Social Media as Marketing Tools-a Case of Coca-Cola

Back ground of Coca-cola Coca-cola started in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 8, 1886 by Dr. John Stith Pemberton. He was a local Pharmacist. After producing Coca-cola syrup he carried it down to another pharmaceutical store on the street, where it was sampled and pronounced as exceptional. The sales of the drink called Coke thereafter, began. It was not at first sold as bottled drink; rather it was sold from the fountain for five cents a glass. Carbonated water was later combined with the newly discovered syrup to produce the drink known as coca-cola today.

Coca-cola is known all over the world for its unique taste which its competitors have not been able to beat. Dr. Pemberton partner with a man called Frank M. Robinson-a bookkeeper- to create the name Coca-cola. After considering the advertising aspect of the product, Robinson came up with the unique name known as “Coca-cola” today. Coca-cola was first advertised in The Atlanta Journal, through the journal the citizens were invited to taste “the new and popular fountain drink”. While the product tasting were ongoing, series of advertising campaigns were also put in place to aggressively promote the newly found drink.

The people passing by were invited to try the drink with the hope of passing the message across after tasting. During the first year, the average sales of coca-cola rose to nine drinks per day. Dr. Pemberton never realized the future prospect of the drink he created; therefore, he sold a portion of his business to different partners. In 1888 before his death, he sold the remaining part of Coca-cola to Asa G. Candler-An Atlanta business guru, who later proceeded to buy additional rights and completely took over the operation of Coca-cola (The chronicle of Coca-cola). Coca-cola brand image

Coca-cola is a leading name brand in the carbonated drink industry therefore; the name plays a major role in the sales of the product. With a very strong distribution channel that makes the products readily available everywhere in the world and a unique brand image that places the product on the mind of it targets audience so much that, Coca-cola becomes an addiction within some quarters. This background knowledge gives Coke the greater opportunity to service a larger geographical population in various capacities (Coca-cola marketing mix 83). Coca-Cola’s brand personality reveals the positioning of its brand.

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Coca-cola strategically positioned it products in the mind of it targets group that they see the product as part of their daily lives and this strategic brand positioning often plays a major impact in taking decision. The association between the brand and the consumers sometimes result in brand loyalty and invariably makes the purchasing decision easier for the consumers. Coca-cola packaging system remains one of their strengths in the market. Although the bottling of Coca-cola has undergone series of transformation all through the years throughout the world but the brand remains consistent in its distinctive taste all over the world.

In other words, the product remains the same both in taste and packaging globally (Coca-cola marketing mix 83). The age of social media marketing Social media marketing is the process or strategy of using social media websites like, facebook, twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, MySpace etc. to promote a company and its products. Over the years technology has brought about changes in the way we do business. The new age of technology has undoubtedly altered the ways most companies also conduct their business activities. This technology inclined age therefore, makes buying decision easier for the target market segment.

Earlier before the advent of social media; media outlet were limited to radio, TV and various print media, this made it easier for the advertiser to reach their “mass audience” using promotions through these available medium then. The media proliferation gave birth to various media channels which in turn have allowed consumers to have options when it comes to media usage as a result of modern invention. It is very germane to note at this point, that the media availability really have a sporadic impact on consumers’ behaviors. Such impact include: Interactivity, Customization and Social interaction (Social marketing meet interactive media).

The social media network has therefore, becomes so important that it is a must have for any company that wants to be relevant in the 21st century. It has contributed to the development and success of many companies in various ways. The case of Coco-cola is not an exception among the companies who are strategically using the social media marketing tools to draw followers to their brands. According to Jack Yan, The purpose for brands in any social media approach must be to serve the organization both internally and externally… He went further to state the nine goals of social media usage by a brand.

Such goals include: * Building a sense of membership or citizenship with the organization * Promoting communication and acceptance of the brand * Encourage the audience to engage in dialogue about the brand * Building positive brand association * Building brand awareness * Acting as a channel through which information about the brand can be obtained * Inform the consumers of the vision behind the brand * Help the organization to maintain a competitive ground * Act as a channel to know if the brand is been properly communicated to the consumers and * Build a perceived quality of the brand (Social medial in branding).

