Archives for category: social media differentiation

viral marketing initiativesUnderstanding that relationships fuel social media success, and that when there is a human connection to a marketing message, that message is more liable to be conveyed to many. In order for a marketing initiative to go viral there must be a human connection, or an emotional bond that is forged when this message is conveyed.  If marketers focus on the end result of deriving an emotion from the message, then the marketing funnel is likely to be filled with interested, loyal consumers.

While reading Berger and Milkman (2011,) there is a strong belief that when a marketing message touches upon human emotion there is a relationship between “emotion and social transmission.”  Also that positive content will become more viral than negative content according to the results of their study.  Basically, controversial content can go viral, however, people want to feel good, they want to smile, they want to say “ahh.”  When a positive content goes viral brands can expect that “59% of people report that they frequently share online content with others (Allsop, Bassett, and Hoskins 2007), and someone tweets a link to a New York Times story once every four seconds (Harris 2010,) (Berger and Milkman, 2011.) Think of a a positive message as a seed that is planted and the result of that seed is a blooming flower.  This leads to one of the characteristics of the most successful marketing messages according to the Global Good Group: “A viral campaign will only spread if people are interested in sharing it. One of the best ways of accomplishing this is to get influential members of a social group to endorse the message. For example, if you are making a viral campaign targeted to football fans, then having it endorsed by a big football personality can get the ball rolling.”  Seeds are necessary to making a marketing campaign go viral.

Content that consumers can share that adds value to their lives (good restaurants, coupons with financial savings) provide benefits that make a person feel as if they have obtained information that will enhance their lives. From this perspective, on a psychological level emotion shapes vitality and videos like ‘Gangnam Style” or “The Harlem Shake” offer a high level of participation as well (the feeling of being a part of something bigger and more fun than themselves.)

These videos went viral because “they are relatively simple videos and dance moves that can be easily recreated and uploaded by thousands of people,” (Mastro, 2013.)

A viral message should be funny, cute, participatory or controversial (however, keep in mind negative messages have less chance of going viral than a positive one.)  Another  characteristic of a successful viral marketing campaign is “action.”  Notice these characteristics all have the underlying root to a human emotion.  Emotions are powerful, yet difficult to capture.  However, if a brand has the goal of making a person laugh, cry, or do something, as opposed to that goal being to sell a product, then something amazing happens. That marketing campaign will take on another life, develop a different path and while on its journey to virality, millions of people will experience it or want to experience it and search the internet to find out what others are talking about.  That’s what a good viral marketing initiative does; it causes others to want to know what everyone else is so interested in.  It’s like being on the outside of a large crowd, you want to get to the front of the crowd to see what all the excitement is about. Viral marketing success is at the center of what others are looking at.

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.



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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