The Coca-Cola Company: Online Social Media Principles

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“Every day, people discuss, debate and embrace The Coco-Cola Company and our brands in thousands of online conversations. We recognize the vital importance of participating in these online conversations and are committed to ensuring that we participate in online social media the right way. These Online Social Media Principles have been developed to help empower our associates to participate in this new frontier of marketing and communications, represent our Company, and share the optimistic and positive spirits of our brands.”

The Coca-Cola Online Social Media Principle document does a great job of telling its employees what they can and can’t do, while wording it in a manner that creates a feeling of empowerment.  Values that Coca-Cola wants its members to embody include:

  • Leadership
  • Collaboration
  • Integrity
  • Accountability
  • Passion
  • Diversity
  • Quality

The brand demands that these values, which must be upheld in the work place, be demonstrated online and in social medias.  Coca-Cola recognizes that social medias are more fun platforms used for self expression. However, the company still creates guidelines. The document instructs employees to follow the same Code of Business Conduct and other applicable policies created by Coca-Cola. The brand adheres to strong core values in its own social media channels and requests that anyone involved with Coca-Cola {associates, associates of agencies, vendors or suppliers} do the same. If anyone associated with Coca-Cola acts differently, they are subject to disciplinary review or any approbate action.

The company created five core values that must be adhered to in the online social media community. These are for employees who manage Coca-Cola’s media pages:

  1. Transparency
  2. Protection
  3. Respect
  4. Responsibility
  5. Utilization

Here are an additional five principles for personal or unofficial online activities

  1. Adhere to the Code of Business Conduct and other applicable policies.
  2. You are responsible for your actions.
  3. Be a “scout” for compliments and criticism.
  4. Let the subject matter experts respond to negative posts.
  5. Be conscious when mixing your business and personal lives.

Next the document lists guidelines for the companies online spokespeople. These guidelines mirror many of the values and principles stated above. Rules that appear for the first time include: Remember that your local posts can have global significance, and know that the Internet is permanent. Besides those two rules, the rest seem repetitive.

The Coca-Cola Company’s Online Social Media Principles document is very thought out. It clearly states what the organization will and will not tolerate. The guideline does not restrict anything outlandish; employees are still encouraged to participate in personal accounts, but in a smart manner. These principles and values are the same any organization would request from members representing their company. The only questionable negative of the document is the repetitiveness in rules and procedures. However, I don’t consider this complaint to necessarily be a negative. I believe that it is almost necessary to outline  some points a few times to ensure employees truly understand what an organization demands from them. If information is unclear or not emphasized, an employee may be confused and eventually find themselves in trouble with the company and  their employers.

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sprout social

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Sprout Social is a program that helps businesses manage their social media. It monitors a companies brand and the conversations taking place regarding that brand. Through this site, you can publish and schedule updates across multiple social channels. Additionally, you can schedule and assign tasks for other team members. Finally, Sprout Social measures a companies efforts  with comprehensive reporting and analytics.

“Our web application integrates with Twitter, Facebook Fan Pages, LinkedIn and other networks where consumers are engaging with businesses and brands. In addition to communication tools, Sprout Social offers contact management, competitive insight, lead generation, reporting, analeptics and more–all in a package that’s intuitive and easy to use.” – Sprout Social

As the Marketing Projects Coordinator for Student Safety Programs at Marquette University, I use Sprout Social to manage all of my social media tasks. It shows me when our Twitter and Facebook accounts have gained new Twitter and Facebook followers, interactions, unique users, and impressions. The site also displays Student Safety’s audience demographics which helps me decided who I want to target certain messages toward.

My favorite tool on Sprout Social is the publishing application. As a student, I am not allowed to post on Facebook or Twitter when I am out of the office. This can create certain obstacles. However, the publishing tool allows me to set up a content calendar or compose certain messages and then schedule them to go out on specific dates. This is extremely convenient when I know what information I want to send out to our followers and what time/date it needs to appear on which site.

