Coca- Cola is an example of a company that realized the importance of social media for their brands. It has great online content on their social networking sites,has a big investment in its social media efforts and has launched its social media policies that concern Coca- Cola ambassadors’ online ethics.
Here are some points from Coca- Cola’s Social Media Head, Adam Brown.
If you want to be successful in your organization’s social media efforts, you should bear these in mind.
1. These are opportunities and responsibilities.
Everyday, there are almost 5 thousand conversations online that mention Coca- Cola. These are opportunities for the company to engage their customers. The company has also regarded responding through these social media as their responsibility. Brown says that when people are talking about Coke online, when they are excited about coke, and when they are complimenting the product, the company has the responsibility to respond. When people are misinformed and when they have concerns about the brand, the company has that same responsibility to be present. Here, we could see how Coca- Cola values both positive and negative mentions online.
2. Fish where the fish are.
Coca- Cola adheres to the main principle of penetrating the places where the target audience is. Brown says that instead of creating different websites where they could drive people to, Coca-Cola goes to the different social media sites where the people are.
3. Keep fans first.
“Our brand is not what we think it is, but what our fans think it is.”
For Coca-Cola, the fans are important because they define what kind of brand Coke is. For them, it’s important to keep what they have because these fans prove the kind of brand Coca-Cola has become.
4. It should also be a business of the subject matter experts.
Brown believes that engaging and participating in the discussions online is not only the Communications Department’s duty. When people are asking about health and business, Coca- Cola’s company dietitians answer. If the concern is about packaging, then the people who designed Coca- Cola bottles should get involved. They are the ones who are best knowledgeable about the subject of concern therefore could give the best answers.
5. Empower others to participate but protect the brand.
A Communications Department is present in every organization because it should be the one in charge of the external communication of the company. If the company will let people from outside the department do the talking, the company’ s reputation and image might be compromised. Communication experts know what to say and what not to say, that’s why most organizations believe they should leave “talking” to these people.
Coca- Cola believes otherwise. The company knows that empowering other members of the organization to participate is an effective way of addressing consumer concerns. It has launched its New Social Media Policy to guide its global staff in their participation online. This policy emphasizes transparency and common sense, two important things that the brand’s associates and ambassadors should keep in mind.
These are Coca- Cola’s 10 Principles for Online Spokespeople. Most of these also apply to other company bloggers and ambassadors out there.
- Be Certified in the Social Media Certification Program.
- Follow our Code of Business Conduct and all other Company policies.
- Be mindful that you are representing the Company.
- Fully disclose your affiliation with the Company.
- Keep records.
- When in doubt, do not post.
- Give credit where credit is due and don’t violate others’ rights.
- Be responsible to your work.
- Remember that your local posts can have global significance.
- Know that the Internet is permanent.
Facts are from Ragan Communications’ Social Media at the Coca-Cola Company