I have chosen to examine two giants in the consumer beverage industry, Pepsi and Coca Cola, and how these two companies utilize social media.
Pepsi is active on Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube. There idea is to build relationships with millennials, ages 18 to 35, which just happens to be the “largest, most diverse, educated and complicated group of shoppers the world has ever seen” and they are the most active on social media sites (HootSuite, 2013, para. 3). This is exactly why Pepsi is after this generation. “Pepsi is learning that if you want to remain relevant with this new type of consumer, you have to be where they are, you have to talk their language, and you have to connect with them in a way that keeps them feeling like they want to be part of your brand” (Horton, 2012, para. 5). After all that is the idea of engagement marketing. Companies need to keep their consumers interested in the brand by reaching out using social media tactics and making consumers think differently about the brand because of their engagement on social media. One of Pepsi’s new global campaign is called Live For Now in which inspires consumers or Pepsi fans to live for the moment and live life to its fullest with the idea of connecting on a global level with consumers (PepsiCo, 2012). The U.S. version, Pepsi Pulse, features interacting content with videos of music stars, Pepsi ads, tweets from fans, pictures of Pepsi products taken by fans. Their website engages consumers by highlighting aspects of how they “live for now”. Their Facebook and Twitter pages contain the same type of content by highlighting “live for now”, featuring Pepsi drinks being utilized in different ways, pop culture icons, and thousands of comments from fans. Their You Tube account features videos of their ads and highlights of the “live for now” campaign. What’s so important for any company and what Pepsi is doing very well is keeping their brand image consistent. Every site is all about the “live for now” campaign. Pepsi is utilizing an integrated marketing communications strategy. What’s also important is that Pepsi is simply letting consumers speak, but they are also communicating back by reviewing what consumers say about the brand and answering questions or trying to solve problems.
Coca Cola on the other hand is active on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, LinkedIn, Google+, and Flickr. Coca Cola ranks as the most valuable brand in the world and the most followed on Facebook (Roman, 2013). That kind of ranking is a lot of pressure for a brand as they need to uphold their image throughout social media. One of the keys aspects Coca Cola does throughout their social media sites is they listen to consumers and then respond. Their SVP of Integrated Marketing states “we have to, consumers expect that we’re listening and responding” (Roman, 2013, para. 6). They also make sure everything they do and are is share worthy. That is a strategy seen throughout their social media sites. Their Facebook page contains stories and pictures from consumers about what Coke means to them, various pictures depicting Coca Cola, and comments from consumers. Their Twitter and Google+ contains news about the Coca Cola Company. Their You Tube account features different ads they have run, their products in the news, and consumers using Coke all around the world. Flickr features photos submitted by users and also ads the company has put out.
Coca Cola wants fans to talk about them and have that lead to sales. However a recent study from Coca Cola indicated that their social media does little to influence sales (Clark, 2013). Wendy Clark, SVP of Integrated Marketing says the study is true, but yet still says social media can do much more and is in fact a combination of media that helps brands. “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” (Clark, 2013, para. 6).
Overall these two brands have a tremendous impact on consumers as they engage throughout social media. They are well known brands and have to keep up their image wherever that engagement may take place.
Clark, W. (2013 March 20). Coca-Cola’s Wendy Clark defends ‘crucial’ social media. Retrieved from: http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/social-media-matter-marketing-coca-cola/240444/.
HootSuite. (2013 January 11). The evolving role of brands for the millennial generation. Retrieved from: http://blog.hootsuite.com/the-evolving-role-of-brands-for-the-millennial-generation/.
Horton, C. (2012 May 17). 5 ways Pepsi’s use of social media is right on. Retrieved from: http://socialmediatoday.com/synecoretech/509355/5-ways-pepsis-use-social-media-right.
PepsiCo. (2012 April 30). Pepsi launches first global campaign, “live for now”. Retrieved from: http://www.pepsico.com/pressrelease/pepsi-launches-first-global-campaign-live-for-now04302012.html.
Roman, E. (2013 January 24). Coke’s 7 smart social media rules for success. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ernan-roman/cokes-7-smart-social-medi_b_2528038.html.