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#ChristmasStartsWithChrist

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Phillippa Warr from Wired.co.UK states, “The Church of England is launching a Christmas Twitter campaign which will see the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2012 Christmas sermon translated into tweets.” The Archbishop of York and the Archbishop of Designate will also be joining in the social media campaign by sharing their Christmas homilies with the Twitterverse.  All clergy members are also encouraged to participate, using the hashtag #ChristmasStartsWithChrist.

“There are  large numbers of social media enthusiasts to be found in pews and pulpits across the country. This is an invitation for them to join together to celebrate the joy of the Christ Child coming into the world, taking the real meaning of Christmas to a new digital audience.” -Reverend Arun Arora, Director of Communications and the Archbishops’ Council

According to the Church’s official press release, “congregations and clergy in the 12,000 parishes of the Church of England are being encouraged to get out their smartphones and livetweet the joy and meaning of Christmas.” It is unclear whether the congregation is being encouraged to pull out their smartphones in the middle of church. However, it seems almost impossible to livetweet if the phone is not out during the sermon.

This campaign brings up questions of appropriateness to some clergy members. While spreading the ‘good news’ is part of the Christian mission, it seems odd that social media has now become a platform the Church is interested it. Most churches frown upon mobile and cell phone usage during worship.

I believe that the Church is similar to any organization that wants to reach a younger demographic. However, I am not sure livetweeting during ceremonies is the right approach.

Do you think that tweeting during church seems appropriate? If so, will it be distracting for the more traditional church goers?

10 ways to market your brand with Instagram

Instagram is a free mobile photo-sharing application for smartphones. The program allows users to take or transform pictures using filters. These unique filters turn dull or ordinary pictures into art. Instagram helps the less photo savvy user create images that they would normally be incapable of capturing.

Instagram currently has over 80 million users and is very popular among people with smartphones. The site has also become beneficial for brands. Businesses can tap into Instagram to appeal new audiences.

Here are 10 ways to build your brand through Instagram:

  1. Show your products
  2. Show how it’s made
  3. Go behind the scene: show us a catalog or store photo shoot
  4. Show what your product can do
  5. Give a sneak peek: new store location? New product or cd release?
  6. Show your office: this gives your brand personally. What does your office look like during the holidays?
  7. Take us with you: if your marketing a sports team, show them traveling
  8. Introduce your employees
  9. Show celebrities interacting with your brand
  10. Share the cuteness: babies, animals, etc. with your brand

social media stereotypes

Each social media site has its stigmas and stereotypes. This infographic breaks down the sites to a tea: What would social media networks look like in a high school yearbook? Image

Twitter is especially accurate. When the website was first launched, people thought it was too similar to Facebook status updates.  Critics speculated that Twitter was a pointless platform littered with tweets regarding users “play-by-play” activity–such as “I am drinking my coffee” or “I just ate a bagel”–This still holds true for some twitter fanatics out there, but the site has developed into a more sophisticated platform. More and more people turn to Twitter for news updates. Just in the 2012 election campaign alone, people were tweeting a record amount regarding politics linking articles and debate quotes. However, Twitter is mainly reserved for the “Chatty Cathy.” You still experience the user who is tweeting about mundane aspects of life or the snow that has begun to fall.

LinkedIn is a professional social media site, thus categorizing it as the “Student Body President” comes as no shock. The whole goal of the site is to network and create business relationships. Everyone seems to play up their inner “Student Body President” when talking about past work experiences or skills. After all, you are trying to show case your talent. You can’t be “The Quarterback” or “The Hussy” on LinkdIn…not that you should be on Facebook or Instagram.

I was a bit shocked by Instagram. I assumed the stereotype would be closer to “The Art Freak” or “The Hispster.” Most of my friends who Instagram are taking a picture of the breakfast they just made or messing with filters of photos from the night before. The hashtagging of #Me and #Skank makes the site to be a little more vain than I had expected.

