Coca Cola Social Media Policy

10 Dec

The Coca Cola Social Media policy was developed in order to guide all employees and associates in the propers use of social media and all online marketing communications. The Policy specifically states that the policy was developed to “empower our associates to participate in this new frontier of marketing communications, represent our Company and share the optimistic and positive spirits of our brands.”

I think it is smart to begin the policy  by aligning to new policy with the companies core standards. The company continues to develop the policy by aligning it with Coca Cola’s values of leadership, collaboration, integrity, accountability, passion, diversity and quality.  Coca Cola clearly explains that these values are the guiding forces behind how the marketing communications team builds the brand.

I cane see that Coca Cola really puts emphasis on their core values in all their policies. The policy continues to develop the social media policies directly to Coca Colas 5 core values of the online social media community. They are transparency, protection, respect, responsibility and utilization.

The policy then takes a different tone and begins to address all of Coca Cola’s associates, agencies, third vendor parties and spokespeople. The policy  becomes a little repetitive by restating that all online marketing communications align with Coca Cola’s core values. One highlight of the policy is that it points out the difference between “speaking on behalf of the company” and speaking “about the company.” It then lists 5 principles for personal and unofficial online use. These principles are basic lessons. Things that everyone knows about the internet. This part seems a little unnecessary because all marketing and communications specialists should already know this.

The last list of polices are guidelines when speaking on behalf of the Coca Cola brand. The ten guidelines are much more specific. They almost seem like requirements for becoming a spokesperson  for Coca Cola. To be a spokesperson for Coca Cola a lot of certifications are required which is smart for a brand this big.Overall I think Coca Cola’s social media’s policy lays out very well that online marketing is still a representation of the Coca Cola brand and should still adhere to the company’s core values. There does tend to be some redundancy in the policy but I know it is there to emphasize a point.

Coca cola social media policy

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Sharpie

10 Dec

Sharpie found a way to make its product an outlet for creativity. By using a series of several engaging tactics, Sharpie promoted themselves through digital content that spoke to a generation of artists and youth.  The new catchphrase announced in 2011 “Uncap What’s Inside” revealed the new direction the Sharpie brand was heading in. Sharpie wanted to connect with its users on personal authentic level. New product lines that included more color and new features allowed for Sharpie to brand itself in this new creative light. Overall Sharpie has great social media presence as a brand. I am choosing to highlight two of strongest outlets that consumers responded to the most.

Sharpie made a strong presence online by showcasing what the new products could, what Sharpie users could do and by using that moment to create a DIY community.The Sharpie blog played a key role in securing brand loyalty and retention through showcasing customers creativity. Other outlets Sharpie used for this included Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. They shifted focus to their customer creativity. Sharpie used their blog as a call to action. First, they began to  stories about their customers generating buzz on conversation online. Second, they  use their blog to continue to inspire creativity which is promoting use of the product. Blog posts also featured creative uses of Sharpie’s products for designs on paper cups and handicrafts created interesting visuals and digitally tangible examples of the brand’s product in action. Guest bloggers ranging from fashion experts and artists, funny posts (such as a picture of a staff-made Sharpie King Cake in honor of Mardi Gras), and video content such as a Valentine’s Day short film on love make the Sharpie blog the strongest component to its website.

pm-sharpie-creativity

One of the most successful strategies Sharpie implemented online was the creation of a Sharpie Community.   Sharpie invited their community to engage through art challenges where users voted for the best submissions. The strategy reached out to the DIY community who thrived off the creativity and authenticity Sharpie promoted. With invocations such as “Start Something!” and “Show Your Stuff!” Sharpie’s online tone is inviting, conversational and proactive.

The Sharpie community and blog a perfect example of using online conversation to build a brand name and following. If a product as common as permanent marker can stand through digital content then the possibilites are limitless in the world of branding online. Sharpie identified a niche audience that would take advantage of the its product benefits. It gave the Sharpie a feature beyond just trying. It gave Sharpie an identity.

