We try and avoid commenting overly much on social media as a phenomenon, given that it is evident enough without further emphasis. However, when a company as large as Coca-Cola makes a sea-change decision, it must be discussed.
According to newmediaage, Coke is “shifting their digital focus away from traditional campaign sites and towards community platforms, such as Facebook and YouTube, as social media begins to dictate their marketing activity in 2010.” In other words: Coke is moving away from building their own networks and communities, and is heading towards working where the people already are.
Of course, Coke already has tents in all the right places: 4.1 million fans on its Facebook page, and some 14,000 Twitter followers. The low Twitter follower count is mainly due to Coke not being on the Twitter suggested user list.
The goal of Coke is to use social media hubs as the central points of their marketing campaigns, instead of custom built sites around a single brand objective. Cheaper and faster assuredly, but it is not a fully tested concept for a company the size of Coke.
However, the move by Coke to ” place our activities and brands where people are, rather than dragging them to our platform,” as stated by Prinz Pinakatt one of Coke’s interactive marketing managers, is nothing short of a shift in the gulf-stream. It does two things primarily: makes the Coke brand more accessible to the mass public. We are all much more likely interact with the Coca-Cola brand when they are down the block, not in the next town.
But, more importantly, it gives credence to the power of the main social media websites in the world. Coke is making large bets on their success. Case in point: when has it been smart to be against Coke (new Coke aside, of course)?
We will see more companies making similar moves in the coming months. The question is, will it work? Coke seems to think that it will.