t work without an existing audience.

Question Time as big as The X Factor
David Dimbleby made an interesting aside during last week’s Question Time when he pointed out that the Question Time hashtag – #bbcqt – is now bigger than The X Factor on Twitter. The Guardian ran an interesting article on how it’s helped the programme develop, but it also alludes to a general point about how TV is now consumed: research from Cisco suggests that 47% of 16-to-24 year olds regularly engage in ‘social TV’ – writing about a programme on the internet while watching it – and whilst this percentage falls among older demographics, it explains why TV programmes like Question Time are so popular on Twitter.

The newest Youtube sensation
Natalie Tran has almost 800,000 subscribers to her Youtube channel which is the 22nd most popular of all time. It’s fair to say that she’s a Youtube sensation. Her two minute long videos are basically ‘skits’ where she plays all the parts. In a surreal way, they’re funny, and they’re clearly incredibly popular. But, the good news is, in spite of all this popularity, she has no ambitions to be the next Justin Bieber. Phew.

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Coca-Cola: A social media case study

by Robin Grant in News Google+

Following on from our Best Buy social media case study back in May, I thought it worth looking at what the FMCG giant Coca-Cola are up to in social media.

Last month in Cannes, Jonathan Mildenhall, Coca-Cola’s VP of global advertising strategy, admitted the multi-national corporation had been slow to embrace social media and historically, they did make some mistakes. However, if you scratch the surface a little, they’re doing some interesting things.

In April they created a new office of digital communications and social media within its public affairs and communications department, giving Adam Brown, digital communications director, and Anne Carelli, digital communications manager, oversight of corporate digital and social media communications efforts.

It’s worth watching Adam speak about Coca-Cola’s social media strategy at the recent BlogWell New York conference (start 50 secs in):

You can also see Adam’s slides here.

Coca-Cola Conversations is the blog Adam mentions, check out the Coca-Cola Facebook page, and for a UK perspective it’s worth looking at this article about ‘Let’s get together’ and the Coke Zone blog.

Of course, there’s also the famous story of the Coca-Cola Facebook page:

Update: Adam has kindly tweeted me to point out that Coke are on Twitter too. I especially like the fact that they’re being very conversational, even with their arch-rivals Pepsi:

Coke's tweet to Pepsi

Update 2: Coke’s new social media policy

Update 3: Coca-Cola and social media: Fans first

Update 4: Coca-Cola builds new social media model

Update 5: Coca-Cola’s marketing shifts from impressions to expressions

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Brands and Twitter

by Robin Grant in News Google+


So after being on the front page on Marketing the week before last, this week we’ve hit the pages of Campaign, with our inclusion in a feature article about, you guessed it, Twitter:

Three years into its existence, the recent media frenzy around celebrity Twitterers, including Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross, and Barack Obama’s successful use of the medium in the run-up to the US election, has seen the popularity of the “microblogging” site increase 27-fold in 12 months.

Advertisers could learn a lot from celebrity Twitterers using the site to shape their personal branding, creating a close, one-on-one relationship with their fans without constantly filtering their thoughts through a PR sieve.

Robin Grant, the managing director of the social media agency We Are Social, which advises Fry on his use of Twitter, explains: “The advice we gave to Stephen centred on being himself and having genuine conversations with people. It’s the same for brands. It’s about being human, showing your real personality and allowing people to connect with you on an emotional level.”

The article then gets quite bizarre, with Flo Heiss, the creative partner at Dare giving this advice about who should sit behind a brand’s account:

It could be a real person, such as a receptionist, or character made up by yourself

How about an imaginary friend who’s a receptionist, Flo? On to David Bain, an ‘internet marketing consultant’:

it’s cleverer when you don’t anthropomorphise it. What if an inanimate object was to Tweet, for example?

Why is it cleverer David? And what would it say? Amelia Torode, managing partner at VCCP:

It has to be a friendly, chatty brand. A brand such as Coca-Cola would be too large in its entirety. You need to work less at a higher-brand level and go down to the actual campaigns or smaller brands under the umbrella in order to start up the conversation.

Not quite as unhinged as Flo and David admittedly, but I’d point to the examples of brands like Burger King, Southwest Airlines, Whole Foods, Starbucks, JetBlue and even VCCP’s client O2, who are having meaningful and useful conversations at the higher-brand level. As usual, our friend Faris Yakob talks sense:

Previously we had a model of buying attention from media companies. Now we’ve got direct relationships so we have to earn that attention – we have to earn it by being entertaining, useful and also nice.

To be honest, there is no ‘right approach’, but there are some general principles that apply (as expressed by myself and Faris above) and then there is the hard won experience at the coalface, learning what works and what doesn’t, that brands doing it themselves (and the agencies like ourselves helping them) have acquired. Most importantly your approach should be built around, yes, you guessed it again, the business objectives you’re trying to achieve.

This diagram from Fallon’s Aki Spicer of six different potential participation strategies brands could use is a useful thought starter (each of which of course might be used in combination or not at all), but even the approaches I deliberately ridiculed above could be valid in the right circumstances. Fictional characters can work really well as part of a campaign as VCCP’s own Compare the Meerkat work shows, and I’m sure at least one of Zappos’ receptionists is on Twitter. Even inanimate objects might have their place – in fact I’ve been trying to persuade Kew Gardens to get their plant life on Twitter for a while now.

But deciding on a strategy is only the first and easiest step. The hard work is the day after day of micro-interactions with real people, and striking the right balance between the opportunities and risks presented by having a real person as the voice of the brand, which I touched upon in the hotly debated post on learning to speak human. David Armano brilliantly investigates this dynamic in The Age of Brandividualism and his recent follow-up, Battle of the Brands (both of which are required reading here at We Are Social towers):

For each brand on Twitter, there’s an individual (or individuals) behind that effort. It’s both business and personal. The two have become one. The tactic comes from a fundamental truth when it comes to the social spaces on the Web. People want to talk to other people. They want transparency. They want to know who they are talking to.

The potential reward of course, is the ability to spread surprise and delight, turn negative word of mouth into positive and to really engage people with your brand at an emotional level. There is no greater prize…

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