30 days to Win Julia Over: A Microsoft Hotmail Case Study

10 Dec

The client, Microsoft. The product Microsoft Hotmail in Spain. Hotmail was on the decline, Microsoft  was loosing users by the day.  It had fallen behind the competition and needed some revamping. So that is what Microsoft did, they revamped Hotmail. But unfortunately no one noticed. Hotmail was communicating the changes it had undergone but no one believed it. They needed their clients to fall in love with them again.  That is how Julia and Alejandro fell into the picture.

Alejandro, a regular guy (not an actor) who needed to prove to his girlfriend, Julia, that he had changed into a better boyfriend.  They were going through a rough patch and he needed to prove to her that he could be a better boyfriend. Get the metaphor? During the next 30 days Hotmail helped Alejandro meet this a goal of winning Julia’s heart back by setting up 30 days of change.  Alejandro and Hotmail needed to show how much they had changed instead of just saying it.

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In the 30 days that followed Hotmail launched a campaign  that began with print ads in newspapers  and billboards announcing that Alejandro was going to parter with Hotmail to win Julia back. The ads spread like wildfire and the soon Alejandro was a headline in the news and online. The billboard asked user to send tips to Alejandro that would make him into a better boyfriend. Ideas were sent through Twitter, Hotmail, Messenger and Facebook. Requests were made and Alejandro listened. He even talked with people who were curious and wanted to know more about him.  Musicians sent him songs, people posted on the blog, videos were shared. Hotmail was integrated naturally into this campaign. A youtube account was created to show Alejandro accomplishing each  new task of love and of course the videos went viral.  The last night of the event he surprised Julia by serenading her with a song users had sent to him via Hotmail. Alejandro had won Julia back, and so had Hotmail.

Screen Shot 2012-12-09 at 6.42.12 PM

By the end of the campaign the 30 Days to Win Julia bBack website had 2,212, 160 visitors. The Facebook page gained 16,477 fans in 30 days and 287,000 new Hotmail email accounts were created.

Hotmail used this love story to engage consumers. They used this relatable story to prove that change was possible. By using Alejandro as the face of the campaign they humanized the Hotmail brand and made it something people needed. Everyone was rooting for Alejandro and if helping him meant signing up for a Hotmail account, users found him and the service worth it.

B2B Marketing and Social Media

10 Dec

The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs published their third annual research results: The 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America, sponsored by Brightcove.  Brightcove is an industry leader in providing video platform services and products used to distribute the world’s professional media. Results of the the research report showed in an increase in content marketing at the end of 2012 with a predicted increase in content marketing in the year 2013.  Marketers are spending 33% of their budgets on content marketing and 54% said they plan on increasing that budget in 2013.  On average B2B companies are using five tactics to put out their content.  What is the leading tactic marketers are using you may ask? Social media of course. Chart2_UsageTacticB

On average B2B marketers use five different social media channels to distribute their content. This includes utilizing social media sites, video channels, mobile content and virtual conferences. It seems that this increase i marks the acceptance of social media as an appropriate channel to distribute B2B marketing content. Surprisingly LinkedIn has past Twitter as the top site B2B marketers are utilizing.  Pinterest is also made on appearance on the list of sites utilized by B2B marketers. It jumped from 0& to 20% usage from the year 2011. Below is chart that shows social media site usage in 2011 compared to 2012. Screen Shot 2012-12-05 at 11.19.54 PM

It will be interesting to see this graph for 2013 and if feedback and movement towards social media marketing is still as popular as it is today.

Oprah’s Oops

27 Nov

Last Sunday Oprah (or her PR team) made one big blunder. A tweet was sent out from Oprah’s personal account praising the Microsoft Surface.  One problem the tweet was sent out from an Ipad, a competing tablet. OOPS!

