18 October 2012 10 Comments

How to build power brand online: A case study of Coca-cola 70Million+ fans

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

Coca-cola, Coca-Cola Social media strategy, Winning Social Media marketing, Social Media result measurement, Building strong online presence using Coca-Cola model, Online Brand Communication, Online  Engagement StrategyBuilding and sustaining power brand on social media or any kind of success at all is hard work.  A lot of thinking, strategy, tactic, commitment and great team who understand the strength in power sharing and group overriding goal achievement above personal ego are great qualities that help.

We have taken time to observe some great brands like South-West Airline, McDonald, Dell, Zappos, and American Airline among other online Media users and have been thrilled by a high level of commitment demonstrated by them. But our eyes have always been on Coca-cola. Today after careful study and active listening to Coca-cola online team (through interviews etc) we have come to understand the secret of Coca-cola success. Coca-cola is one of the strongest world known brands. The company re-strategize often to meet consumers’ demand, invest in all media platforms that can help in connecting with its consumers. For some, they sometimes wonder why such a known brand will still be involved in heavy advertising budget? But Coca-cola understands something many do not. Today, out of sight is now out of mind. To remain top of the mind you must value relevant visibility and exposure. Anything short of this will drain corporate goal energy.

Majority agree when it comes to social media use, coca-cola cannot be dismissed. Patricia Sellers in a recent article claimed coca-cola is the biggest consumer brand on Facebook. The company has an average of 52 Million Facebook engaged fans. What a feat! Coca- Cola fan is not just a number. Majority of them are highly engaged with the brand. Building such a huge online following is heavy work. Those who are involved know what it means. Beyond building, sustaining the crowd will require Wisdom of Solomon and yet Coca-Cola online team continues to surprise everyone. The team makes impossible possible. In a recent interview conducted by Patricia Seller with Coca- cola SVP of Integrated Marketing Communications and capabilities-Wendy Clark, we can now understand why Coca- Cola efforts stand out. Here are my take-away which any dummy can apply.

Audience segmentation: Coca- cola team understand the time and environment businesses or brands operate today- a socially connected one. The team also understands the rise in the power of individualism. So they classify their audience well: :  Initial Audience-those Coca- Cola can reach directly (52 MM Facebook fans, 600k Twitter followers, 18MM My Coke rewards members, etc)-and  Ultimate Audience, which is those people whom its Initial Audience can reach for them. Coca-Cola acts on a believe its Facebook fans are just over one fan or friend away from the entire Facebook community of 1 billion+.  With this understanding, Coca-Cola builds strategic contents which help escalate its power and presence. Hence Coca- Cola focuses its content on the followings

Being ‘share-able’: Since they know initial audience will not help much if Coca-Cola contents are not share-worthy, coca-Cola team does everything to make its content shareable to ultimate audience. This helps them reach the ultimate audience faster beyond its total average of over Seventy Million combined audience on social platforms. Have you taken time to segment your audience? Do you realize if your contents are not shareable, you may not reach the audience outside? More also, your initial audience too will diminish overtime.

Listening, response time and authenticity with human face: A major success of Coca-Cola is its listening capacity. It ups its game by remaining humble, authentic with human face and not just machine. Speed is it today. If a brand is not actively listening and responding fast, it will be gone in no time.

Thinking big, secret of little action and scaling fast: We all have great ambition. Nothing is wrong with this. The challenge is not starting at all or wanting to use short routes-adding followers through robot. Start small, learn fast and scale up the game with innovation and creativity. You do not go far without these.

Being social is good but use your head: Many overate the importance of social media and hence assume it will deliver the goal without any strategy. This will lead to failure. Work with your social media strategy, objective eyeglass.

Create contents that will appeal, empower your followers to become brand storytellers and never be a commander: Content is still high volume currency on social media. But first, you must understand platform users’ mindset by crafting and customizing what works in each platform. Do not forget you can only be a guide, servant and guard of your brand and not controller.

Coca-Cola is excelling because of these, will your brand excel?

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