Social media can prove to be an immensely powerful marketing tool but it does present challenges. A business can’t simply create a profile and start posting without having a goal in mind or something to say. There needs to be a clear objective and a plan to make a return on the investment being made. If there isn’t the returns may not be as large as anticipated, if they even appear at all.
One of the largest brands in the world has recently been exploring with their social media strategy. Coca-Cola traditionally had several agencies running different accounts on their behalf in countries around the world. This approach was very costly and the return on the investment being made was not what the company expected. As a result they changed tactic.
Instead of the several agencies method Coca-Cola centralised its social media marketing in several locations. They recently did just that in North America, creating their own Social Centre with a 55 strong staff of highly experienced marketers and executives from established agencies. This operation is slightly different to their others though as it is focused on quality primarily. Many of the other centralised operations are more about cost efficiencies.
Coca-Cola’s North American strategy is unique because it is based on an artificial intelligence driven “empathy model”. This means that they look at the emotions behind trending events in real time and adapt the content they posted to reflect it. The system has been tested several times already and has produced some wonderful results.
One test of the model involved the Rio Olympics. A series of posts were written using the insights into what the audience were feeling at the time. The likes and shares were then compared with posts that were created without using the “empathy model”. The results showed the posts written with insights were 26% more likely to be viewed and shared. This would be a much better return on the investment (ROI).
The technique of basing social media content on current trending events is an interesting one and could offer major benefits. It is challenging though because of the real time aspect. This means that the marketers need to have up to the minute information and analysis to call on. They need to know what is happening and how people feel about it to create the right content.
It is important to keep in mind that this kind of social media marketing strategy targets quite specific people. Taking the Rio Olympics example into consideration the posts they created will have targeted an audience interested in sport. For other people the content may have fallen on deaf ears.
It is vital to use this kind of approach whilst still considering the overall brand objective and targeting a wide audience. After all it is no use getting more likes and shares for a post when it has a vastly smaller target market.