Was this just a blatant disregard on Oprah’s communications team? Celebrity endorsements have always been huge in the world of PR and  advertising. Brands that are synonymous with celebrities tend to be considered higher quality and have more brand recognition. The tricky thing about social media and celebrity endorsements is that its harder for celebrities to hide from them. A decade ago if a celebrity endorsed Pepsi in a TV commercial but secretly drank Coca Cola at home it was easier to hide from the world. Now with smartphones, Wifi and 3G/ 4G networks everywhere the ability to share information is easier than ever. Celebrities are already under a microscope but add in the additional pressure from social media, celebrity must be careful more than ever.  This isn’t just limited to product endorsements. Even with the recent election, celebrity tweets were under intense scrutiny as well. Eva Longeeria received hard feedback after tweeting a not so politically correct state on women and Mitt Romney.  So what is the lesson we normal folk can take from this? If even our over glorified celebrity idos are susceptible to social media blunders, then so are we. Oprah, with her team of probably a dozen specialist can make such a simple mistake, then so can we. No one is immune to the access of information the internet can provide to people. It is a lesson for all of us to just  think twice before posting online.

How advertising tactics won the Election

14 Nov

This year’s presidential election was one of the most anticipated events of the year. Both parties were out in full force. It seemed like no matter where you went Mitt Romney approved  a message and Barack Obama wanted you to “Like” a page on Facebook.  By November 6 everyone was ready for the campaigns to just be over.  After all is said and done, each campaign spent ridiculous amount of many in their campaign. Corporations could take a few hints from each campaigns strategy and tactics.

 

Both parties made their presence known on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Twitter was always blowing up the night of   debates and election day set records.  It seemed like each party had the same strategies in place. TAKE OVER OUR SOCIAL MEDIA!  So what were the differentiating factors?

One of the biggest factors that played into the elections results was each candidates ability to plan early. Obama forces were out in about in key swing states just as Romney was being named the Republican candidate. Not only was the Obama team out on the ground they were also online. They had ads out about him as candidate and his character way before Romney was officially his opponent. Corporations can look at this and model their new product launches after it. They can look at key competitors and when they are launching it and make sure they stay ahead of the curve. Make an impression in the mind of the consumer before the competing product comes out. Early impressions are key to success of product launch.

Another huge strategy is realizing different audiences may require different content. The Obama campaign tailored their campaign to each swing state. The utilized different media mixes, budgets, digital, mobile, social media advertising, television and radio per state. Regional companies and brands with local products can do the same. They can tailor their media plans on regional or national level.  Companies can use this concept to make their paid media more effective. They can make sure the right messages are reaching the right people in the right area.

No matter what side of the politic spectrum you are, you can agree that both had winning campaign strategies and both side has some faulty ones. You may not agree with who one or who’s tactics were the best, but one thing we can all agree on is the power social media had on this year’s election.

Trust me, I’m online.

14 Nov

One of the biggest issues with building your brand online is getting  online audiences to believe in your brand. Of course your loyal consumers already believe in you, that is why they are loyal to you. But if you have any hopes if increasing your brand reach and brand awareness online you have to be able to gain trust online. How do you do that? You gain credibility. A recent article form Social Media Today  gave great 10 tips to doing just that.

1. Establish Authority

2. Social Proof

3. Walk the Walk

4. Be consisten in both life and business

5. Hang with the right peeps.

6. You had me at first tweet.

7. Take time for relationships

8. Build a platform that invites conversation.

9. It’s not about you!

10. Author content.

Consumers won’t engage with you if they don’ trust. By following the previous tips you can avoid falling into the clutter of online brands. It is not enough to just have pretty background and great layouts. You have to be able to make your online persona seem real. Update your contact, establish yourself as an expert, dedicate to your craft, take time to do what you say you are so good at doing! Online users will start responding and once they do, don’t ignore them. Focus on the relationships that matter! The online users who keep coming back to you are the ones that matter, take timet to connect.  Along with this rule use your platform for two-way communication. Its easy to see the connection between trust and your online persona. The more real your brand is online the easier it will be for consumers to believe in you.

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