Lessons “CokeTags” Teaches About Branded Social Media Marketing

I got an email on Friday from Christina at the Advance Guard pitching “Coke Tags” as a new social media marketing effort from the Coca-Cola Company. The whole experience, from pitch to this blog post, provides lessons in social media marketing that all large brands should consider. So here they are:

The Pitch Matters

Jim Tobin's Coke TagChristina’s approach was excellent. They had a good list (I do write about social media marketing, and she knew it), and she was completely transparent, (“we’re working with The Coca-Cola Company to get the word out about their new Coke Tag application,” and “please feel free to disclose that The Advance Guard and The Coca-Cola Company offered you this information for your honest review.”) The email was short, matter of fact, and offered links for more info.

How You Announce Matters

The page they sent me to for more info was clearly written, had the facts, had images for me to download, etc. Only downside was the client quotes. A bit fluffed up for my taste, but that’s minor. I was very impressed by all this, but then I saw C.C. Chapman’s name at the bottom. We’ve been Twitter friends for a while now, so I know he gets it. The only piece of weirdness is the Advance Guard website, which has zero content. That’s strange and would raise red flags if this weren’t Coke.

Think Big About What You Can Contribute

If social media is a conversation, what does Coke have to offer besides “We make drinks”? They get that, so they developed a Facebook app that makes it easier to share your favorite links. Sort of a blogroll for Facebook. They realized, a) they have nothing to say, but b) they’re Coke, so they can offer something useful, slap their logo at the bottom and benefit from it.  They also realize that the ROI of social media marketing like is a subtle, nuanced measurement.

Final Review Comes from the People

So everything is looking good for Coke, right? They’ve broken no rules, good pitch, good contribution to the social universe. Whether Coke Tags take off though is no given. When I installed it tonight on my Facebook page, here’s what I learned.Facebook reviews of Coke Tags

  • So far, there are 39 active daily users. Not a ton for Coke (these things build slowly, so no need to panic); After several reviews though, I’d expected more users.
  • There are 5 user reviews so far, but 4 of them are not positive.

My personal review is that CokeTags as a tool is ok. I didn’t have trouble setting it up, but I don’t know that anyone will ever use it on my page. It starts collapsed and you have to expand it to see any of my links.

So, bottom line: Coke did a lot right with this effort. There could be a future for Coke building little tools that add good functionality to social networks and similar sites. Not sure that CokeTags is the killer app for them, but it could be the start to an interesting ongoing social media marketing campaign for this marquis brand.

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