Foursquare is spot on, one I didn’t even notice. The most popular check-ins are work, shopping, and restaurants. “The Preppy Kid” seems to be bragging or throwing it in your face where they went, ate, and shopped.

Instagram launches web interface

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Instagram is a photo-sharing app for mobile devises. Users can snap a picture with their smartphones, change the filters, and share their photographs with friends. Instagram also helps the less photo-savvy community express their creativity with the assistance of filter options. One can simply scroll through the choices, play around with the lighting and then pick which result they like best. All in all, the app seems flawless. Until recently, it wasn’t. Instagram didn’t have a web presence.

I had a smartphone in 2011, but it cracked and eventually stopped charging. Annoyed with the whole process, I switched out my SIM card and I began using a flip phone from Walmart. The only thing I really missed out on was Instagram. I could check my e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, etc. on a desktop, but I could not view the Instagram app I loved so much.

In 2012, I purchased an Android and could participate once more with the photo-sharing app. However, I was still frustrated with its lack of accessibility. This has all chanced with the launch of Instagram’s web interface. Users will not be able to upload pictures, but they will be able to like, follow, and comment on pictures and friends profiles.

Instagram said in a blog, “We’re launching Web profiles to give you a simple way to share your photos with more people and to make it easier to discover new users on the Web”

A CCN article also pulled a quote from tech columnist and Instagram user MG Sielger saying, “It strikes me that a quick, dynamic overview of your life in pictures is maybe even more compelling than the overall Facebook Timeline because it’s so simple. Everyone understands pictures”

Instagram was bought up by Facebook for $1 billion, so it is interesting to also take a look at how Facebook has incorporated Instagram into it’s social platform:

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For example, my Facebook followers can check out my Instagram pictures simply by clicking on “Photos” and dropping down to Instagram at the bottom of the tab.

Once they do that, they see my Instagram profile:

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Another option is to log onto INK361 and view my profile on the designed Instagram site:

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The layout of INK361 allows viewers the opportunity to see photographs on a larger scale as well. Additionally, Instagram will remain independent–meaning you can share photo’s beyond Facebook.

*Watch this CCN video to learn about Instagram & Facebook’s relationship: 3 things you didn’t know about Instagram

tap to belly

Belly is a free digital loyalty platform that allows customers to build points and earn rewards at business they frequent and favor. Much like Foursquare, the company is focused on engaging customers through check-ins.  Belly helps local business create their own loalty program based on an iPad. Customers that enter a company with Belly will recieve a Belly Card. This card can be scanned at any store that has a Belly program.  Each company has its own unique rewards based on its character, culture, and consumers. Belly is more fun than your standard punch card. Belly users can also download the Belly app on their smartphones instead of carrying around the Belly rewards card. Users can also log onto the Belly rewards website to keep track of their points.

How it works for a customer:

  1. Sign up for Belly by entering your e-mail address
  2. Keep your Belly card in your wallet, on your keychain, or download the app on your smartphone
  3. Walk into a store with Belly sticker on the window
  4. Tap to Belly
  5. Recieve 5 points every time you scan your card or phone
  6. Use rewards immediately or save them to build up to the reward you’ve been working towards!

*Only allowed to Belly in a 24-hour period

How it works for a business:

  1. Sign up/add your business to the Belly family
  2. Help create/customize a rewards program tailored to your business
  3. iPad and Belly cards are sent to your business
  4. Place iPad and cards in the front of the store, by the cash register, or in a convenient spot
  5. Start rewarding customers

I am a huge fan of Belly. My friends and I compete with each other to gain the most rewards at our favorite restaurants, bars, and clothing stores. I am currently in 3rd place, with 80 points, at our local bar, Murphy’s Irish Pub. This means I have been to the pub 16 times. I  don’t go into the bar solely to Belly; I am purchasing the product while receiving rewards.

Belly presents both owner and customer with a great opportunity. It is mainly popular in the Midwest. However, the company is working on expanding Belly throughout the United States.