Coke vs Pepsi, which is best?

Which one uses social media best?

 

What makes Coke so different from Pepsi on social media?  It’s not so much as they are different, or that their strategic goals differ that much, but really how much alike they are in getting the message out to their customers about who they are. And I’m not talking about who the brands are, but who the customers are who drink their products. Coke and Pepsi use social media to help users of their particular brands define themselves in society not so much as a means to selling more product, but as a method to create what the perfect Coke or Pepsi drinker looks like.

Coke-vs-Pepsi

 

Coca-Cola fits the definition of a social media rock star. With over 73 million likes on Facebook, and over 1.9 million Twitter followers, Coca-Cola seems to have found the jizz in social media.  Ironically, the Coca-Cola Facebook presence did not begin by the brand; instead it was a started by loyal users of the product actors and screenwriters Dusty and Michael who amassed a “few hundred thousand fans” to the page.  Instead of wrestling control over the brands’ social media image from the creators of the Facebook page, the company decided in the interest of good business sense “to join them and build on the existing audience.”  It’s easy to quote numbers of followers, and likes, but behind those numbers who are the users of the product,and how does Coke gets them to believe they belong in a Coca-Cola world drinking this product.

Over on Facebook, Coke uses its page “to promote its community- and family-oriented message.”  While on Twitter, Coke uses it as a means to respond to customer inquiries, a virtual customer service outlet.  Theoretically, you could say Coke uses Twitter for meeting customer service metrics, and Facebook to expand on existing corporate social responsibility initiatives.  The dichotomy is interesting as Coke has discovered how to use social media aligning it with corporate objectives.

coca cola vs pepsi

In 2010 Pepsi created a social media responsibility campaign entitled “Refresh Everything” campaign in which it asked its “fans” to come up with ideas to “refresh the world” in the categories of health, the planet, art and culture, food and shelter, neighborhoods, and education. Fans submit descriptions of their ideas. Pepsi screens and posts them on the website. Visitors vote on them. Then, after considering the votes, Pepsi selects which ones to fund.  In a nutshell, Pepsi chose to promote corporate social responsibility initiative through the use of social media. Quite a crafty move, as this initiative appeared to survive in a socially comfortable place after suffering from a damaged public image from the 1997-1998 incidental support of the junta regime in Burma. If you notice any of PepsiCo’s ads, they are seasoned with lifestyle, fun and living to the fullest if you use their products. These marketing slices are integrated into the perception of what Pepsi wants us to believe about the brand. Creating messages of this sort embeds the idea of ‘what a good company Pepsi must be’ because they do thus and thus.  Not to say this is some sort of trickery, not in the least bit. Pepsi is simply using social media in a customer friendly kind of way as to maintain a positive image of the brand. And it works. Pepsi drinkers believe in the product and will tell you they don’t drink Coke because it “does not have that burn” when they drink it (Quote from Chantal Ford, youthful friend and Pepsi drinker.) “Pepsi’s energy and whimsy shines through,”  on social media.  Then there is this year’s “Fan Enough” promotion that is tied into the NFL.  This type of thought process lends to the belief that Pepsi customers trust the brand immensely; that “the trust bank,” is large. Social media success has the solid foundation of trust, just like real life relationships. In order for social media to work, to advance strategic goals for a brand, a relationship between the brand and the customer must exist.  By the time a relationship is established, trust has already been formed. The key is to maintain and grow the trust, that’s where true social media success reigns. Note: It’s just been announced that Bruno Mars will be appearing at halftime at next year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show. This year it is Beyonce; Pepsi knows what their audience likes.

Pepsi Truck brings coke machine

Pepsi Truck brings coke machine

 

 

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