Coca-Cola Is Taking Paid Social Seriously

Coca-Cola Is Taking Paid Social Seriously

A majority of people are heavy social media users nowadays and every brand knows the great significance of targeting consumers on social media. Companies constantly rely on growing impressions from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and also try their best to engage customers through these media. However, the problem is most of companies depend primarily on organic growth on social media and achieve less results on targeting right audience with the right message. Recently, Coca-Cola is trying paid media to strengthen its brand and company image because their 96 percent of views come from mobile and the days of organic reach died a long time ago. They are exploring where the strength in their stories and trying to find a new way to start a conversation about the good things they do.

Coca-Cola has been seeing robust growth in impressions and engagement on social, said Tim Goudie, social media director for Coca-Cola, and the secret weapon for their success is paid media, a channel neglected by a majority of companies. Here is a video interview of Tim Goudie, in which he shared his insights about how the brand can leverage paid social to increase awareness and drive engagement. Actually, Goudie strongly believes that “pay to play’ is perfect philosophy applied into marketing and regarding to paid social, the most important part is to deliver the right message to the right consumer. One way to achieve is to push compelling sustainability stories to highly targeted audiences. According to Goudie, Coca-Cola spent $10,000 at the end of 2013 to push its sustainability report via paid social. After seeing impressive returns in 2014, Coca-Cola spent $400,000 on paid social and it gained three times impressions as achieved in 2013 and its fans grew by more than 20,000. Goudie also reported that the company has won 10 percent increase in brand perception.

According to Guodie, “a successful social media campaign is both an art and a science.” In other words, it is about facts, data and details, and at the same time, it’s must be creative enough to appeal and engage people. More importantly, paid media should encourage further discovery. For example, each piece of paid creative shared by Coca-Cola includes a link to a microsite, providing further reading, information and videos about the project. Goudie stressed that, they are targeting instead of pushing out contents. They deliver message to those who are actually interested, inclined to share and spread. The links provided on their paid social gives an opportunity to go back to a larger destination. Besides, separating the brand’s voice from company’s voice is also very important in inviting consumer engagement. “The company message appeals to scientists and the media, while the brand message appeals to the consumer”, said Goudie.

Admittedly, social should not simply serves as a platform, it should be consistent in everything a business does and be incorporated into contents, emails, events and even brick-and-mortar stores. In order to better utilize paid social and make it a better match for businesses, companies need to ensure brand message and company message to be highly consistent. In addition, determine appropriate method to measure success is also key to utilizing paid social. Companies need to understand what’s working and what’s not in order to optimize efforts and concentrate more on high-impact tactics. Metrics to look at include: likes, follows, shares, and impressions.

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3 thoughts on “Coca-Cola Is Taking Paid Social Seriously

  1. Coca-Cola has always been a brand that is on top of its advertising and marketing game. It does not come as a surprise to me to read about their recent success with paid social. The bit about consistent messaging across different media could not be more true–or important. It is this integration of messaging across media and platforms that brands need to invest in. Today’s omni-channel consumer demands it.


  2. I think Coke is the number one brand when it comes to leveraging social media to create relevance! I just saw their Game of Thrones themed social media post on Twitter. The brand undeniably knows how to reach its consumers by tapping into their emotions and by leveraging the other products/brands that also tap in their emotions. Thanks for such an enlightening post!


  3. Coca Cola builds its brand equity in a brilliant way: relate the brand to people’s emotion, which is happiness, instead of the product itself. The factor makes customers loyal to this brand is not the flavor or quench function, but is the habit of customers. This habit is driven by the emotional connection with Coca. Coca never mentioned its product in advertising, instead, it mentioned happiness, family and passion. This is what Coca sells to its customers.


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