Coca-cola effectively combines the above mentioned goals in its social media usage through the huge numbers of followers on its social medial page. Its continuous utilization of social medial marketing tools like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, has undoubtedly given the company an insight into what the consumers are saying about its brand. Coca-cola facebook utilization Facebook is one of the fastest growing social networks with over 400 million users all over the world, it has both young and grownups as active users (Facebook: challenges and opportunities for Business communications students).

Coca-cola is one of the most popular brands on Facebook along with celebrity artiste icons like Lady Gaga, Rihana and Eminem. Coke has over forty-one million fans (www. facebook. com/cocacola). Coke is the 15ht most popular Facebook page… (usatoday. com) On Facebook, Coca-cola has over 35 million “like”…according to Wendy Clark-Coke senior vice president of integrated Marketing, she says…”having all the fans respond to coke is meaningful. This is because; such responses are likely to generate more sales for the brand coke.

She went further to lay emphasis on how such colossal responses from the fans on face book are to the advantage of coca-cola (usatoday. com). The nature of the social media networks site deliberately makes it possible to share information among the users. Facebook has a high utility growth and this allows sharing of information among” all friends in one-place solution” achievable (Too many Facebook “Friends”…). More so, through its viral distribution of messages, Facebook allows target consumers to pass messages and ads to friends with ease.

The online messaging allows comments to be passed on transmitted messages like ads (Viral advertising in social media…). Coca-cola understands this behavior, therefore, it virally engaged its targets audience through series of information about its brand. Coca-cola twitter utilization Twitter was introduced in 2006 as a blogging site that permits users to share different kinds of messages online vial medium called tweets (Follow me! Global Marketers’ Twitter use). Through these medium users are able to share messages and comments on various issues going on around them.

Twitter has one hundred and sixty million users and send an upward of ninety million message everyday (Twitter as a medium of message). Coca-cola has over five hundred and thirty thousand followers on twitter (Twitter, Inc). These followers are constantly engaging in various topics about the brand coca-cola on the webpage. Through the twitter page consumers are informed about any ongoing promotion and program of Coca-cola. Twitter also stands as one of the avenues through which the consumers get information about any new ads message concerning the brand.

The twitter –verse according to Clark, has a profound impact on how coke deal with consumers feedback. Coke monitors the questions posted on Twitter and answers them. Clark says twitter has brought changes to coke customer service approach. More staffs are now been put on twitter’s page to respond to the ongoing traffic demands of the twitter page (usatoday. com). Coca-cola YouTube utilization YouTube is a none-paid for social media website that enables users to upload their videos and share them through the internet (Peers or expert? ). It was created in 2005; it has over a 100 million videos per day.

This massive number account for 60% of all online videos. The nature of YouTube broadcasting allows the users to share their opinions online concerning the videos they have seen through rating (Social interaction and co-viewing with YouTube: Blending Mass Communication…). Coke employs the use of YouTube for advertising purpose through which the viewers can pass comments on their advert. The use of YouTube by Coca-cola gives the viewers the opportunity to view and pass comments on their ads. These commentaries generated helps coke in furthering their creativity when else they plan another advert.

The reason has been that such commentaries are not immediately receivable under the traditional TV adverts. Though there are many other sites through which one can upload videos but coca-cola YouTube engagement gives better viewing opportunity in terms of marketing to the larger audience. A scene from an advertisement provided by coca-cola on YouTube… Result of the brand The social media world has invariably changed the nature of the modern day business approach and it has so far brought so many challenges and success to those brands using them to promote their products at different stages.

Coca-cola through the social media utility has been able to generate millions of followers and viewers all over the world. These viewers in turn promote the brand through their spending on Coca-cola brands. Coca-cola has over 2 billion people drinking coke globally. A success story that is linkable to its creative prowess and leveraging with social media network sites like Facebook, twitter and YouTube (Coke’s social media success…). Coca-cola through the usage of these media continues to build an empire of loyal followers.

Coca-cola having built these enormous followers does not just live them to communicate in isolation, rather the company strategically put a monitoring body in place that responds to the followers queries and provide immediate response. Wendy Clark in an address recognized that “social listening” is very important in social media; it is necessary to communicate back to the followers. She said…”forget about the” like” button. It’s all about the “share”. It’s the most important. She concluded by saying that whatever content the company has to create must be shareable.

