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A study from Laura Mayes on the company Coca-Cola, dissects their web presence and the good/bad elements of their digital communication. When working at Regions Bank as a Social Media Specialist, a central part of the job was monitoring listening software called Radian 6 each day. There were key words implemented into the software that were flagged whenever used including, but not limited to: “Regions”; “bank”; “support”; and etc. With this information, we were able to garner which customers and individuals to seek out for a call or if they needed assistance with banking issues.
Every company should have a social or digital media plan to effectively listen to concerns about their company so that they can be addressed. If a company does not, it is behind in the entire scope of digital public relations and communication.
In her study, Mayes touches on how the Uses and Gratification Theory is helping shape Coca-Cola’s digital messaging. Her research states, “As defined by Katz, Blulmer and Gurevitch, uses and gratifications theory is concerned with: (1) the social and psychological origins of (2) needs, which generate (3) expectations of (4) the mass media or other sources, which lead to (5) differential patterns of media exposure (or engagement in other activities), resulting in (6) need gratifications and (7) other consequences, perhaps unintended ones” (Mayes, Laura. Effectively Incorporating Social Media: A Case Study on Coca-Cola).
Coca-Cola also provides ease of access to their social media platforms, which makes customers feel as though their concerns can be heard and resolved. “Coca-Cola is active on numerous social media platforms. On the company’s website, there are direct links to take the viewer to each social networking site the company is involved with. Once a viewer travels to any of those pages, there are links and buttons to direct the viewer to other Coca-Cola social media pages” (Mayes, Laura. Effectively Incorporating Social Media: A Case Study on Coca-Cola).
Voice and tone in the social media realm are also keys to a successful digital media campaign. Since most digital communication methods are disseminated through words, it can be very easy to misconstrue them through a virtual tone. For this reason, certain words must be used by each member of a social media team. The goal is to sound like one voice – a voice that is always speaking from a brand perspective. With Coca-Cola, “posts on Twitter and Facebook are conversational, engaging and rarely have a promotional feel. Interaction via YouTube is daily, new videos are updated frequently. Flickr photos are updated at events Coca-Cola holds or sponsors, the most recent being the 24-hour session with Maroon 5” (Mayes, Laura. Effectively Incorporating Social Media: A Case Study on Coca-Cola).
What are three aspects that Coca-Cola does well in digital media? The company is effective in its tone, voice and accessibility to customers or individuals who would like to learn more about the company. With the listening tools used and the response of Coca-Cola to customer or individual concerns, the company has control of its own story. There is no one person on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter that is left to tell Coca-Cola’s story and respond to others about its company. The company is there and ready to provide clear messages of its goals and what it would like to do for the community and customers. (Mayes, Laura. Effectively Incorporating Social Media: A Case Study on Coca-Cola)
This is why Coca-Cola’s online listening and responding in real-time has a positive impact on its company and the world.
Mayes, Laura. Effectively Incorporating Social Media: A Case Study on Coca-Cola. (2011).
Katz, E., Blumler, J. G., & Gurevitch, M. (1974). Uses and Gratifications Research. Public Opinion Quarterly, 37(4), 509-524.