Coca-Cola understands the importance and value of direct brand conversation facilitated by social media platforms. Company has expanded its marketing strategy and included social media marketing into it as customers are looking to engage with the company on various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Coca-Cole went even further encouraging their employees to actively participate and engage with customers on various social media platforms. Employees actively engage in millions of conversations that take place on various social networking sites and share the optimistic and positive spirits of Coca-Cola brands. Social Media Principles guide the employees in terms of how to participate both at the personal level and official capacity and mostly surround on the principle of “Have fun, but be smart. Use sound judgment and common sense, adhere to the Company’s values, and follow the same Company policies that you follow in the offline world.” The company also provides the relevant training to employees and agency partners through internal online learning portals and also evaluates them and update accordingly. Company expects the employees and agency partners use blogs and other social media tools not only as a form of self-expression, but also as a means to further the Company’s business, aware of the implications of engaging in social media and online conversations that reference the Company, its brands, or its business, and that they recognize when the Company might be held responsible for their behavior.
Coca-Cola also has made certain commitments as highlighted on the company’s website for the customer engagement on various social networking sites like transparency in the social media engagements, protection of consumers’ privacy and comply with applicable privacy policies, IT security policies, and laws, rules, and regulations, respect copyrights, trademarks, rights of publicity, and other third-party rights, responsible use of technology by not aligning with any organizations or Web sites that use excessive tracking software, adware, malware or spyware and judicially monitor behavior of employees and consumers in the social media space, establish appropriate protocols for monitoring social media presence, and keep appropriate records of our participation as required by law. Coca-Cola Social Media Monitoring strategy is first monitoring and reviewing what conversations related to Coke are going on the social media world, second respond to the chatter quickly and with accurate, fully transparent answers, third record short video pieces that respond to the chatter in an entertaining, but informative manner and finally redirect social media users to other content on other social media sites. Coca-Cola also gives more importance to the fans and customers on the social media platforms and encourages them to post and share most of the content on the social networks and also aligned its marketing strategy accordingly. Coca-Cola social media strategy has been to influence purchase decisions and loyalty by leveraging the emotional ties people have with their products. This strategy has been hugely successful for the company as the statistics of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube highlight but the company feels that there still long way to go where social media generates hard sales so that company can increase revenues and profitability.