She shared the story of a man who through immediate response from the Coca-cola twitter’s team went ahead and purchased a Vitamin water drink-an extended brand of Coca-cola (Coca-cola VP Talks…). A result oriented communication! Connectivity Coca-cola through it social media connect various groups via online activities. This engagement gives the opportunity to the consumers to share their experiences about the products among themselves. It also allows Co-ca cola to have feedbacks on how the brand is doing in the market place.

These feedbacks help in developing marketing strategies for the brand. From the ongoing, it is certain that Coca-cola social medial presence and engagement with its consumers has not only created awareness and loyalty for the brand; it has also generated increase in sales for the brand through its huge cyber group followers. As a result of its involvement with its followers, the brand is able to connect globally with the consumers at various locations all over the world within a particular circle-the social network.

It is therefore, very necessary within this paper to recognize the fact that, social media as a marketing tool plays a significant part in the brand’s ability to reach its target audience. References 1. The chronicle of Coca-cola: Birth of a refreshing idea: Retrieved on 05/02/2012, from http://www. thecoca-colacompany. com/heritage/chronicle_birth_refreshing_idea. html 2. Coca-cola marketing mix 83: Retrieved on 05/02/2012, from http://www. bilara. hubpage. com/hub/coca-cola-0 3. Coca-cola Fans page: Retrieved on 05/03/2012 from http://www. facebook. com/cocacola 4.

Twitter, Inc (us): Retrieved on 05/03/2012 from http://www. coca-cola. com/en/index. html 5. Coke’s media success makes a lot out of little: Retrieved on 05/03/2012 from http://www. millwardbrown. com/global/blog/post/2011-12-19/coke-s-social-media-success-makes-a-lot-out-of-a-little. aspx 6. Coca-cola VP Talks about the keys to social media success: Retrieved on 05/03/2012 from http://www. marketingpilgrim. com/2011/04/coca-cola-vp-talks-about-the-keys-to-social-media-success. html 7. Brandtzaeg, P. , Luders, M. , & Skjetene, J. (2010). Too many Facebook “friends’?

Content sharing and sociability versus the Need for privacy in social Network sites. International Journal of Human-computer interaction, 06-, 26(11/12), 1006-1030. doi: 10. 1080/10447318. 20010. 516719 8. Chu-chuan, C. (2011). Viral Advertising in social media: Participation in facebook Group & Responses among college-Age users, Journal of Interactive Advertising, 12(10), 30-34 9. Decarie, C. (2010). Facebook: Challeges & Opportunities for Business Communication Students. Business Communication Quarterly, 73(4), 449-452. doi: 10. 1177/1080569910385383 10. Harisdakis, P. , & Hanson, G. 2009). Social Interaction and co-viewing with YouTube: Blending Mass Communication Reception and Social Connection Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, (53(2), 317-335. doi: 10. 1080/08838150908270 11. Hye-Jin P. , Hove, T. , Hyun Ju. , & Mikyyoung, K. (2011). Peer or expert?. International Journal of Advertising 30(1), 161-188. 12. Hill, R. P. , & Moran, N. (2011). Social marketing meets interactive media. International Journal of Advertising. 30(5), 815-838. doi. 10. 2501/IJA-30-5-815-838. 13. Kwon ES & Sung, Young Jun (2011), Follow me! Global markers ‘Twitter’ Use.

Journal of Interactive Advertising, 12 (10), 4-16. 14. Savage, N. (2011). Twitter as medium and message communication of The ACM, 54(3), 18-20. doi: 10. 1145. 1897860. 15. Yan, J. (2011). Social media in branding: Fulfilling a need. Journal of Branding Management, 18(9), 688-698. doi: 10. 1057/bm. 2011. 19 Abstract The social media group is very relevant in the modern day marketing strategy, it is very crucial for any brand that wants to be successful in today’s marketing operation to fully utilize the numerous advantages associated with this viral tool in marketing communications.

This paper examines the results of, and the utilization of three social media tools by Coca-cola to connect, and create awareness among its target audience. The strategic use of these social media tools-Facebook, Twitter and YouTube eventually leads to more sales for Coca-cola brand. Table of contents Background history of Coca-cola—————————————————-i Coca-cola brand image—————————————————————-ii The

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